Save our seabirds
A fishing catastrophe is driving seabirds to extinction. You can help save hundreds of thousands of seabirds from drowning needlessly every year.
Imagine diving into the sea, only to find yourself trapped beneath the surface, never to take another breath. That’s how hundreds of thousands of seabirds are dying every year, when they dive for food and get caught in fishing gear.
Known as 'bycatch', this is a global issue that has dragged the most iconic group of seabirds, the albatrosses, among others, into the depths of an extinction crisis. But you can help prevent these tragic losses, by donating to the RSPB’s Global Seabird Appeal today.
Tenth anniversary of BirdLife International's Albatross Task Force
Here is an update on the work of the Albatross Task Force after 10 years collaborating with fisheries to save the albatross.
Turn the tide with the Albatross Task Force
For 10 years, the Albatross Task Force (ATF) has been working in eight different countries, taking to the oceans in the name of scientific research, tackling 10 of the most deadly fisheries for albatrosses in the world.
Our dedicated instructors work alongside fishermen in notoriously difficult conditions, even battling the tempestuous South Atlantic Ocean. It’s a gruesome part of day-to-day life to see the corpse of a giant bird, with a wingspan of over three metres, being hauled on deck.
But, by working with fishermen who want to protect these wonderful birds, and by utilising many years of knowledge on how to solve this problem, the ATF have focused on three methods that are highly effective:
- colourful streamers that scare away seabirds
- weights to sink dangerous hooks out of reach of the birds
- setting the lines at night when fewer seabirds are active.
These methods have been adopted in 7 out of 10 of our priority fisheries. It’s huge progress in a short period of time. But, still, albatrosses are fighting extinction. Your donation is crucial for the ATF's next five years, when you can help to strengthen and broaden our work.
What species are affected?
More than 100,000 albatrosses still die in fishing gear each year
Gillnets - a catastrophe for seabirds
The RSPB's Rory Crawford talks about the dangers of gillnets and the impact they have on our seabirds.
Protect our seabirds from gillnets
While albatrosses are needlessly drowning due to longline and trawl fisheries, gillnetting is an even more deadly form of fishing which, worldwide, is killing yet more seabirds.
Gillnets are made from a fine nylon that’s essentially invisible underwater. The fishermen only want to catch fish - but they’re also entangling more than 400,000 seabirds a year, including guillemots, razorbills and long-tailed ducks.
You can help by supporting BirdLife International's Seabird Task Force with your gift today. Your donation today can help us:
- pinpoint the most dangerous fisheries
- find ways to make gillnets more visible for seabirds
- work with fishermen to find the best methods
- put our research into practice worldwide.
As we’ve seen in the achievements of the ATF, this is truly a model of success. It means we can go to fisheries across the globe and show them that we can be trusted, that our methods work, and that our only agenda is to stop seabirds from dying.
But, for the inspiring work of our Task Forces to continue over the next five years, they desperately require funding. To save the lives of hundreds of thousands of seabirds, we need your help.