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  1. ITV Report

Alderney's gannets put at risk by plastic pollution

For decades, Les Etacs off the coast of Alderney, has been a sanctuary for thousands of breeding Gannets. Photo: ITV Channel TV

The threat of plastic pollution to wildlife in the Channel Islands is affecting thousands of gannets.

For decades, Les Etacs off the coast of Alderney, has been a sanctuary for thousands of breeding Gannets, but experts say the seabirds are literally being strangled by plastic waste.

The northern gannets migrate to breed in Alderney and are mistaking fishing nets for seaweed.

Wildlife experts in Alderney are due to carry out research this summer to find out how many birds are dying as a result of plastic pollution, and what can be done to help.

This time of year they’re starting to collect material to start building their nests, so there should be seaweed material, but unfortunately increasingly we are seeing that they are mistaking plastics for seaweed.

– Danielle Clifford, Ramsar Officer, Alderney Wildlife Trust

The Alderney Wildlife Trust believes that all of the nests on the Les Etacs rocks contain some plastic but it is unknown how many birds are dying as a result.

We’re beginning to realise how bad the plastic situation truly is in the world but also locally in the Channel Islands.

– Roland Gauvain, Alderney Wildlife Trust Manager

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