The perils of marine debris to our wildlife are fairly well known – be it the plastic filled stomach contents of an albatross, or a penguin nesting with a coke bottle, it’s always pretty gutting to witness.
Entangled fur seal rescued from fishing net
Last week we were lucky enough to make it in time to rescue a fur seal pup which had become entangled in a fishing net here in Wellington. Quite how the incident occurred we don’t know, but the poor wee thing was pretty raw around the neck as a result of it.
Fur seals can be quite aggressive and give a nasty bite, especially when distressed, so DOC staff were sure to take a cautious approach.
Once released of its unwanted necklace, the feisty wee pup headed off into the Taputeranga Marine Reserve for a swim around and we’re hopeful it’ll make a full recovery.
Unfortunately, other fur seals around New Zealand haven’t been so lucky. This fella was found dead in a similar style of fishing net on Makara Beach – also in the Cook Strait region.
You can help our marine wildlife
The good news is that we can all help to stop these things happening. You can:
- make sure to dispose of you litter carefully;
- pick up any fishing materials, or other marine debris, when you see it and dispose of it in a bin;
- get involved with a local coastal care group;
- take part in a beach clean event;
- tell your friends and family to do the same.
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Have you ever seen marine debris threatening our wildlife? What did you do?