A New Zealand man is pleading with members of the public to be wary of their rubbish and litter after photographing a distressed seagull.

The black back gull was caught on camera in the Coromandel with a fishing hook in its mouth, along with nylon around its neck and a trace and fishing line around its leg.

Wellington-based photographer Simon Woolf said he was "seriously upset" at discovering the distressed bird and said people need to be more mindful of wildlife.

A photographer is asking those who are fishing to take care. Photo / Simon Woolf
A photographer is asking those who are fishing to take care. Photo / Simon Woolf

"Fishing line, plastics, and other human interventions are a blight on our wildlife," he said.


"Humans do these grotesque things to nature. I am seriously upset. What we saw this morning was tragic.

"I have no remorse in putting photos out there, as a deterrent and warning, of how we can cause so much damage to our wildlife."

Woolf said he tried to capture seagull after the local vet, the local wildlife refuge and the Department of Conservation said they couldn't help unless it was caught.

However, the seagull was still healthy enough to evade being captured and Woolf fears it may starve to death.

"You may say that 'It's only a seagull!', I say they are stunning birds, beautiful in flight, and are an important part of the food chain," he said.

"I can tell you some people would feel differently if they saw a kōtuku [white heron] in the same unfortunate situation.

"It is no different, and it has probably happened. Please urge those who are fishing, or have plastics, rope, nylon etc to take care."

I'm distressed, however this poor juvenile Black Back Gull which appeared injured on the beach this morning was more...

Posted by Simon Woolf on Tuesday, 15 January 2019