Volunteers clean up the beach at Brown Bay, Magee Island.

The dead birds were found by participants of actions to clean up the beaches of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which took place last month.

Volunteers who helped clean up more than 35kg of litter from Brown’s Bay Beach, as well as Carrick’s Fisherman’s Wharf, have reported it to the relevant authorities.

Team leader Alena Aceves-Kuli, z Sharp magicians, said it was very sad to find seven dead seabirds at Brown Bay and one at Fisherman’s Wharf. Noting that it was the first time she had come across so many affected creatures, Elena said she suspected bird flu was the cause.

The dead seabird was discovered by volunteers during their cleanup

“I reported it to the NI Environment Agency and they said they probably had bird flu,” she said. “Volunteers have been warned not to touch dead animals, so it is important that the proper authorities do so [collect them] as soon as they are found to prevent other animals from being infected.’

In July, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council issued an appeal to members of the public to report any sightings of dead birds in the Whitehead area. This comes after avian influenza (Avian Influenza) was detected in a number of carcasses on a city beach.

In response to the latest finding, a council spokesman said: “The Public Health Agency (PHA) has advised that human infection with bird flu is rare and that the risk to public health is very low, however this remains the case. the public is asked not to pick up or touch dead or injured wild birds, as this could cause the disease to spread to other seabird colonies or bird flocks.

“In July 2022 awareness posters were put up along our coastline, further advice to the public was distributed on the council’s digital platforms and through local media stating that the council as the landowner is responsible for removing and disposing of all dead birds from our territory. beaches and marinas, so incidents should be reported [email protected] . The volunteer group followed this advice and seven seagulls were urgently removed by the council at the time.’

The council also referred to the DAERA website for further information and advice: www.daera-ni.gov.uk/articles/wild-birds-and-advice-public

In an online update last month, the department said HPAI had been detected in wild seabirds in a number of locations in Northern Ireland, adding: “If you find a dead wild bird, please report it to the DAERA helpline. If you find a sick or dying wild bird, you can report it to the landowner or the USPCA.”

Main sources

Meanwhile, the beach cleaning team recorded a total of 456 items of litter across the entire area of ​​both beaches. The data, which has been collected by this group over the past 16 years (and for the first time on Fisherman’s Wharf), will help MCS identify the main sources of litter and keep the issue of the dangers of marine litter to ecosystems and people high on the agenda of local and state authorities.

The Beach Litter Survey continues to show that plastic is the largest source of waste (82% of all items in Browns Bay and 76% in Ryback), with the main item types being plastic items (364), such as very small, small and large plastic bats, plastic bottles, caps/lids, crisp/sweet/candy wrappers, styrofoam fragments, string/cord/rope and cigarette butts (35 total, 30 at Fisherman’s).

Elena said that she was glad not to face cotton swabs. Also, 42 pieces of glass were found, 31 — on Rybatskaya embankment.

“This shows us that the most common source of this litter is the public (33-35%), while the rest is washed out of the sea after being dumped on the beach or elsewhere along the coast.

“It was also very disappointing to find horse dander as well as 18 bags of dog dander in sacks, which shows a significant increase on previous years. Owners should be extra careful and take them to the nearest bin as they can pose a danger to both beachgoers and coastal wildlife.

“All participants noted how dangerous plastic, rope, fishing line and cigarette butts can be to marine wildlife, capable of suffocating or ingesting them and ultimately entering our food chain.”

I supported the initiative

Alena then thanked everyone who supported the initiative.

“I would like to thank the Marine Conservation Society and Mid and East Antrim Council’s recycling department for providing us with clean-up equipment and materials, organizing litter collection after the event and supporting litter collection on the day.

“I would also like to thank Stable Stop’s Coffee Shop in Brown Bay for the excellent coffee and baking which was very welcome after a hard day’s work.”

Read more

Read more

‘Momentum continues to build’ towards £80m City Deal boost for Mid East…

The Great British and Northern Irish Beach and River Clean took place in September 2022 on beaches and rivers across the UK. Data recorded during each survey were sent to MCS to determine the amount and sources of marine and coastal debris. MCS will use these results nationally to tackle these sources of litter and this can be found at www.mcsuk.org.

MCS provides information and guidance on many aspects of marine conservation and produces the annual Good Beach Guide (www.goodbeachguide.co.uk), Good Fish Guide (www.goodfishguide.co.uk) and www.fishonline.org on sustainable seafood. as well as promoting community involvement in volunteer projects such as the MCS Beachwatch Big Weekend and Basking Shark Watch.


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