Albatrosses, birds of legend
A unique photo exhibition entitled ’Albatrosses, birds of legend’, organised by LPO (BirdLife in France) and other French organisations, has just taken place at the Grand Pavois international Boat Show in La Rochelle, France. The 870 exhibitors enjoyed photos showing the spectacular beauty of the birds found on the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.
Some additional posters have also provided some information on this unknown and uninhabited Lands, which have an amazingly rich biodiversity. Eight albatross species, 23 petrel species, along with numerous whales and dolphins share this immense space, where every year 25 million birds breed.
Albatrosses, well admired by the poet Baudelaire, remarkably adapted to the harsh sub-Antarctic climate, and can live up to 62 years. Today, however, 18 out of 22 species of Albatross around the world are in danger of extinction, primarily as a result of being accidentially killed by longline fishing hooks.
Solutions to prevent this bycatch do exist, and BirdLife International is working with local fishing communities around the world to raise awareness of seabird bycatch and demonstrate to fishermen the use of simple, inexpensive, yet highly successful, mitigation measures.
"Many people would be surprised to learn that a species rarer than the tiger is being threatened with extinction" —Tatiana Nemcova, Senior EU Advocacy Officer
At the exhibition visitors had the opportunity to use an interactive screen with interviews with: Isabelle Autisser, a well-known French skipper; Henri Weimerskirsch, the internationally-known French albatross expert; Cédric Marteau, manager of the national nature reserve in the French sub-Antarctic islands, and; Thierry Micol from LPO, who represents the Albatross Task Force of BirdLife in the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission.
Tatiana Nemcova, Senior EU Advocacy Officer said: “This exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness about the plight of albatrosses and the solutions which can take them from the brink of the extinction. However, I suspect that many people would be surprised to learn that a species rarer than the tiger is being threatened with extinction and many others are being killed at an unsustainable rate by fisheries operating in European waters. We are delighted with the support of the French government for this event and we are hoping for their strong support to our calls for urgent and real solutions to tackle seabird bycatch both inside and outside the EU”.
This exhibition is the result of cooperation between LPO, the CNRS research laboratory, Taaf (Terres australes et antarctiques françaises), and the French Government. To find out more about BirdLife’s work to Save the Albatross, please click here: http://www.birdlife.org/seabirds/savethealbatross.html
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Credits: LPO (BirdLife in France)