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Exploring Albatross Movements

Black-footed Albatross. (Photo: Peter Hodum)

Black-footed Albatross. (Photo: Peter Hodum)

Black-footed Albatross Conservation

Oikonos is collaborating with multiple partners to improve our understanding of albatross ecology toward effective conservation and stewardship of highly migratory species.

1. Enhance the understanding of Black-footed Albatross (Phoebastria nigripes) foraging and movement patterns, and overlap with longline fisheries and concentrations of marine debris across the North Pacific

2. Participate in working groups to design and implement conservation strategies for Black-footed Albatross

3. Encourage stewardship of ocean ecosystems through the participation of students in albatross tracking and pollution studies


Because Black-footed Albatross range across management zones and jurisdictions, they are susceptible to broadly-distributed threats in national waters and the high-seas. Thus, international collaboration is critical.

The U.S. National Plan of Action for Reducing the Incidental Catch of Seabirds in Longline Fisheries (NPOA-S), developed to address seabird bycatch under the auspices of the United Nations, states that NMFS and USFWS work together to reduce seabird mortalities. While effective bycatch mitigation methods have been implemented in some U.S. longline fisheries (Alaska, Hawaii, California), these efforts only cover part of the year-round marine range of albatross.

Information on the distributions and movements of other protected species has been used to delineate high-risk times and areas where mitigation measures are necessary (Polovina et al. 2000, Melvin et al. 2006). Satellite tracking provides an ideal large-scale perspective to assess how far-ranging albatross overlap with threats and management jurisdictions.

More Albatross Resources


Interactive Art – Take a Pelagic Trip off California

Project Leaders


Hawai’i Pacific University, U.S. Geological Survey, Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, State of Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources, and the Papahanaumokukea Marine National Monument.


  • NOAA National Marine Sanctuary, Cordell Bank
  • State of Hawai’i, Kure Atoll, Department of Land and Natural Resources
  • Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument
  • U.S. Satellite – ACES Project
  • Hawai’i Pacific University
  • U.S.G.S. Western Ecological Research Center
  • Bonnell Cove Foundation
  • National Geographic Research & Exploration Grant
  • National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Inkind Support

  • Dan Howard, Jenny Stock, and Rowena Forest from Cordell Bank NMS
  • Peter Pyle and Rob Suryan, Advisors
  • Michael Coyne from
  • Glen Schuster from Signals of Spring
  • Bolinas Market Butchers
  • Moss Landing Marine Labs – Open House squid and field gear
  • Will’s Bait Shop in Bodega
  • Else Jensen and Larry Switzer
  • Diana, Igby, Milo, and John