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  • Blog Post: An exciting second trip

    As my most recent trip on a trawl vessel started, we left the port of Mar del Plata into an enormous storm. However, I felt pretty good about everything and kept my thoughts to the task in hand. The trip took us back to the same fishing area that I visited last time, but the target species had changed...
  • Blog Post: Making the best of a bad situation

    Unfortunately seabirds caught as byctach in pelagic longline fisheries are generally only brought onboard once they are already dead (they are hooked and drown during the set when lines sink into the water). In Uruguay birds killed at sea are returned to the laboratory for analysis. By doing so we can...
  • Blog Post: A helping hand in Ushuaia: New tori lines for the longline fleet

    Last week, the ATF in Argentina sent a package to Ushuaia, where the fishing vessel Antartic III from fishing company Estremar S.A. was waiting. In the package were two sets of specially designed tori lines that resulted from ATF tests aboard the vessel this year. The use of tori lines is now obligatory...
  • Blog Post: Such is life at sea!

    Our trips at-sea don’t always turn out to be happy experiences, and we don’t always achieve our objectives when we get onboard a vessel. My last sea-trip was testament to this. It began in Puerto Madryn from where many Argentinean trawler vessels weigh anchor. We set off on May 4 and sailed...
  • Blog Post: Shy-type albatross between the warps!

    I recently returned from a routine Albatross Task Force at-sea trip onboard a conventional wet fish trawl vessel in Argentina (fish are stored on ice, but not frozen like on the larger freezer vessels). The trip lasted a total of 16 days and fishing was concentrated around 300 km east of the Valdéz...
  • Blog Post: Get it done and and get it done now!

    After a couple of months working in the laboratory and carrying out tests on small vessels the great day arrives. I am to join a large industrial trawl vessel to try out the performance of the tori lines and the Tamini Tabla under commercial fishing conditions, and on exactly the kind of vessel this...
  • Blog Post: First trawler trip for ATF Chile

    This was my first trip on a trawl vessel in Chile, with a fleet that targets common hake. We set off from the San Vincent port in the central southern part of Chile (around Latitude 36°S). The vessel is an industrial trawler and is pretty large, measuring 60 m which is much larger than the smaller...
  • Blog Post: To the end of the world... and beyond!

    After a long wait my voyage on a demersal (bottom) longline vessel finally set out for a trip that will last over three weeks, sailing from the port of Ushuaia. I was delighted to find that this boat is very comfortable, with internet, LCD TVs and even a gym! Not something you find on most ATF trips...
  • Blog Post: How artwork is helping save the albatross

    For over 30 years Bruce Pearson , a professional artist, has worked on a range of themes to convey his enthusiasm for wildlife and especially birds, giving a sense of wonder to the wild places they inhabit. More recently he has focused some of his time on developing creative links between art and conservation...
  • Blog Post: A life history that deserves respect

    Without doubt, the albatross are one of the groups of seabirds that need our greatest conservation effort. Commercial fisheries, through incidental capture, have generated a huge impact in many populations and almost all the species are currently in danger of extinction. As they spend the main part of...
  • Blog Post: Somewhere in the south Indian ocean...

    By satellite phone I contact Oli Yates, ATF Coordinator to report on progress. I am somewhere in the south Indian Ocean having joined a reefer ship in Singapore. So far I've been at-sea for just over a week. My destination is a longline vessel fishing for Blue fin tuna in the Indian ocean. The task...
  • Blog Post: The Brazilian way

    The summer is the slow period for fishing activities in Brazil. The work is limited to the preparation of up and coming trips and improving the equipment, mitigation and conducting important meetings with our colleagues. Frequently such activities are carried out in pleasant places close to the port...
  • Blog Post: My first trip with the ATF...

    I’m telling you about my first at-sea experience as ATF Instructor on a freshie trawler (the catch is stored fresh on ice) departing from Mar del Plata in October 2009. During the first trip, about 5 days of work, I understood how to apply the at-sea protocol in my new job. I was very nervous before...
  • Blog Post: Experiments aboard commercial longline vessels in Uruguay

    In my most recent trip to sea, we set off for a period of eleven days from the port of La Paloma, located on the east coast of Uruguay. We had already partaken in various trips on this vessel, and so the crew already knew us well and they were happy to collaborate with our work again. We now have a much...
  • Blog Post: Getting to grips with the coastal fleet

    At this time of year in the southern hemisphere you can enjoy a stroll along the harbour and, in the evening, watch the vessels gently roll in with their ice boxes full of fish as they arrive to the bustling activity of the port. Over the last week I’ve been dedicating my work to this peasant...
  • Blog Post: At sea in Brazil

    Hello friends of the seabirds! I am back from field work to tell you about another adventure from Projeto Albatroz , this time on board the Gera IX vessel from port Itajaí, Brazil. Our journey begins at the Jorge Seif Fishing Company of Itajaí, from where we hauled anchor with fishing...
  • Blog Post: Zero albatross killed thanks to ATF streamer lines!

    A few days ago I was in contact with a fishery observer who is at-sea aboard a longline vessel gathering biological data near Staten Island to the south of Argentina. This boat must now use mitigation measures; one of which is a bird-scaring line to reduce albatross mortality. The Federal Fisheries Council...
  • Blog Post: Observer Training

    Hi everyone, I'm writing to explain about how I've been spending the last few months on an important activity for all Task Force teams - helping to train local fishery observers. I've been working with the local Fisheries Institute (Instituto de Fomento Pesquero, IFOP) to develop workshops...
  • Blog Post: Traces of albatross

    This blog was written by Elizabeth Campbell, of ProDelphinus, Peru. We were approached early one morning by a fisherman in Mancora. He was just back from a fishing trip targeting yellow fin tuna and hammerhead sharks. We started chatting about our work and he mentioned how he had seen albatrosses...
  • Blog Post: Progress in South Korea

    Ross Wanless, South African regional co-ordinator for the Global Seabird Programme reports back from a seabird bycatch workshop in South Korea, with some promising developments: Asian longline fleets account for ~90% of the fishing effort that overlaps with albatrosses. This meant that getting an...
  • Blog Post: Seabird-fisheries interaction workshop in Argentina

    From the 30 th November to the 2 nd December 2010, the ATF in Argentina and the Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata -CONICET organised the second intensive observer training course for Indentification and Recording of Seabird Interactions with Fisheries. The course was intended for fishery...
  • Blog Post: At-sea with friends at the end of the world!

    As an instructor with the Albatross Task Force in Argentina, I embarked for 45 days aboard a pelagic (mid-water) trawl vessel that targets whip-tailed hake, also known as "hoki" ( Macruronus magellanicus ). The ship sailed from the port city of Ushuaia - at the end of the world! On this...
  • Blog Post: Educating commercial and recreational fishermen to handle seabirds safely

    This month I thought it would be a good idea to follow on from one of my Brazilian colleague’s diaries which highlighted the poor attitude of some fishermen towards seabirds. His diary can be found here , as a reminder of the problem. I have only ever seen one or two birds with broken bills...
  • Blog Post: Caught on the haul

    Recently I returned from my first trip working with the Albatross Task Force aboard the pelagic longline vessel “Maria Letícia”, from Torquato Pontes Fish Company. This boat sailed under captain Celso, a very experienced captain who specializes in catching tunas. Captain Celso...
  • Blog Post: Stamp collection

    When I was at school we were always collecting stamps for some cause or other, but as time moved on it seemed to fall out of favour, and was replaced by sponsored activities. Today, with the Royal Mail launching the last set in their series of 'Post and Go' bird stamps, I thought it was a good...