Date: 18 January 2019
A protected red billed gull caught on a fishing line and hook was left dangling (alive) from a cliff at Cathedral Cove today.
The bird could not be reached, despite rescue attempts, and eventually had to be shot by a senior DOC ranger from the Whitianga Office. The euthanising of the bird was witnessed by a large crowd of people in the area both on sea and land.
Coromandel DOC Operations Manager Nick Kelly said this serves as a timely reminder that any rubbish or equipment we leave behind or unsecured can have serious consequences for our wildlife.
“There’s nothing more Kiwi than heading down to the coast for a picnic or a spot of fishing over the summer months. But if you, your family or friends are heading out to enjoy some of our spectacular coastlines, there are a few key things you can do to ensure you minimise your impact on our wildlife,” he said.
Poo in a loo, give wildlife its space and last and take all your rubbish and equipment with you when you leave.
All too often the rubbish and equipment left at beaches finds its way into the ocean causing problems for all ocean life. For many marine animals small pieces of rubbish look like food and can be extremely harmful if ingested. The same risks are posed by discarded fishing hooks and baited or tangled lines. These can be lethal for seabirds that can swallow the hooks or become tangled in the lines.
We all know the coast can be a windy place and it only takes a small gust for loose wrappers and light-weight equipment to find its way out to sea. We can limit this accidental littering by immediately placing all rubbish and fishing equipment in a dedicated bag or lidded container that cannot easily blow away. If there is no dedicated bin in the area, take your rubbish with you when you leave.
Remember, whether you’re a local or on holiday, we share our beaches and oceans with a wide variety of other animals – all of which must live in the places we visit, long after we’ve gone. If you see rubbish on the beach, even if it’s not yours, please pick it up and help us to help our nature.
If anyone sees wildlife in distress, they can report it by calling the DOC hotline: 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468)
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