It’s no surprise that long-line fishing is depleting our fish populations in staggering numbers. But many don’t realize that the effects are felt above the ocean’s surface as well. As the BBC reports, up to 100,000 albatrosses a year get caught on the baited hooks of long-lines and are pulled down to drown. Populations of three species breeding on South Georgia (country, not state!) and outlying islands have declined by about a third in the past 30 years. Dr. Sullivan of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds said simple measures such as “flying streamers behind the fishing boat or adding weights to the line so they sink more quickly would help to stop albatrosses being killed.”
That’s easier said than done. If fishermen were willing to take “simple measures,” we wouldn’t have the massive dirty fishing problem we have today.