Australia is a party to the international Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP). The Australian Antarctic Division represents Australia at ACAP which is responsible for the protection of endangered albatrosses and giant-petrels.
Nineteen of the world’s 22 species of albatrosses and several petrel species are endangered. The single biggest threat to these magnificent birds is longline fishing; the birds dive and are caught and drowned on the baited hooks.
Other significant threats include breeding habitat destruction, diseases and entanglement in fishing gear. These birds are protected in Australia under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Albatrosses and giant-petrels spend about 95% of their time at sea foraging for food, often over thousands of kilometres of ocean. They frequently interact with fisheries, the greatest threat to their survival. Around one billion longline hooks are set globally every year. An estimated 100,000 to 300,000 seabirds are killed.