Over the last twenty years, millions of majestic albatross have been killed by long lines. Worldwide albatross populations have been severely diminished. The estimated annual by-kill is now 100,000 annually.
The long line is a modern day weapon of mass destruction that is devastating fish, marine mammals, turtles and seabird populations. These lines ranging in length from 1 mile to over a hundred miles with baited hooks every ten meters are literally strip-mining the sea of life. Most of these lines are set illegally.
For years, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has been intercepting, confiscating and destroying these illegal lines.
In February 2004, a new treaty will increase legal protections for the albatross. South Africa has now signed on with Australia, Ecuador, New Zealand and Spain in ratifying the treaty.
This new treaty will give the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society more legal authority to intercept illegal long lines and to continue to confiscate and destroy them.
The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society has destroyed hundreds of miles these floating killing mechanisms composed of monofilament long lines, floats, hooks, and radio beacons.
In the process, the Sea Shepherd crew have rescued and released hundreds of sharks, large fish, turtles and sea-birds, including albatross from the cruel hooks.