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The problem

Wandering albatross, drowned

Image: Graham Robertson

Picture the scene.

You're in a restaurant. You're enjoying good company. You're really enjoying your simple meal of succulent Pacific salmon - having first checked that it is Marine Stewardship Council certified.

You take another bite. Swallow. Something's not right.

You've a fish bone stuck in your throat. With a bit of back slapping you dislodge it and continue your meal, your slight discomfort soon forgotten.

Now imagine if that had been a barbed, 2-inch, steel hook caught in your throat. That wouldn't be something you'd forget.

Luckily, this isn't something you'll ever have to worry about. But for the world's albatrosses this is an ever-present danger.

Discarded fish waste and bait offer such an easy meal for an albatross, that a fishing boat spotted out in the open ocean is a tough opportunity to pass by.

Unfortunately, swooping to pick up that tasty piece of squid might be the worst decision that an albatross makes, as it is often attached to a hook that pulls the bird under the water. Drowning it.

Tens of thousands of albatrosses die like this every year.

Horrid and needless deaths

The albatross family is becoming threatened faster than any other family of birds. Seventeen of the 22 species of albatross are globally threatened with extinction, an increase from just seven in 1994.

Albatrosses are being killed in such vast numbers that they can't breed fast enough to keep up, putting them in real danger of extinction.

Without help, losses could become so great that recovery may never be possible for these majestic ocean wanderers.

How you can help

Black browed Albatross, Falklands Islands

As a Friend of the Albatross, your regular donation will ensure that we have the funds to continue the vital work of saving these graceful ocean wanderers.

Become a Friend of the Albatross