Fishing gear hurting birds at Sunshine Skyway pier

7:50 AM, Mar 15, 2014   |    comments
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BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) - Gulf coast bird rescuers are warning about a type of fishing gear they say is killing and maiming seabirds, particularly at a fishing pier at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

Fishing gear called a Sabiki rig is causing injury and death to sea birds, such as pelicans, cormorants, herons, terns and egrets.

The Bradenton Herald reports that the rig is meant to catch bait fish, but it has multiple hooks and such a lightweight line that if a bird swoops down to eat bait fish and flies away, the line breaks and the hooks become caught in its flesh.

Bird rescuers recommend that if someone accidentally hooks a bird, they try to reel the animal in, safely remove any hooks or line and release the animals.

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