Macquarie Island Update
Following on from our successful campaign with WWF Australia to secure government funding for pest eradication on Macquarie Island, the final baiting was conducted in 2011. Grey and blue petrels bred on the island for the first time in decades and native flora is starting to recover. It is amazing how quickly the island is healing itself; thanks to all those who helped make this happen.
Generous donations have also allowed us to partially fund the research, development and testing phases of an underwater bait-setting device for tuna and swordfish fisheries. These fisheries operate globally and are responsible for the deaths of large numbers of seabirds, in particular, albatross and petrel. The birds drown when they become hooked during line setting operations. This world-leading project is being led by Dr Graham Robertson. Our support helped fund comprehensive testing of the device in Australian and Uruguayan fisheries. The device is in its final stages of development and recently won an award from Commercialisation Australia, which is yet another step towards realising the end goal – saving the albatross population.
You can see it in action here: http://www.underwaterbaitsetter.com.au/bait-setter/watch-film/
The albatross population is under threat from long-line fishing operations which fish in the same nutrient-rich seas as those favoured by the birds. Since 2001, we have raised over $600,000 in support of a range of projects to help save the albatross. In particular, onboard donations from staff and passengers to our ‘get the albatross off the hook’ fund allow us to support several major projects aimed at stopping the decimation of albatross populations.