Warning to fishermen after seal and bird die

Fishermen across Scotland are being urged to ensure they clear up after themselves after a seal and cormorant died through fishing-related injuries.

The Scottish SPCA said the vast majority of fishing enthusiasts are responsible and clear away their equipment after use but line and wire left in Linlithgow and Peterhead last month harmed animals.

The cormorant became attached to a tree on March 28 after swallowing fishing line tangled around a branch in Linlithgow Loch.

Rescue officer Connie O'Neil was called out to help the bird.

A cormorant was caught in a fishing line in a tree(Scottish SPCA/PA)
A cormorant was caught in a fishing line in a tree(Scottish SPCA/PA)

She said: "Thankfully I was able to go out on a canoe with a member of the public to rescue the cormorant.

"The poor bird had swallowed a fishing hook and it had been pulling at his insides so he was really struggling. It was very lucky that someone spotted him and alerted us when they did as he would have been suffering greatly.

"After rescuing him from the tree I realised he also had a broken wing, which was caused by his struggle to get away.

"Unfortunately due to the extent of his injuries and suffering, he was put to sleep."

Officer Kyle McWhirr was alerted to an injured seal near Peterhead power station on March 16.

He said: "The fishing wire had wrapped tightly around the seals neck and cut deep into his skin.

"After a bit of a fight, I managed to get him into my van and took him immediately to the vet to have his deep wound looked at.

"After arriving at the vet he had his wound cleaned and antibiotics and painkillers were administered.

"Sadly, the seal had not been spotted quickly enough and he died from a seizure the following morning.

"The vast majority of fishermen are very responsible and take care to clear away their equipment after they've used it.

"However we want to remind anyone fishing not to leave their litter as they could kill wildlife by doing so."

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