When hunting for food underwater, shags are vulnerable to hidden dangers such as this fishing net. Abandoned nets are a particular threat: 14 drowned spotted shags were found entangled in this net by diver Graeme Loh. Other potential dangers include oil spills, predation at nests, and changes to the marine ecology that affect their foods. The increase in aquaculture around New Zealand’s coasts has raised concerns that poorly sited mussel farms can not only entrap the birds, but also alter the sea floor ecology, affecting their food source.
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