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A global partnership

All these organisations are working together to help albatrosses.

You can support their work by joining one of our partners. Use the links to to the right of this page to find out more.

All the countries are represented on the BirdLife Global Seabird Programme committee, which meets regularly to share expertise and plan work together.

Argentina

The waters of the Patagonian Shelf, which extends along the coast of Argentina, are rich in wildlife and attract foraging seabirds from all around the world. It is an important feeding ground for a range of albatrosses, including black-browed albatrosses, northern royal albatrosses and southern royal albatrosses. The same resources that attract such an incredible diversity of wildlife also attract a large fishing fleet, including longliners.

Aves Argentinas (BirdLife Partner in Argentina) is focusing its seabird conservation work on lobbying the national and provincial government to implement management of fisheries within Argentina's economic exclusive zone. They are putting much effort into improving an on-board observers scheme. They are also involved in important research of the effectiveness of solutions that could be used in longlining fisheries.

Aves Argentinas BirdLife Partner logo

Australia

Australia has five breeding species of albatross. Its vast coastline also provides rich marine wildlife for a diverse fishing fleet, including mid-water longliners. A range of albatrosses are killed in Australian waters, although major advances have been made on the adoption of practical measures to reduce seabird deaths and also in the political context. The Australian government helped develop the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels, the headquarters of which is in Hobart, Tasmania.

Birds Australia (BirdLife Partner in Australia) coordinates work to raise money for seabird conservation on tour ships operated by the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators. This has raised several hundred thousand dollars over the last few years, all of which has gone to direct action to reduce seabird deaths on longlines. For example, projects in South America and South Africa have introduced measures to reduce seabird deaths into a range of longling fisheries.

Birds Australia BirdLife Partner logo

Brazil

The waters off the coast of Brazil provide rich feeding grounds for many species of seabirds, including albatrosses. Projeto Albatroz was founded in 1991 to collect scientific data to estimate the number of seabirds accidentally captured by the Brazilian domestic longline fleet, and to find solutions to reduce the mortality, estimated at 10,000 birds a year.

Projeto Albatroz has been developing both mitigation measures for longline vessels and educational activities, onshore and at sea, for crew members, skippers and ship owners.

Projeto Albatroz assists the Special Secretariat of Aquaculture and Fisheries (SEAP/PR), the organisation responsible for fisheries management in Brazil. It also helps the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), which is responsible for environmental protection and the development and implementation of a National Plan of Action (NPOA) for seabirds, ratifying the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP) and other governmental measures.

Projeto Albatroz

The Falkland Islands (Malvinas)

The Falkland Islands (Malvinas) are the global stronghold for black-browed albatrosses, where its numbers are decreasing rapidly.

Falklands Conservation (BirdLife Partner in the Falkland Islands (Malvinas)) has developed a national plan of action for trawlers and longliners which the Falkland Islands Government has adopted. They have also developed mitigation measures now enforced throughout the fishing fleet in Falkland waters and undertaken research into dispersal of juvenile birds, diet and fishery offal discharge management. They are undertaking an island-wide albatross census in 2005/06. Management plans for breeding sites are being produced.

Falklands Conservation

France

France's responsibility for albatrosses is found in 'les TAAF' (Terres australes et antarctiques françaises - the French southern Antarctic territories) a French overseas territory inhabited only by few staff and scientists.

However, it is home to seven species of albatross, six on the Red List, and one near-threatened. The most endangered of all albatrosses is the Amsterdam Albatross, endemic to the island with the same name, with only 25 breeding pairs.

The exclusive economic zone of the TAAF is vast and currently an important fishing ground for toothfish. Since 2000, longlining has been having a major impact on the seabirds of the area, mainly white-chinned petrels and grey petrels. Following recommendations of CCAMLR, efforts to mitigate this fishing practice by the administration of the TAAF is proving successful, although not yet 100%.

LPO (BirdLife) will be assisting the TAAF in the preparation and implementation of the national action plan for the Amsterdam albatross, and development of a major communication programme about albatrosses.  LPO also works closely with the GSP as a participant in the Working Party on Ecosystem and Bycatch in the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission.

LPO logo, Birdlife Partner France

Japan

Japan has breeding albatrosses and also a vast distant water longline fleet. The short-tailed albatross, believed to be extinct in 1949 due to exploitation for feathers, breeds almost exclusively on the island of Torishima. This species is recovering from hunting pressure, but is now further threatened by longlining in the North Pacific. Japan has traditionally had the largest distant water longline fleet and is involved in almost all mid-water fisheries in the Southern Ocean south of 30° where albatrosses forage.

The Wild Bird Society of Japan (BirdLife Partner in Japan) has established BirdLife contacts in the Japanese fishing industry and government and is organising workshops to train fishermen from Japan and Korea.

The Wild Bird Society of Japan BirdLife Partner

Albatrosses should be free to circle the globe for millions of years to come – we must stop this needless slaughter now to prevent an entire branch being torn from the evolutionary tree.

Sir David Attenborough, broadcaster and naturalist

The Netherlands

'Together for Birds and People.' Vogelbescherming Nederland is the Dutch Partner of BirdLife International. Vogelbescherming Nederland focuses on the protection of threatened bird species, with activities mainly centred around species occurring on national and international red lists, and on the areas and habitats on which these species depend (both in the Netherlands and worldwide).

Vogelbescherming uses different approaches to tackle the problems that birds face: lobbying and advocacy, and use of campaigns and other forms of publicity to raise awareness for the need to protect birds and the habitats on which they rely. These campaigns result in public attention, political will and the funding necessary to undertake action.

Vogelbescherming has held many successful campaigns raising awareness of the issues facing albatrosses over the years and has made significant contributions to the Save the Albatross campaign through its fundraising activities.

Vogelbescherming Nederland BirdLife Partner

New Zealand

New Zealand is the albatross capital of the world, with breeding grounds for the greatest variety of albatross anywhere. The sub-Antarctic islands of New Zealand are home to 12 species of albatross. The area is also famous for its fishing grounds.

Forest and Bird (BirdLife Partner in New Zealand) estimate that, within New Zealand's 200-nautical-mile Exclusive Economic Zone, over the last 20 years over 65,000 albatrosses and petrels have been drowned on tuna longline hooks. Species killed in the largest numbers include the Campbell albatross, antipodean albatross, wandering albatross and grey petrel. Forest and Bird is promoting the adoption of mandatory measures that prevent commercial fishing boats from killing albatrosses. They are also developing a proposal for a national network of open-ocean marine reserves that protect albatrosses at sea, as well as their feeding grounds.

Forest and Bird BirdLife Partner

South Africa

Southern Africa is important for albatross conservation. The productive waters off its west and south coasts are an important foraging area for 13 species of seabirds that are killed in big numbers by longlining, including four endangered albatrosses - the black-browed albatross, Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross, Indian yellow-nosed albatross and Tristan albatross.

BirdLife South Africa (BirdLife Partner in South Africa) is working with WWF to assess the impact of longline fishing on the threatened seabirds. They are working to raise awareness within the fishing industry of the potential impact of longlining on threatened birds and demonstrating the practical things that can be done to help. They are stressing the benefits to the fishing industry of this - for example, minimising loss of baits to birds, which means more fish caught. They are training fisheries observers to collect information on the numbers of threatened seabirds hooked on lines and to work with fishermen on gaining their buy-in to adopt simple effective techniques that minimise deaths of seabirds on longlines.

BirdLife South Africa BirdLife Partner

Spain

Spain has a large distant water longline fleet that operates in the Southern Ocean, particularly the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In recognition of their important role for albatross conservation, the Spanish Government was the first country without breeding albatrosses to ratify the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels.

SEO (BirdLife Partner in Spain) has coordinated the BirdLife Global Seabird Programme in South America. In 2003, SEO held an international competition for fishermen to develop ways to reduce seabird deaths on longlines. The competition received over 87 entries from 11 countries. The winning method - of using fish oil on the sea's surface to keep birds away from baited hooks - is undergoing trials.

SEO BirdLife Partner

Taiwan

Taiwan has the largest distant water mid-water longline fleet in the world.

In January 2004, the Wild Bird Federation of Taiwan (BirdLife Partner in Taiwan) along with industry and government institutions held the first workshop with Asian longline fishermen and seabird experts to raise awareness of the solutions available to reduce seabird deaths on longlines. In 2006,the Wild Bird Federation of Taiwan plans to conduct further workshops with Taiwanese fishermen in Southern Ocean ports.

Wild Bird Federation of Taiwan BirdLife Partner

United Kingdom

The UK has a special responsibility for albatross and petrel conservation in the South Atlantic in terms of its Overseas Territories of Tristan da Cunha, the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) (see separate entry above), South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and British Antarctic Territory.Tristan albatross, Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross and the Critically Endangered spectacled petrel only breed in the Tristan da Cunha group while most of the world's sooty albatrosses breed there. Numbers of most of these species are declining numbers, as are the three albatross species that breed in South Georgia, with deaths on longlines the chief cause.

The RSPB (BirdLife Partner in the UK) houses the headquarters of BirdLife International's Global Seabird Programme. Nationally, the focus has been on ensuring that all the UK Overseas Territories ratify the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels and that the UK Government plays an active role in the management of South Atlantic fisheries. The RSPB also works to promote active and effective engagement of the European Commission in reducing seabird deaths wherever European fleets operate.

New RSPB logo, introduced in 2001

BirdLife International

BirdLife International is a global partnership of organisations working in over 100 countries worldwide, to improve the quality of life for birds, for other wildlife, and for people.

Birdlife International

Patrons of the Albatross Task Force

Birdlife International

Very many thanks to all our Patrons of the Albatross Task Force.

Our Patrons are making a very real difference to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the sight of magnificent and graceful albatrosses gliding effortlessly above the great oceans of the world.

A special thanks

Special thanks also go to Restore UK, the BBC Wildlife Fund, The Rufford Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Arrowgrass Capital Partners LLP. Wildwings and many individual donors for all for their generous support of our work. 

If you would like to support our campaign, please contact David Agombar at the RSPB: david.agombar@rspb.org.uk, or telephone him on 01767 693360