Cape Town, 30 June 2010: BirdLife South Africa, in collaboration with Carl Zeiss (Pty) Ltd., is rewarding fishermen who are trying to improve fishing techniques to help save endangered seabirds.
Globally, hundreds of thousands of albatrosses and petrels are accidentally killed by fishing activities annually. In 2006, BirdLife International formed the Albatross Task Force, as part of the global Save the Albatross Campaign, to address the high seabird captures. The Albatross Task Force is a group of specialist seabird bycatch instructors who work with local fishermen in their various countries. The South African Albatross Task Force has been working closely with two main fisheries in the area, namely the deep-sea hake trawl and pelagic longline fisheries.
BirdLife South Africa would like to highlight and reward the wonderful work of individuals within the fisheries; those people who ‘go the extra mile’ in saving seabirds. BirdLife South Africa, in collaboration with Carl Zeiss (Pty) Ltd., will be running a competition during 2010, where individuals (from either the deep-sea hake trawl or the longline fisheries) can demonstrate how they have made a difference to seabirds within their fishery. This can be in the form of gear modification, a new device to protect seabirds from danger in their relevant fishery or what they have done to change their attitude towards seabirds in their company or everyday fishing out at sea. The winner of the competition, the BirdLife South Africa-Zeiss Seabird Conservationist for 2010, will be awarded with a pair of top quality Carl Zeiss binoculars and a bird identification guide to allow them to enjoy and learn more about the amazing seabirds they are saving!