Albatross Task Force is 10
Stephanie Winnard of the Albatross Task Force reflects on the first 10 years of the project.
What the Albatross Task Force has achieved
"Life is tough for seabirds. Not only do they live in a harsh environment, but they also face numerous human threats to their survival, including fishing.
15 of 22 species of albatross are threatened with extinction.
For 10 years the Albatross Task Force (ATF) has been on a mission to reduce the number of seabirds killed through collision with trawl cables or drowned on longline hooks.
We've worked hard to develop solutions: South Africa has been a shining example of how these measures can work: there's been an astounding 99% reduction in albatross deaths since 2006.
Our aim was to reduce bycatch by at least 80% in 10 high-priority fisheries and make that reduction sustainable. Seven of our fisheries have regulations in place. We're working hard to get regulations for the remaining three.
Sustainable monitoring programmes are key, so our work doesn't end once the regulations are in place. Continual monitoring is a role that national observer programmes will eventually take on.
Sharing our knowledge of the solutions is a big part of ATF duties.
Recently, ATF instructors from South Africa and Namibia took part in a Namibia National Awareness Day.
They trained national fisheries observers in how to monitor for bycatch and to assess if the boats are complying with the legislation. This is part of a strategy to develop skills and interest in national observers.
We'll continue to support the implementation of the regulations over the coming years.
Thank you for all your support."
- Stephanie Winnard, the Albatross Task Force
Albatross Task Force
The Albatross Task Force – an international team of seabird bycatch mitigation experts led by the RSPB and BirdLife International – is on a mission to reduce seabird bycatch by 80% in some of the deadliest fisheries for albatrosses.
Save the albatross
Help us fund the global campaign to save the albatross. You'll help pay for tori lines, up to the minute data recording equipment and sea safety gear that will keep the men and women of the Task Force safe and able to do their job.