SINCE 2004, WE’VE LOST 60% OF OUR BREEDING PAIRS. THE POPULATION IS IN FREEFALL AND UNLESS WE ACT IMMEDIATELY WE COULD LOSE THIS INCREDIBLE BIRD.
THE SENTINEL OF THE OCEAN
Taylormade Media and a host of talented people came together to tell the story of the incredible Antipodean albatross and the dangers it faces at sea.
Made by Taylormade Media for Live Ocean / Writer/Director – Brendan Donovan / Editor – Sarah Grohnert / Animation – Animation Research Ltd – Ken Gorrie, Mark McQuillan, Sarah Dolby, Ben Sharpe, Aleeza Stettner / Cinematographer – Ian McCarroll / Producers – Ian Taylor, Tess Whelan / Presenters – Blair Tuke, Peter Burling, Noenoe Barclay-Kerr / Narrator – Manawanui Maniapoto Mills / Footage courtesy of The Ocean Race, James Reardon/Last Planet Ltd, Finlay Cox, Dr Graeme Elliott, Dr Kath Walker, NHNZ, Heritage Expeditions, James Muir, Encounter Kaikoura, The Nature Conservancy, Charlie Barnett, Otto Whitehead, Project Tamar/Pró-Tamar Foundation / Music credits – “Shallow Water” (ft Yehezkel Raz), Artist: Sivan Talmor, Album: Vol.1 – Underwater Fantasies / “Up to the sky”, Artist: Roman P, Album: Planet Legacy / “Heritage”, Artist: Ben Winwood, Album: Selah
Photo credit: James Blake Volvo AB
THE RACE TO SAVE
THE ANTIPODEAN ALBATROSS
Recent Department of Conservation (DOC) estimates show we are losing 2,300 ‘extra’ birds. Since 2004, we’ve lost 60% of our breeding pairs. The population is in freefall and unless we act immediately we could lose this incredible bird. In February 2020, Antipodean albatross were listed in Appendix 1 of the Convention on Migratory Species, the world’s most serious threat classification system for migratory species, alongside other well-known species such as blue whales and snow leopards.
These birds are New Zealanders. They breed on our Antipodes Islands and the Pacific and Tasman Seas are their home range. Albatrosses and other seabirds are ship followers and are accidentally caught when longlines are being set by commercial fishing vessels. It is thought climate change is driving the albatrosses to feed in more northern waters where large fishing fleets are concentrated.
Live Ocean and Southern Seabird Solutions Trust are working with government and NGOs to assist the long term monitoring programme and where conservation initiatives need to focus. Our generous donors have raised funds for GPS satellite trackers that show where the albatrosses are feeding and this information is then overlaid with Global Fishing Watch data to identify the fishing fleets they encounter while they are at sea.
A SHARED AMBITION
There are proven solutions which include setting fishing lines at night, adding weights near each hook, and using a bird scaring line. This is a global issue and New Zealand’s fleets can set an example for the world.
Here’s what you can do to help:
1. Network. Share the video. Tell everyone.
2. Get informed. Contact your country’s fisheries administration, tuna longline companies or your local environmental org. Find out what albatross safe techniques your national fleets are using.
3. Donate. Help build a world where fishing fleets are using albatross-safe techniques.
“As a country we need to turn this around. That means continuing to collect data on where the birds are dying and being prepared to act on it so we’re not tracking these birds to extinction. We can’t be the first country in the world to lose an albatross species. That’s not a race New Zealand should win.”