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Albatross voyage heads for New Zealand


Albatross voyage heads for New Zealand

The ketch, English Rose VI, on a round the world voyage to highlight the plight of albatross and end pirate fishing in the Southern Ocean, is in the mid Tasman Sea en route to New Zealand. The yacht, skippered by world-renowned sailor John Ridgway, is expected to dock in Wellington on Thursday 8th or Friday 9th January 2004.

On July 27 2003 John Ridgway and his volunteer crew left Scotland on the 60 foot, English Rose VI on the Save the Albatross voyage. The voyage seeks to raise awareness of the impacts of fishing on albatross and the many seabird deaths it causes.

From Scotland, the yacht and its crew sailed to Cape Town, South Africa, from where they started circumnavigating the Southern Ocean. They reached Melbourne on 14 December.

The ketch left Melbourne for Wellington on 28 December with two New Zealanders, Carol Knutson and Peter Lewwis on board.

“I feel very privileged to be on the fourth leg of the Save the Albatross voyage. By going around the world, John Ridgway and the English Rose VI are showing that we all share the challenge of looking after albatross. Protecting albatross species and their environment is an international responsibility,” Forest and Bird staff member and sailor Carol Knutson said.

“The voyage is also a great opportunity to raise awareness of the harm pirate fishing is causing in the Southern Ocean. These are important issues for New Zealanders because New Zealand is the seabird capital of the world and the sea is so much a part of our lives,” she said.

From Wellington, the English Rose VI will sail to the Falkland Islands.

Notes John Ridgway and the English Rose VI are expected to end the fourth leg of the Save the Albatross voyage and dock at Berth A07 Chaffers Marina (beside the Overseas Terminal) or at Queens Wharf, Wellington on Thursday 8th or Friday 9th January 2004. A media advisory with details of time will be provided later this week.

In 1966 John Ridgway and Chay Blyth were the first people to row the Atlantic Ocean. John has sailed around the world for leisure and racing. He manages an adventure school in Scotland with wife Marie Christine.

An international petition to stop pirate fishing and save the albatross has been started as a consequence of John Ridgway's voyage.

You can find out more information about the petition on: http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/petition/index.asp During the journey members of conservation organisations from around the globe will join the voyage. Forest and Bird is represented by Carol Knutson (Wellington staff) on the Melbourne to Wellington leg, and Brent Stephenson (Forest and Bird member) on the Wellington to the Falkland Islands leg.

Forest and Bird has information about the voyage on: http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/marine/albatross/voyage.asp

To directly follow the voyage: www.savethealbatross.org

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