17 of 22 albatross species are threatened with extinction. Bycatch in fisheries is the main cause.
Since the 1980s scientists have linked global albatross population decreases to accidental bycatch in commercial longline fishing. During line setting albatrosses become hooked or entangled, are drawn underwater and drown.
Every year about 3 billion hooks are set in longline fisheries. Up to 300,000 seabirds are killed, including large numbers of albatrosses.
Albatrosses mature late (6-12 years old) and reproduce very slowly (one young every 1-2 years) – they simply cannot compensate for losses of this scale.