Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

An Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross is recaptured on land carrying a home-made band from an Indonesian longliner

Jean-Baptiste Thiebot (Centre d’Études Biologiques de Chizé, Villiers-en-bois, France) and colleagues have written in the journal Polar Biology on the curious case of recapturing an albatross at its Amsterdam Island breeding site with a message added to its leg by a longliner at sea.

The paper’s abstract follows:

“Commercial fisheries currently pose a serious threat at sea to the conservation of a number of pelagic seabirds.  However, these interactions are complex, and reports on population-specific bycatch in the high seas are scarce.  Here we report the case of an Indian yellow-nosed albatross Thalassarche carteri re-sighted on Amsterdam Island after an apparent capture by an Indonesian long-liner, as indicated by a message attached to the bird.  This record demonstrates that Amsterdam birds may interact with long-liners indeed, at least during winter, and that such interactions are not systematically lethal.  We suggest that bycatch sub-lethal effects should be investigated at colonies with high risks of individual capture at sea.”

Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, photograph by Peter Ryan

Reference:

Thiebot, J.-B., Demy, J., Marteau, C. & Weimerskirch, H. 2015.  The rime of the modern mariner: evidence for capture of yellow-nosed albatross from Amsterdam Island in Indian Ocean longline fisheries.  Polar Biology DOI 10.1007/s00300-015-1680-5.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 21 March 2015

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