An often-seen colour-banded Antipodean Albatross gets a second chance after being entangled in fishing line

Albatross Encounter operates seabird-watching trips out of Kaikoura, New Zealand.  Birds are attracted to the boat by chumming when they can be observed (and photographed) at close quarters.

Since 2005, 37 different banded albatrosses have been observed during bird tours from Kaikoura, most of which have been Gibson's Antipodean Albatrosses Diomedea antipodensis gibsoni, and of which at least 27 were originally banded on Adams Island, in the Auckland Island group.

Two birds (Orange 512 and Red 73E) have together been recorded off Kaikoura no less than 332 times since 2005.  Orange 512 was first seen off Kaikoura on 22 December 1998 before the regular collection of records commenced.  It was banded as a chick close to fledging in the Mount Dick colony on Adams Island on 24 December 1996 by Graeme Taylor and Kath Walker.

Orange 512 and Red 73E photographed off Kaikoura by Albatross Encounter

On 8 October 2010 Orange 512 was spotted entangled with metres of fishing line, was caught and brought ashore, the line was removed and the bird was then released at sea by Albatross Encounter skipper Gary Melville (click here).

Albatross Encounter Skipper Gary Melville about to release Orange 512.

See also for a report of a sighting of another Gibson's Antipodean Albatross at Kaikoura.

With thanks to Tracy McKeown, Albatross Encounter for information.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 20 November 2010

The Agreement on the
Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

ACAP is a multilateral agreement which seeks to conserve listed albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters by coordinating international activity to mitigate known threats to their populations.

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