After another busy day on the May and the May Princess leaving at 18:30, we headed straight up to the cottage for our dinner but just as we headed inside there was a call on the radio from Alex the skipper to say that two Gannets were tangled together just off Pilgrims Haven.
Dave and I sprang into action and headed down with a pen knife and shag hook in anticipation of what we were about to see. Once over the hill we could see the Gannets on the water’s edge and sure enough their beaks were entangled. We headed down the slope and slid across the boulders covered in algae to reach them. Dave managed to grab the pair and held them down while I cut through string bundle. Soon one was free and then the other, both were wet and sat on the beach to recover from their ordeal. Who knows how long they were entangled or could have been if they hadn’t been seen, they most probably would have starved and become water logged. There is certainly never a dull moment in this job.
This is a lesson to us all about our litter and a reminder that not disposing of it properly can cause serious harm to the nature around us. This is just a snapshot of what is going on across our oceans. It was one pair of Gannets which luckily were in an accessible area. With thousands of other seabirds nesting around the May and all around our coast, it is haunting to think how many incidents like this occur without any intervention. Please do whatever you can to help, whether it’s something as simple as recycling, helping out on local beach clean ups, or supporting campaigns for Marine Protected Areas. Nature is amazing, let’s protect it together.