By Jamie Smith
These heartbreaking images show a seal emerging from the ocean with a noose of fishing net wrapped around its neck.
The disturbing photographs were taken by wildlife photographer, tutor and lecturer Colin Edwards on the Norfolk coast earlier this month.
Colin, 42, from Haverhill Suffolk, was tutoring two clients on wildlife photography when he witnessed the tragic moment.
Described the painful plastic pollution scene, he said: “Sighting like this is heartbreaking.
“Seeing any wildlife animal in distress is just horrible but when you know it is caused by the human interaction and can mostly be avoided, it really is shocking.”
In a similar incident, Colin has also released recent images of a gannet with a fishing net around its neck on the Yorkshire Coast, taken in July.
The photography teacher said he has witnessed abandoned plastic fishing nets aggressively harming the wildlife and said such alarming incidents should be used to raise awareness.
Colin said: “The seal would have either got the net trapped around its necks whilst looking for food or whilst being inquisitive to what it was.
“The gannet would have got the net trapped again whilst feeding or gathering nesting materials.
“I have spent many years photographing and sharing images of the beautiful wildlife we have both in the UK and abroad.
“Sadly sightings of wildlife in distress has become a much more regular thing to witness now and over the last five years has been increasing at an alarming rate.
“Fishing nets and plastics are one of the biggest killers in marine life and the sheer volume of pollution is currently at an all-time high.
“With so much awareness being put out there regarding this situation, it’s time we made a difference.
“Everyone one can help, whether it’s just picking up the litter we find on our beaches or changing the ways we live altogether.
“What we can’t do is pretend it’s not happening and hope it will go away on its own.”