Thomas Moore, Science Correspondent
Sky News20 October 2017
A painful death on 'plastic island'
Conservationists have mounted a rescue mission to save dozens of seabirds trapped in plastic and Sky News was given exclusive access to the operation.
The RSPB landed on Grassholm island, eight miles off the Pembrokeshire coast, to cut free young gannets from the fishing ropes and nets that adults use to build nests.
Greg Morgan, warden for the RSPB reserve, said there is so much fishing gear floating in the water around the island that the birds mistake it for the seaweed that they should be using.
He said: "We estimate there are 18 tonnes of plastic in the nests on the island.
"The chicks sit on the nest. As they turn, the plastic gets twisted around their leg and ensnares them.
"They should have flown away by now. Eventually the adults give up and they are left to starve."
We saw birds with plastic twine twisted so tight around their legs that it had cut through to the bone.
Other birds were already dead, their feet tethered to the nest by rope.Continued