SEABIRDS

Albatrosses mainly feed on squid and fish on the surface of the water, so foraging for bait or discarded fish around fishing vessels mirrors their natural behaviour. Sadly, for many it’s their last meal.

Trawl vessels discard offal (fish heads and guts) as they process their catch. This attracts albatrosses, which can smell this free meal from 12 miles (20 km) away, bringing them dangerously close to the trawl cables towing the net through the water. As they engage in a feeding frenzy behind the vessel, they can be fatally struck by these cables and dragged under by them.

Albatrosses and other seabirds also scavenge on baited hooks set by longline vessels. This bait is used to target larger fish species, but as it takes some time to sink to its fishing depth, scavenging albatrosses can attack the baits, get caught on the hooks and, ultimately, drown. Estimates of between 160 000-320 000) seabirds are killed each year. Most frequently caught are albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters, at rates of death that threaten some species and populations. These birds are caught in the longline fishing fleets. Yet these could be avoided with better management techniques and devices

Source:
https://www.rspb.org.uk/our-work/our-positions-and-casework/our-positions/marine-and-coastal/saving-seabirds-globally/the-albatross-task-force/