Pelicans Getting Tangled Up & Dying In Commercial Fishing Nets

Pelicans are turning up dead in the Pamlico River and officials say the culprit is commercial fishing nets.

While the Division of Marine Fisheries says those nets are set legally, some people are taking matters into their own hands.

Recreational fishermen like John Miles says commercial fishermen set nets to catch fish, but they're also catching birds. He says on Monday he saw three pelicans stuck in a net and went to cut them loose. Only two survived.

According to Marine Fisheries, the nets are set legally, and it's actually against the law for anyone to cut another fisherman's net.

Miles says, "If the bird is in there, I'm going to cut it out. I'm not going to sit there and let the bird die."

Marine fisheries says fisherman are required to check their nets everyday and are limited to the amount of large mesh gill nets, like the one that trapped the pelicans, that they can set.