A significant proportion of birds that we rescue every year have either got caught in carelessly discarded tackle or have interacted with people fishing; often getting hooked while people are casting off.
- Remove or crush barbs on hooks or use circle hooks
- Put fish and bait scraps in covered bins: never feed to seabirds
- Sink bait and burley quickly and below the diving depth of birds (6m)
- Take all your gear and rubbish (and anyone else’s) home
- Seabird safe zone: Distract or deter birds away from your fishing zone when casting off or reeling in.
WASR participated in this educational video aimed at recreational fishers.
- Do not cut the line (trailing line causes more entanglement)
- Try to lure the bird towards you or gently reel it in
- Put some safety or sunglasses on and ask someone to help you
- Throw a towel or jumper over the bird and gently restrain the head and bill and fold the wings in*
- Cut or flatten the barb and gently feed the hook back
- Remove any fishing line
- If the hook is swallowed or too hard to remove phone for advice or take the bird to your nearest veterinarian or wildlife centre (if you are out at sea and the hook is swallowed cut the line as close to the mouth as possible).
*See our emergency section for more handling advice