Gannet Rescued Caught in Plastic – Seaford

East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) received a call about a gannet on the breakwater at Splashpoint Seaford this afternoon (20th May 2021) with possible fishing line wrapped round its leg.

WRAS rescuers Lisa Turner and Sandra Furner attended on site in one of WRAS’s Veterinary Ambulances, but were unable to find the bird on or around the breakwater.  They searched along the beach as well but couldn’t find the gannet anywhere.

As they were leaving Seaford WRAS received another call to say there was a Gannet entangled in plastic in one of the gardens just up on the cliff above Splash Point. Lisa and Sandra turned round and returned and were guided in to where the Gannet had been found.

The Gannet had orange plastic, possibly some form of netting, wrapped round one leg.

Rescuers used nets to catch the bird which squawked in protect before they were able to load him into a large cage and transport him to WRAS Casualty Centre at Whitesmith.

At the centre WRAS Care Team took over.  Lead Casualty Manager Katie Nunn Nash handled the bird being careful of its sharp beak and also avoiding blocking it airway by holding the beak closed.

She was able to cut the plastic away from the right ankle. There was a small amount of damage to the foot but this was very minor.  The bird was slightly underweight and would certainly have had problems catching fish.  After being weighed he was treated to some fish.

He will be monitored at WRAS’s centre and released once the Care Team feel he is ready.

WRAS is urging those who use the beaches and sea to be careful with when discarding plastic or netting and is asking anyone who walks along the beach to pick up any discarded netting or line and remove it safely from the beach.

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