Albatross article in The Scotsman
- This sentence is rather unclear, as Tristan da Cunha is both an island and a group of islands that sometimes, but not always, includes Gough.: "The Tristan albatross is endemic to Gough Island, Tristan da Cunha" its only land habitat."
Wikipedia says: "The Tristan Albatrosses are endemic to the islands of the Tristan da Cunha group and more specifically Gough Island. The majority of the world's population nest on Gough Island, around 1500 pairs. On some years a pair breeds on Inaccessible Island."
Monday, 9th November 2009
By ALASTAIR DALTON
ALBATROSSES are among 16 seabird species facing extinction because of long-line fishing, conservation groups claimed today.
Populations of a further ten species are deemed to be at risk, due to hazards such as getting caught in commercial fishing gear, according to the RSPB and BirdLife International.
The groups have called for measures to reduce the threat of birds
getting caught in lines and drowning when taking bait from hooks.
The move comes as scientists meet in Brazil today to agree on fishing quotas for the Atlantic and Mediterranean stocks of tuna and swordfish.
The conservationists will urge the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) to agree measures to prevent the deaths of these seabirds in the Mediterranean and Atlantic.
Dr Cleo Small, an albatross expert working for the groups, said: "Dying at a rate of around one every five minutes, the albatross family is becoming threatened faster than any other family of birds.
"The wandering albatross, possessing the largest wingspan of any bird, is rapidly declining on South Georgia, and links have been made between these declining populations and longline fishing within the ICCAT fishery.
"This situation is needless because the technology exists to prevent these deaths."
Monitoring of wandering albatrosses by the British Antarctic Survey on South Georgia this year has shown their numbers have halved since the early 1960s. The most at-risk seabird species include the Tristan albatross and the Balearic shearwater.
The Balearic shearwater, which nests on the Balearic Islands of the Mediterranean, is a regular non-breeding visitor to the waters off southern Britain. The Tristan albatross is endemic to Gough Island, Tristan da Cunha" its only land habitat.
Eight of the top ten seabird species considered most at risk from Atlantic longline fisheries nest on the three UK Overseas Territories in the South Atlantic: the Falkland Islands; Tristan da Cunha and South Georgia. The six most at-risk seabird species in the Atlantic are albatrosses.
However, the Scottish Fishermen's Federation criticised the claims. Bertie Armstrong, its chief executive, said: "This is an unhelpful attempt to seek an emotional, rather than balanced scientific, response.
"Some longline fisheries are a very selective and sensible way to harvest only the fish required."
The following are the 16 species facing extinction:
Northern royal albatross
Southern royal albatross
Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross
Indian yellow-nosed albatross