Horrific images show how ocean debris is maiming and killing seals and sea lions15th February 2012Trapped and tightly bound, this sea lion is pinned to the spot after becoming caught in a windsock.The shocking picture comes from a video revealing the devastating effects man’s rubbish is having on wildlife.
Sony Drafts Cold Sore Contract For Big Stars, Require Meds On Set, Hacked Emails Reveal — Who’s Infected? Many seals and sea lions are often strangled as their bodies grow and tighten around the debrisIn a second image, the swelling and damage caused by one of these bands around a sea lion’s neck is painfully visible. Here, a fishing lure can be seen trapped on a sea lionWork to be done: This sea lion has a large red fishing lure trapped in her mouth. Scientists believe they are under-estimating the number of animals which are affected by the problemIt follows the Daily Mail’s long-running Banish the Bags campaign, which aims to eradicate western dependence on plastic bags that has led to the deaths of whales off Britain’s coastline.
Authorities in Alaska believe they have underestimated the number of animals injured in this way, and they are now looking to work more closely with the fishing industry to prevent sea lions and seals becoming trapped in debris.

Shoppers are also being urged to cut up plastic loops or rings from packaging before they throw them into the bin. It is believed bands become trapped around the bodies of the animals when they are youngResearchers found that at least 386 animals had become entangled in or had swallowed debris.
Plastic packing bands and rubber bands were the most common items found around their necks.
Metal flasher lures, which are used when fishing for salmon, were the most likely to be ingested. But the researchers said they could have missed out some animals because they didn’t come to the shore or were not visible among large crowds of sea lions.
Wildlife biologist Lauri Jemison said: ‘We are certainly underestimating the number of animals entangled.

We go out every summer here in southeastern Alaska and we try to visit every haul out [where animals come to shore] and rookery [where they breed] at least once.’Sea debris can also be life-threatening for other marine wildlife, including sea birds and turtles.
Researchers say sea birds and turtles are also getting injured because of sea debrisWay forward: Authorities in Alaska are now looking to work with the fishing industry to see how they can lessen the number of injuries and deaths to sea animals through debrisAlthough the researchers found that they don’t swallow as much fishing gear as the Steller sea lions, they are likely to get the plastic bands trapped around their necks. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is now looking for funding to work with the fishing industry to help prevent sea lions and seals from becoming trapped in fishing equipment.

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