Gannets at risk on Cornish coastlines

Gannets are increasingly falling victim to fishing nets at sea. Credit: Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust

Environmentalists have shared images of gannets killed by pollution and the remnants of fishing nets, warning about the threat to the future of the seabirds.

Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust say that 'ghost' fishing gear, the remnants of lost fishing gear found all around our coastline, regularly injures or kills the birds.

So this summer has been exceptional and we are sad to report two dead gannets in ghost gear in two months! >

Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust Spokesperson
The bird had also been shot in the head. Credit: Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust

On Monday (12 August), the CSGRT team discovered a dead South-coast gannet with a tight and long strand of orange chafe gear through its beak and trailing behind its neck.

After retrieving it from the sea and examining it, they also found that the bird had been shot in the head.

Adrian Langdon was with the team that discovered the bird:

I'd like to think this was done by a well meaning person desperate to put this poor bird out of its misery and whoever did it was either an incredible shot or did it at point blank range probably in a boat. That then throws up the question of why would someone take an air rifle out to sea?

Adrian Langdon

Meanwhile, community volunteer beach-cleaners in Portheras discovered a dead bird that they believe was killed by palm oil pollution.