Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Over 9300 km away. A Black-browed Albatross from Macquarie Island is caught and released by a longliner off Chile

A Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophris metal (121-A9056) and colour (Red 352) banded as a chick on Macquarie Island on 6 March 2009 was brought aboard alive an industrial longline vessel fishing for Broad-billed Swordfish Xiphias gladius near Isla Choros, Coquimbo Region, Chile on 1 July 2017 (click here).

The time between banding and recovery was eight years, three months and 25 days.  According to the Australian Bird and Bat Banding Scheme (ABBBS) the bird had travelled a linear distance of 9350 km.

Long-way from home: Macquarie Island to the coast of Chile for a banded Black-browed Albatross

The bird was hooked in its left foot, assumed likely during line hauling as it was in good condition.  The vessel was not using a bird-scaring line at the time but the hooks were weighted (75 g).  After being measured it was released by Luis Díaz Báez, a Chilean Fisheries Development Institute (Instituto de Fomento Pesquero, IFOP) scientific observer aboard as part of the Highly Migratory Resource Monitoring Project directed by IFOP’s Dr. Patricia Zárate.  The bird was not photographed.

Fewer than 50 pairs of Black-browed Albatrosses currently breed on Macquarie Island.  According to information supplied to Patricia Zárate from Australia this is the first record of a banded Macquarie bird from the south-eastern Pacific.

Dr. Zárate informs ACAP that as a Party to the Agreement Chile is committed to maintaining a favourable conservation status for albatrosses and petrels that occur along its coast.

Read a news item on the record here.  The original IFOP report of the recapture can also be read in Spanish.

With thanks to Luis Adasme, Ilia Cari and Patricia Zárate for additional information.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 04 July 2018