Pollution killing sea animals including sea lions in St Vincent Gulf
Nylon rope from fishing boats is increasingly entangling wildlife in Gulf St Vincent, scientists have warned.
The problem has been identified by Adelaide University forensic Professor Roger Byard and the Australian Marine Wildlife Research and Rescue Organisation’s Aaron Machado, who used the case of a sea lion “necklaced” by rope to highlight the problem.
Professor Byard said: “The fishing industry has increasingly replaced natural fibres with plastic over the past 50 years because it is inexpensive, durable and light weigh”.
The mature Australia sea lion was found distressed at Port Stanvac, and a 5 centimetre deep laceration stitched.
“There have been sightings since and the animal is very well but with a very distinctive scar around his neck,’’ Professor Byard said.
Professor Byard and Mr Machado have published their findings in this month’s edition of Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology.