Devastating fish hook injuries, but a pelican’s pluck prevails
This Brown Pelican was brought to our Los Angeles center on August 18 from the Long Beach area, where it was found wrapped in a large amount of fishing tackle. Rehabilitation technician Kelly Berry reports that one lure had four fishing hooks of various sizes, two treble hooks and a long strand of fishing line.
All six hooks were embedded into the bird’s wings, causing puncture wounds and wing droop. The good news is that all hooks and line were removed, and the pelican’s wounds are healing well.
Fishing hooks and fishing line are such a pervasive problem for seabirds, and a leading cause of injury in the birds we care for at our California centers. If you fish, be mindful of where your gear ends up. We know there are many fishermen who are responsible, and it’s our wish that you’ll spread this message to others. We are grateful that you set a good example out on the water and at the cleaning stations.
And we can all do our part by picking up plastic pollution and discarded gear wherever we see it in the marine environment. You may end up saving a wild bird’s life.
You can learn more on this issue at the California Lost Fishing Gear Recovery Project’s website.