By J. Brock (SARTMA)
Albatross, the sea’s wanderers, have had their share of problems since they began to share the oceans with man. In legend, those who kill Albatross are doomed to a spate of bad luck. It was tough enough for the ancient mariner, but what of modern day Albatross killers.
Long-lining for Toothfish and Tuna take a toll on the Albatross population but recently another more sinister fate has befallen them. Fisheries Observer, Tim Reid and Fisheries Officer, Steve Waugh, were amazed when they noticed what appeared to be Albatross being caught and killed for meat by certain vessels in Falklands Waters. An article in the Falklands Conservation Newsletter went on to say that the pair saw baited hooks trailing these vessels as well as filleted carcasses floating in the water near these vessels.
Though it’s the first time this activity has been reported, recent observations are thought to be the tip of the iceberg. Hopefully, people from all over the world will help to eradicate this problem before it becomes too big. To start the ball rolling, the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department has assured Falklands Conservation that catching Albatross for meat will be made illegal as soon as possible.