Fish handouts off the menu

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Picture: Fran Henke

GOVERNMENT-imposed restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have had unforeseen effects on wildlife.

The ban on fishing has obviously been a lifesaver for many fish, but it has also (temporarily) ended the symbiotic relationship between pelicans and anglers at Hastings.

When the boats leave the pelicans usually sit patiently on pier pylons or light towers secure in the knowledge that a meal will be on the way when fish are cleaned back on shore.

Joined by seagulls (who are also no slouch at scavenging) the pelicans are now reduced to actually doing some fishing themselves or receiving handouts from the public until fresh, hand-delivered fish is back on the menu.

And when someone does come along to the car park near Hastings pier with what appears to be a meal in a moment, guess who’s waiting to come to dinner?

First published in the Western Port News 6 May 2020

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