Line of death for seabirds


tangled gannets2THE peril to wildlife of unwanted or lost fishing tackle was brought home to Rob and Robyn Varney during a walk along Portsea back beach toward London Bridge.

Inspection of a clump of washed up seaweed showed it had apparently acted as a sea anchor to two Austra­lian gannets that had become entangled by fishing line wrapped around the weed.

Mr Varney said the birds’ beaks were tied together by the “fine yellow string or possibly a crude fishing line”.

“The twine was wrapped around their bodies,” he said.

A band attached to one of the bird’s legs will be sent to the federal environment department’s Australian Bird and Bat Banding Scheme.

“We untied the birds and let them float back out to sea on the next tide.

“This is a timely warning for fisherman, boaties and beach-goers generally not to throw items overboard or leave rubbish on the beach that can result in scenes like this.

“Over the years we have found close to a dozen dead banded seabirds in the southern Mornington Peninsula area; that’s why we always have a closer look when we see dead birds washed up.”


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