Albatrosses and petrels spend years soaring over the open ocean, coming to land only to nest. But these magnificent birds are some of the most endangered birds on the planet and often die tragic deaths, becoming entangled in fishing lines and drowning.
To ensure long-term survival for these border-crossing birds, we need international cooperation. The United States is already a world leader in seabird conservation, but we must take one more critical step to protect these birds.
This important legislation provides the framework for the United States to implement the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels, an international treaty that more than a dozen countries have already signed. It would allow us to showcase United States leadership on this issue - the U.S. fishing fleet already uses the easy-to-implement, low-cost solutions that are 97% effective in reducing avian mortality from long-line fishing.
Passing this legislation is the first step in giving our negotiators the leverage they need to press other countries to implement these same common sense measures and help conserve these magnificent birds. It would require no new regulations and no expenditures from the budget. And this legislation enjoys bipartisan support - it was first proposed and introduced by the Bush administration and is included on the priority list of treaties supported by the Obama administration.