Campaigners warn about dangers of ghost fishing

The entangled seal at Boulmer.
The entangled seal at Boulmer.

Wildlife campaigners are highlighting the dangers of coastal litter, after two entangled seals were rescued from Northumberland beaches.

One of the animals was caught up in netting at Boulmer on Sunday, while another was rescued from the dunes at the pinnacles at Ross Back Sands.

Both seals were taken to Morris and Plumley vets, in Alnwick, and later released.

Wildlife experts are using it as an example of the dangers posed to wildlife from ghost fishing (what fishing gear does when it has been lost, dumped or abandoned).

Jane Hardy, a marine mammal medic for the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, said: “We’ve had too many entangled seals. The seal from Boulmer was lifted from the beach on Sunday and cut free of the netting by the vets. It hadn’t dug into the neck tissue, so a quick release back into the wild was possible.

“The other seal was found high up in the dunes at Ross Back Sands on Monday. It was caught up in rope and fishing wire and would most likely have given up and would’ve died a slow painful death.

“It had awful infected wounds, but made a remarkable recovery overnight in the vets, so was released on Tuesday lunchtime. Ghost fishing is horrible stuff; that’s why I always beach clean, wherever possible.”