British activists rush each year to save dozens of seabirds trapped and abandoned on the Welsh island of Grassholm in the United Kingdom. Nearly 18 tons of plastic remnants are believed to float through the island’s surrounding waters, endangering one of the world’s largest gannet seabird colonies.

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During a special rescue operation on the Welsh island of Grassholm, environmental activists from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) were mobilized to release dozens of young gannet seabirds caught in fishing nets and plastic remnants used by the adult birds to build nests.

One of the RSPB activists explained that the likely reason behind the birds’ mistake is due to the fact that they believe the finishing gear left in the water is algae. As a result, the young birds become trapped in the plastic nests, are abandoned by their parents and left to die of hunger. The activists estimate that there are nearly 18 tons of plastic in and around the island.

The organization’s activists come to the area every October to rescue birds that have been stranded by their colony. So far, 637 birds have been saved over the last 12 years. “People have no idea that this is coursing through our seas. You know you go back each year and it makes you more determined to try and do something about it,” said one activist.

Grassholm Island

Grassholm Island Photo Credit: SkyNews/Channel 2 News

Young bird caught in nests of plastic

Young bird caught in nests of plastic Photo Credit: SkyNews/Channel 2 News

Plastic fishing nets and ropes in the ocean waters are a growing problem. Around the world approximately 640,000 tons pass through the oceans, damaging animals and nature.

RSPB volunteer Sarah Parmor expressed anger at the situation claiming that if people came to see the plastic, they would likely reflect on their action’s consequences.