`God save thee, ancient Mariner,
From the fiends that plague thee thus! -
Why look'st thou so?' -"With my crossbow
I shot the Albatross." -- Rime of the Ancient Mariner.
Turns out fish hooks work better (or is it worse?) than crossbows.
The top six species of sea birds at risk of extinction in the Atlantic hail from the albatross family. The British Antarctic Survey on South Georgia has found the number of those big birds flying today is just half the population of the early 1960s.
Your fish sticks might be the problem. In diving for their own seafood, an albatross is vulnerable to getting snagging by commercial fishing equipment -- either on hooks or in nets.
Now the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and Birdlife International are calling for a treaty monitoring panel to impose new rules on fishing to protect the albatross.
But will using albatross-safe fishing methods be more costly, less fuel efficient, more damaging to other species?
In any event, it's long been considered bad luck to kill one of the birds. Just ask the ancient mariner.