Endangered bird dies on longline fishing hook

This undated photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows short...
This undated photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows short-tailed albatross on Torsishima Island, Japan. Photo from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/AP.
An endangered bird once thought to be extinct has died after being caught on a longline commercial fishing hook in Alaska.

The American Bird Conservancy says the short-tailed albatross was killed in the Bering Sea. Federal officials say the death of the seven and a half-year-old bird is the first such by a US commercial fishing vessel since 1998.

The short-tailed albatross was once thought to be extinct but now numbers a few thousand. The dead animal had a metal leg band identifying it was from Torishima Island in Japan, where the majority of short-tailed albatross breed.

A federal programme has helped greatly reduce the number of albatross deaths caused by commercial fishing. The problem is known as by-catch, or the unintended capture of a non-targeted species.


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