Mumbai Viral Video: Why Is it Not So Cool To Feed Migratory Seagulls Farsan At Marine Drive? Explained

Mumbai Viral Video: Why Is it Not So Cool To Feed Migratory Seagulls Farsan At Marine Drive? Explained

Despite repeated awareness drives to educate why it is hazardous to feed fried food to seagulls, this season too Mumbaikars continue to ruin their health by feeding them farsan

Ruddhi PhadkeUpdated: Saturday, February 24, 2024, 12:15 PM IST
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Seagulls being fed farsan at marine drive |

Mumbai: As thousands of seagulls flock to Mumbai's coastline, needless to say, marine drive has become a picnic spot for Mumbaikars, especially for morning walkers. Clicking pictures, taking selfies and feeding fried food has been an old winter tradition for Mumbaikars. However, bird lovers and morning walkers point out that the tradition is hazardous to the health of the birds and bad for marine drive's beauty. Despite repeated initiatives, the tradition continues. Here's a video that has been captured on February 24th Saturday, that catches a glimpse of it.

Why are seagulls seen in Mumbai in abundance during winters?

Seagulls are migratory birds that fly long distances to save themselves from harsh weather and also in search of fish for food. Specifically, Siberian seagulls come to Indian coasline between October to March and are seen in abundance at Mumbai's marine drive between 7am to 10 am during this period. Morning Walkers enthusiastically click pictures and feed them farsan and gathia. This has been a tradition for years together, and despite repeated awareness drives, people are still feeding fried items to the birds. It has been proven by experts that fried items are extremely hazardous to Seagulls.

Experts believe that feeding fried food or any artificial food for that matter to seagulls is hazardous to health of these migratory birds.

Here's how feeding fried food to seagulls adversely affects health of seagulls:

1) Fried food are extremely low on nutrition value.

2) Artificial food can cause long term health hazards to seagulls

3) Seagulls greedy for offered farsan often fail to save themselves from traffic, and get hit by a speeding vehicle

4) Over Crowding of seagulls causes diseases that get transmitted to other birds and to human beings too

5) Artificial feeding leads to altering the migratory behaviour of these birds

6) Environmentalists claim that the digestive system of these birds is very small and artificial or fried food can affect their internal organs and lead to health complications among these birds.

7) Seagulls gain their muscles by eating fish, worms and other insects, which completes their protein intake

8) Artificial food adversely affects digestive system of seagulls

What do bird lovers and morning walkers observe?

In 2018 BNHS had also requested the state environment department to ban the feeding of migratory birds in Mumbai and adjoining areas. In fact, when Free Press Journal spoke to a 65 yr old regular morning walker, he pointed out that Mumbai police can do very little to ban this tradition since Forest Department Officials have the authority to take the prohibitory action. He said, "Before lockdownor before the work on coastal road project began, some officials were deployed on marine drive to stop morning walkers from feeding the birds. But the efforts seem to be inconsistent as this season the practice has resumed with no concerned authority to officially object to feeding farsan to the birds. Apart from the health of the birds being deteriorated, the clean and picturesque marine drive is losing its charm as the gathia is left abandoned and the entire area is littered."

2019 Photo of prohibitory order banner displayed at marine drive

2019 Photo of prohibitory order banner displayed at marine drive |

He further said, "in 2019, a banner by forest department was displayed in Marine drive area which gave detailed explanation about the hazards of fried food to seagulls. The order made an appeal to Mumbaikars to allow the seagulls to return to their homeland safely with no health suffering. The order also warned of strict action against those who would be caught violating this order."

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