DoE: Frigate bird rescued

This juvenile frigate was trapped in fishing line. - Photo: Samantha Barnes via DoE

A juvenile frigate bird was rescued by a member of the public after it and another bird, which did not survive, became entangled in fishing line, the Department of Environment reported on its Facebook page Monday.

After finding the birds at Snug Harbour, Samantha Barnes contacted the DoE. Following guidance from the department, she took the surviving frigate to Island Veterinary Services. Vets cut the bird free from the line.

The little frigate was suffering from exhaustion but appeared to have no obvious injuries, the DoE said.

“Seabird bycatch can happen when birds are unaware that their intended prey is on a fishing line. They become entangled or hooked on the line and then either drown on the line or become grounded by the fishing gear and starve to death,” the DoE stated in its post.

It added that fishermen can help reduce potential bycatch of seabirds by keeping boat decks tidy, using weighted bait, and monitoring fishing lines carefully. Used fishing lines can be deposited in recycling bins that are available at a variety of sites throughout the islands.

“Many thanks to Samantha Barnes and her friend for spotting the birds and following up with the DoE. Due to their efforts, the injured frigate bird was rehabilitated and successfully released by the DoE,” the Facebook post said.
The DoE does not generally advise members of the public who find trapped or injured seabirds to handle them by themselves, as the birds can bite and inflict damage. Anyone who finds a bird in distress should call the DoE on 949-8469.

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