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  • Blog Post: 400th Day at sea

    During my last trip I continued experimenting with the Uruguayan ATF tori lines that we are developing, trying to obtain a greater set of results so we can be certain of what solutions to recommend to industry. This brought up a personal milestone, achieving my 400th day at sea! I started as a sailor...
  • Blog Post: Spreading awareness

    During the Southern Hemisphere summer, the Uruguayan swordfish fishery diminishes and several vessels reduce their number of sea trips. Only a single vessel remained active during January. This is a great opportunity for us to spread awareness about our work, taking to the fishing industry information...
  • Blog Post: The impact of trawlers on albatrosses

    Barry and I spend as much time on deck as possible. Our main work is monitoring interactions between seabirds and the two warp cables at the stern. To do this, we sit for hours on end on the 'catwalk', a raised metal gantry above the stern of the boat. Barry's work has shown that it is...
  • Blog Post: Positive response

    Mid-October saw me giving two presentations to skippers and industry representatives about how to prevent albatross deaths in the South African hake trawl fishery. The venue was Cape Town and four fishing companies were represented. Seabirds are attracted to vessels to feed on discards from processed...
  • Blog Post: Continuing where we left off

    After the trip to Namibia in October where we learnt from interviewing skippers that seabird bycatch may be a problem, we decided to head back and continue what we had started. Now it was time to go to sea and see what really happens there. I spent four weeks in the town of Luderitz in southern Namibia...
  • Blog Post: 14 hours by bus, then a barbecue in the oven?!

    After a 14 hour bus journey from my home, I arrived to Puerto Madryn harbor in Chubut province. This city is very famous because is close to Peninsula Valdez. Every spring more than 600 southern right whales arrive to give birth and breed. After making several administrative arrangements, I boarded...
  • Blog Post: Twenty-two days at sea, and only seven sets...

    Onboard the longline fishing vessel 'Verde Vale XI' This cruise, despite the climatic conditions, allowed us to test new configurations of the tori line, making clear the difficulties and peculiarities of each fishing art with distinct regional characteristics. Through the skippers I have met...
  • Blog Post: Generators down!

    This last trip in November was a little adventurous, although it only lasted twelve days due to a dodgy generator causing a number of unexpected events onboard. We started the trip moving around more than normal, in the search for good fishing grounds. The swordfish were being elusive and simply refused...
  • Blog Post: New members for our incredible team

    During Spring on the oceanic islands, albatrosses are being born! The same is happening with the Albatross Task Force! New members are joining in order to maintain the oceanic species diversity. In December several candidates applied for two positions at ATF-Brazil. We had 75 applications and we did...
  • Blog Post: From trawlers to longliners

    Aft er working the last year aboard trawlers I have now started to work on longline vessels that target deep-sea hake off the coast of Namibia . I have just completed a very successful first trip aboard the West Coast II. This vessel sets fishing lines up to 27 km long along the seabed. During the...
  • Blog Post: Sir Wilson, my new friend...

    Three days have already gone by since we left the harbour, and I'm realizing that I have a great relationship with this crew - they are a respectful and polite bunch. And with sea conditions also pretty good, it is so nice to have left the harbour and not have to face a turbulent sea! On this...
  • Blog Post: Aloe! Aloe!

    Peter Exley, from the RSPB, had chosen to come to Cape Town for his sabbatical. He is helping me to produce an awareness brochure on conserving seabirds in the South African hake trawl fishery. Meeting him at the airport, it was clear after several minutes of chat that he was as keen as mustard to get...
  • Blog Post: A problem shared

    Tori lines (or bird-scaring lines) are one of the measures most commonly used to reduce seabirds from being accidentally killed by longline vessels. In previous years we have undertaken trips on Uruguayan longline vessels to get crews to use them. Unfortunately, we've found that some tori lines...
  • Blog Post: August - month of turbulent sea

    Hello friends of seabirds. At this time of the year it is very dangerous to sail here in the South Atlantic. To make you know how bad it is to navigate, when the FV Oceano Brasil reached the fishing area, and we started to fish, the wind changed its direction. So, we did the hauling facing a sea with...
  • Blog Post: Flying safely

    Hi, fellows of the sea and land. In the beginning of April, we organised a course about the Projeto Albatroz Observers on Board Program. In three days we gave lectures on the identification of oceanic birds, sharks, rays and others, sea turtles and interactions of killer-whales and false killer-whales...
  • Blog Post: Shark catching

    I've just returned from a two and a half week trip onboard shark longliner. The shark longline fleet in South Africa is pretty small, only 3-4 vessels, which mainly fish for mako sharks. The gear set up of the vessel is slightly different but the fishing techniques are very similar to the swordfish...
  • Blog Post: Longing for the big blue

    Hi albatross fans! It's been a long time since the last time I wrote. Too much 'dry land' business which confined me to my mother city. However, we had a visit from Ben Sullivan, manager of the Global Seabird Programme. It was really great to finally meet the guy who runs the show. Lots...
  • Blog Post: A nervous and worried start

    I have been on the high seas fishing vessel Tami S II. It is the largest and most modern longliner of the Chilean pelagic fleet. This factory freezer vessel is 53 m long and can remain at sea for three to four month periods, setting lines of 60 nautical miles, each holding over 1,700 baited hooks. ...
  • Blog Post: A little help from our friends...

    During this year our team has been trying out experiments to test the efficiency of tori lines . For a few months we were working on the design of the line that we were adapting to suit the fishery in Uruguay. As we already knew through our experiences onboard, the tori lines in can sometimes become...
  • Blog Post: How TV changed everything

    We have started our work as Albatross Task Force Members in Brazil! We (Fabiano and me) are proud that we belong to this world team that will raise awareness about the implementation of measures to avoid the accidental catch of seabirds in the Brazilian waters. This is great! On our first day of contact...
  • Blog Post: Onboard Fishing Vessel Camburi

    We sailed to the south, and the sea is very agitated and I'm worried because maybe we won't set today. A day without working means one more day at the sea, which makes the fishermen upset. But I carry on testing different techniques to help save albatrosses. 17 June The fishing productivity...
  • Blog Post: Onboard the longline fishing vessel 'Verde Vale XI'

    Finally we started setting out the fishing and tori lines. After three days anchored, the weather was better and we could reach the fishing area where we did the first set. The tori lines were ready, but according to the protocol established on previous trips, the first set was accomplished without...
  • Blog Post: Not at sea, but still busy...

    We’ve had very exciting and excellent weather in Walvis Bay this month with dominant south-westerly winds creating ideal conditions for a variety of water-sports and the flocking of birds into the lagoon. Namibia has a closed season in the hake fishery every October with the primary aim of protecting...
  • Blog Post: Break down!

    Summer has arrived and with it the departure of many of our foraging albatrosses and petrels to their breeding islands in the southern Oceans around New Zealand, the storm-ravaged islands in the Roaring 40’s and South Georgia. These birds have been replaced by several species of seabirds that have...
  • Blog Post: A month of great accomplishments

    I have returned finally, from what seemed like a lifetime at sea and on foreign soil. Three trips were conducted on Eros, a hake longliner for Talhado Fisheries, with the help of very committed men on land and at sea. I've now completed seabird fatality data collection on board hake longline vessels...