South Georgia's albatrosses are in trouble
The UK Overseas Territory of South Georgia is home to globally significant numbers of albatross, which have sadly been declining rapidly since the 1970s. In the last 11 years alone we’ve lost 43% of the grey-headed albatrosses that once nested on the island. They are now classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
An estimated 100,000 albatrosses are killed worldwide every year due to fishing, many from South Georgia. The Government of South Georgia and the South Shetland Islands (GSGSSI) recognised this problem back in the mid-1990s and put measures in place which reduced deaths in its water to near zero.
How your support is helping
Albatrosses have been tracked from South Georgia, helping us understand where they travel. Last year GSGSSI supported a project between the RSPB and the British Antarctic Survey to identify the overlap between South Georgia albatrosses and global fishing.
Thanks to the support of people like you, we have been able to start a two-year project to engage with countries identified as high risk, to improve uptake of seabird mitigation measures – and so, albatross survival rates.
With your help
What more can be done?
We’ll be visiting Taiwanese vessels in port to raise awareness of the issue and show them how bird-scaring lines can help prevent albatross deaths.
We’re also supporting tuna commissions to improve the effectiveness of current seabird regulations, and to ensure that compliance with the regulations is properly monitored.