Rescue exposes fishing grubs

FISHO yesterday eyewitnessed a rather unusual rescue operation. 

At a riverside location at Woronora in southern Sydney a NSW Fire & Rescue truck was seen performing what appeared to be a practice exercise involving a fire ladder extended into a tall gum tree. 

On closer inspection what had looked to be a stray plastic bag snagged on a branch was identified as a cockatoo. Dangling precariously upside down and occasionally flapping its wings the hapless bird appeared to be snared by the feet.

“I bet it’s caught in fishing line,” I said to Fisho colleague Scott Thomas with a sinking feeling.

I live nearby and had on occasion pulled large clumps of discarded fishing line from trees in the area. It’s a popular spot with weekend shore based fishos and locals who cast lines from atop the road bridge. Many casts go astray. A couple of overhead lines parallel to the bridge are littered with fishing line, dangling hooks, and the odd lure. For any enviro-conscious fisho it’s a shameful sight. 

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IMAGE: Scott Thomas

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IMAGE: Scott Thomas

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Things thankfully ended well for the snagged cocky. It was brought down successfully by a gloved rescuer before being held down and the thick mono line cut from its legs before release. Well done to the rescuers involved.

Unfortunately this example highlights the need for all fishos to dispose of tangled or old line responsibly. Earlier in the day while doing some boat testing on Botany Bay we’d spotted a pelican with fishing line wound around one leg, obviously restricting the bird’s movement.

These sort of occurrences are all too common in an era when fishos are being locked out of areas around Australia’s coast. Cleaning up our act is one way to prevent injuries to animals, birdlife and the general public and help safeguard our fishing futures.

How about it guys?

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