Over 70% of the world's population of Black-browed Albatross live in the Falkland Islands, how do they interact with a thriving fishing industry?

Ph.D. candidate Amanda Kuepfer discusses her work on these birds in the Falkland Islands and how she finds out just what they're eating.

Members of the Legislative Assembly hosted the meeting which discussed Starlink and Covid-19 recovery on May 10.

 

Endangered sei whales visit the Falklands every summer and autumn to feed.

As of today the near-shore waters of the Falklands have been designated as the world's first Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) for the species. A KBA is a site of global importance and there are over 16,000 of these areas worldwide.

The global population of sei whales is around 50,000 and they are classified as endangered on the International Red List.

Little was known about the elusive species before Falklands Conservation began their Sei Whale Project five years ago. Once aggressively hunted and a target of the New Island whaling station in the Falkland Islands, the whales are now spotted regularly around the shore. As the animals usually prefer deep coastal waters these encounters are unique to the Falklands when they visit the near-shore areas to feed on swarms of tiny crustaceans.

Dr Caroline Weir, Sei Whale Project lead for Falklands Conservation said: “We are incredibly proud of achieving this Key Biodiversity Area for endangered sei whales, the culmination of five years of pioneering and challenging field research that has really highlighted the importance of the Falkland Islands for this poorly-known species."

Through the project, which includes taking photographs from a small boat, Falklands Conservation has identified 500 individual whales. Some have been found to return yearly. One whale, named Wonky, traveled 3,300km between Rio de Janiero and the Falklands giving the first insight into a defined migration route of the species.

Falklands Conservation’s whale research has its own Facebook page at www.facebook.com/falklandswhale 

Financial hardship and lack of tenancy protection were all raised in the results, published on May 12.

A press conference accompanied the release with Stephen Luxton, who conducted the survey, MLA Leona Roberts, Chief Executive Andy Keeling, and outgoing Chief Executive Barry Rowland.

 Topics covered included:

  • Financial hardship 
  • Lack of tenant protection
  • Employee rights
  • Personal and economic support
  • Community support
  • Overall satisfaction

The survey results can be found on the government website here

The Falkland Islands Government (FIG) is supporting the investigation which is an extension of work carried out after the 1982 Falkland Islands War.

In a statement issued today FIG said: "It is right that we continue in our efforts to determine whether or not these reports are correct, which means engaging with Argentine officials and the International Committee of the Red Cross to determine the next steps in this process. As this is an ongoing investigation no further comment will be made at this stage."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Royal Falkland Islands Police confidentially on +500 28111 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.