Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fisher polluters

Local Sydney ABC radio has run a couple of reports about the sea eagle chick injured by swallowing a hook & line.

The nest is in Sydney Olympic Park, where a camera was set up some years ago to watch the pair of eagles and any chicks they had.

Recently one of the chicks was seen to be in some sort of trouble, so as the nest is 20 metres up a gum tree a cherry-picker was taken in so that rangers could investigate more closely.

They found that the chick had a large hook stuck halfway down its throat, plus a length of fishing line.

It ended well as the chick was operated on, the hook & line removed and it was returned safely to the nest.

The parents are feeding the chicks and one of the rangers said: "...they have obviously either taken a fish that had line or was discarded along the edge of the river."

She urged people to clean up all their fishing line, hooks and bait after fishing, as many birds accidentally eat the rubbish with dire results.

Some hope.

This area is full of waterways - sea, lagoons, lakes - and we have beach fishing, rock fishing, fishing from boats, from lake and lagoon banks. There are a lot of what we must now call 'fishers' and far too many of them demonstrate they're little more than vandals and polluters.

I've seen them swinging large fish over their heads and smashing their heads on the rocks. I've seen them slicing and gutting live fish as soon as they pull them from the water.

A few weeks ago on Terrigal beach I saw a swimmer trying to help a seagull that was caught in line and drowning. 

Everywhere there's rubbish left by the fishers. Especially line, metres and metres of it, but also hooks, weights and plastic bags.

I regularly pick up rubbish they abandon on the rock platforms and put it safely in the bins.

Radical action to get it under control is way overdue.

The ABC report, and links, are here.

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