This week the New Zealand SailGP Team are displaying a graphic of an albatross on their boat. It is a symbol of the team’s commitment to shining a spotlight on the plight of the Antipodean albatross and working to stop their freefall to extinction.
The Antipodean albatross is New Zealand’s most threatened albatross with estimates of 2,300 being lost each year. The number one threat to them is being killed by the long lines from fishing boats
It was the first project Peter Burling and Blair Tuke got behind when they founded Live Ocean, which is the New Zealand SailGP Team’s Race for the Future charity partner. The marine conservation organisation has supported the long-term monitoring programme, designed to track Antipodean albatross flight paths to understand where they overlap with fishing fleets.
“Live Ocean has been a part of our DNA since the very start so bringing awareness to the critical role the ocean plays in a healthy future is incredibly important to us, and it’s fantastic the entire team is really embracing this,” said Peter.
“We have our blinkers on when it comes to the ocean, it’s much harder to see the issues than on land. The Antipodean albatross is an indicator of what’s happening in the ocean. We need to step up as a team because there are things we can do today to save them from extinction.” said Blair.
Ahead of the races in Cádiz on the 9th and 10th October, the duo joined New Zealand Ambassador to Spain Nigel Fyfe in Madrid to visit the Secretary of State for Sport José Manuel Franco.
Peter and Blair gave their strong support for planned cooperation between New Zealand and Spain for the protection of seabirds in the Southern Ocean.
They also discussed the importance to New Zealand and Spain of ‘sport with purpose’ and the role it plays in supporting core values, as well as the transformational role sport can play in supporting environmental action.