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  • Blog Post: I can move mountains and leap over oceans

    Today I am not going to brag about all the amazing and rare seabirds that I see (I see Wandering Albatross when I am at sea!) and all the whales, dolphins and sharks that I encountered on my journeys at sea. Today I want to share with you how conducting at-sea trials changed my perspective on life. I...
  • Blog Post: Namibia takes positive steps to reduce seabird mortality in hake fisheries

    Incidental bycatch in fisheries constitutes the major threat for many vulnerable populations of seabirds. Globally 300,000 seabirds are killed in longline and trawl fisheries where they are hooked and drown on baited hooks or are struck by trawl cables and dragged under water. Approximately 100,000 of...
  • Blog Post: BirdLife South Africa’s Dr Ross Wanless wins Environmentalist of the Year award

    The prestigious SAB Environmentalist of the Year Award was made to Dr Ross Wanless, from BirdLife South Africa’s Seabird Conservation Programme, at a ceremony in Johannesburg yesterday. Dr Wanless has overseen a number of impressive conservation achievements over the past six years at BirdLife...
  • Blog Post: Back on board with the demersal longline fleet in South Africa

    I recently headed down to Hout Bay, South Africa to join a demersal (bottom) longline fishing vessel in a fishery we have recently begun working with again to improve and update mitigation measures. Upon arrival to the harbour I found that the boat that I was supposed to join had already left port...
  • Blog Post: Welcome to Honolulu!

    Crystal clear waters, crisp white sand, and cool shady palm trees are not the first thing that springs to mind when on a deep-sea fishing trawler. But we were in Honolulu, the proverbial paradise we see on TV, “where everything is hunky dory”. That is how my skipper, Manfred, described the...
  • Blog Post: Demonstrating seabird bycatch mitigation measures in Namibia

    I recently conducted more on board demonstrations on how to use seabird bycatch mitigation measures in longline and trawl fisheries in Namibia. We are working in partnership with the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and the fishing Industry to create awareness of the available solutions through...
  • Blog Post: Reducing seabird mortality in Namibia

    In Namibia we are working to reduce seabird mortality in the longline and trawl fisheries. Together these two fisheries are responsible for the accidental mortality of around 30,000 seabirds per year, the majority of which are white-chinned petrels and yellow-nosed albatross. These alarming figures represent...
  • Blog Post: A life of adventure

    The life of an ATF instructor is filled with adventure. Our job is to collect seabird abundance and interaction data at sea. It involves working with fishermen to find and implement solutions to seabird bycatch. It comes with a lot of amazing opportunities; we wake up at sea to the wonderful sound of...
  • Blog Post: Greening the Future award for ATF South Africa

    The South African newspaper, the Mail & Guardian holds a prestigious, annual ‘Greening the Future’ awards ceremony in Johannesburg. This year the South African Albatross Task Force team was awarded top honours for our work introducing an innovative solution that has reduced albatross...
  • Blog Post: Albatross deaths down by 99% in local trawl fishery

    Conservation success stories are hard to find. Rarely are they the result of simple, elegant solutions that are truly win-win. Now BirdLife South Africa have demonstrated just such a good-news outcome. Accidental seabird deaths during fishing is the single greatest threat facing many seabird populations...
  • Blog Post: Chalaneros and Cortineros: at sea in Peru

    Fernando Valdez Ridoutt from ProDelphinus in Peru writes today's ATF blog: It is not easy to figure out everything Peruvian small-scale fishermen go through to get their catch from sea to market. I have been discovering this in the port of San José, first hand. I have been working hard...
  • Blog Post: A rare calm trip off South Africa

    Going to sea is the most unique aspect of this job, and my primary duty – to go on deep-sea trawlers and collect seabird interaction data. I’m one of only three people in South Africa doing this. We are responsible for keeping our eyes peeled and our minds open but focused on the task at...
  • Blog Post: The next generation of albatross scientists

    I remember each step I have taken with the ATF, at-sea with the birds as well as on-shore with my own kind - generally people directly related with fisheries. However, seabird bycatch issues can transcend the geographical border between open-ocean and coast and infiltrate our towns and cities. By doing...
  • Blog Post: International recognition for ATF star Bronwyn Maree

    In the Albatross Task Force we are extremely proud of the dedicated individuals who perform a very challenging role for seabird conservation - working with the fishing industry, government and observer agencies both on-shore and at-sea to demonstrate, introduce and implement mitigation measures to keep...
  • Blog Post: Lights, camera, action!

    “Lights, camera, action” - that has been the highlight of my month as I was interviewed about the work of the Albatross Task Force and BirdLife in South Africa. I found out that being on television is no easy business. First you have to deal with the intensely bright lights, as bright as...
  • Blog Post: People, the ocean and a hard life in artisanal fisheries

    In nearly eight years the Albatross Task Force has published around 288 blogs in this community. These diaries have reflected part of the effort of our team from eight countries where the ATF is working for the conservation of our seabirds. These records, apart from letters and images are also leaving...
  • Blog Post: When bad weather comes, so do the birds…

    For many years leaving port on a Friday was seen as bad luck. Apparently not so on the Isabella Marine as this South African hake trawler leaves Cape Town harbour on a weekly basis, every Friday. This also appears to be regardless of the weather expected, which along the coast of Cape Town can result...
  • Blog Post: Encouraging seabird conservation at school!

    A year ago I had one of the biggest surprises together with my daughter Gabriela . It was through this simple conversation that I really understood the ability that children have to absorb information, soaking up all the things that happen around them. Gabriela has been regularly exposed to the terms...
  • Blog Post: Good fishing and Cape Gannets everywhere… Oh and the weather was fantastic too!

    It was mid-June, meaning the middle of winter and a mere week before the shortest day of the year. At this time of year the waters just off the Western Cape coast are brimming with seabirds and trawlers are followed by thousands of hungry birds squabbling over discards from the boats. The usual culprits...
  • Blog Post: This got me hooked

    Guy Shorrock (rspb-images.com) I was excited to read that last week the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) made a landmark decision - all longline vessels in the Indian Ocean will now be required to use two seabird bycatch mitigation measures. This follows a similar decision made by the International...
  • Blog Post: A burden or a blessing?

    What a beautiful day! We've been making the most of the autumn sunshine, kayaking along the creeks that run through the salt marshes of the glorious north Norfolk coast. It's like a secret world, with chattering mallards, little egrets stalking their supper, curlews calling and flocks of starlings...
  • Blog Post: Sweatin' for seabirds

    Hello, This is my a first blog post. A truly momentous day. It is thus only fitting that I commence this post the way that all good blog posts should commence: with a photo of two grown men sweating in bird costumes. One in orange pantaloons, the other in white leggings. Fortunately the photographer...
  • Blog Post: Stamp out the slaughter

    Photo: Grahame Madge (rspb-images.com) Black browed albatrosses (like those above) are stunning birds. A pure white head with a black eye line that any 60's model would have been proud of, and an impressive wingspan of up to 2.5m (around 8 feet in old money). Like other albatrosses they mature...
  • 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...
  • Blog Post: 320,000 reasons to support our campaign

    Fabiano Peppes (rspb-images.com) It is well established that seabirds die each year by being caught up in fishing lines, at rates that are pushing some species of albatross, petrels and shearwaters to the very edge of extinction. Orea Anderson, our Global Seabird Programme Policy Officer, will today...