The Royal Albatross By Andrew
Special features of the Albatross • The royal Albatross has a two and a half metre wing span. Big wings make it an effortless glider. • They weigh 9-12kg, making them the biggest flying sea bird in the world. • They have great eye sight, helping them pinpoint prey. • If they get attacked they vomit a big, fishy, oil that can go up to 7 metres.
Where they are found and what they eat • The Albatross are found in the Southern and North Pacific Ocean, also Kermadecs and NZ. • They can travel up to 500km a day, and spend 5 years at sea. • When they get back to land they can’t stand for a period of time because their legs are so wobbly. • They eat squid and fish.
What is changing in their environment and what effect it has. What is changing in their environment and how it effects them • The ocean is getting polluted, harming their natural environment. • Long-lining and trawling have a big effect on the albatross. • The numbers of the Albatross are decreasing because they are drawn to the dead squid on long line hooks. • 10,000 albatross and Cook’s petrel are dying every year because of these fishing methods. • They are near extinction.
Ways that prevent Albatross getting caught in long lines Since February 2008, long line fishermen have to do two of the three things below. Streamers - streamers or tori lines attached to the stern (or back) of long-lining boats deter albatrosses from coming too close to the hooked long-lines. Albatrosses don’t like going close to these flapping streamers for fear that they may injure themselves. Night fishing – albatrosses are not generally active at night, so night-time fishing prevents unnecessary deaths, except during the full moon. Weighting – Albatrosses can only dive to a few metres, so weighting long-lines prevents them from getting caught and drowning.
Ways that prevent Albatross from getting caught by trawlers Ways that prevent Albatross getting caught by trawlers Currently the only restrictions placed on trawlers are to use streamers or other things to scare the Albatross away. Forest & Bird would like to see restrictions placed on fishers that requires them to dump skeletons or fish they don’t wont in one big batch or bring it back to land rather than dump it at sea where it attracts sea bird. Forest & Bird is campaigning for the government to make more changes to promote seabird-friendly fishing practices to save Albatrosses and other birds and marine life from extinction. These include seasonal fishing and more monitoring sea bird deaths.
What we can do to help • Take Action! • Check Forest & Bird’s Best Fish Guideto ensure that the fish you’re eating didn’t contribute to the unnecessary death of an albatross. • Check Forest & Bird website for information and updates. • Donate to Forest & Bird to help lobby for better protection for our seabirds. • Take part in monitoring of seabirds in your region. • Get in touch with your local Forest & Bird branch and help set up breeding colonies for petrels in your area.
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