Sea Life Brighton Issues Urgent Plea for Ocean Pollution Prevention as Beach Cleaners are Overwhelmed by Tides of Rubbish
Sea Life Brighton has issued an urgent appeal for the public to support an ocean pollution prevention campaign after collecting a record amount of rubbish on Brighton beach.
Last week the world’s oldest operating aquarium hosted its annual beach clean, amassing 16 bags of waste weighing a hefty 73.5 kilos from a 200m area of shore between Palace Pier and the Brighton Zip.
The haul of litter totalled five times the amount collected by volunteers last year, and comes even after a ‘shocking’ amount of rubbish had already been collected in July at a beach clean hosted as part of the Barefoot Wine Beach Project. Volunteers at the Pier 2 Pier Beach Clean in August had also cleared a further 2,809 kilos of waste.
Fiona Snowdon, aquarist at the Brighton Sea Life Centre, said: “It seems that as fast as the beach is cleaned, a new wave of litter crashes onto the shore. It’s got to stop or where will it end? One day there will be more rubbish than beach!
“Our findings covered an area of 200 metres, but when you think Brighton beach is over five miles long, there could be more than 3,000 kilos of rubbish that hasn’t been collected yet that could wash into the sea – and all this after masses of rubbish was already cleared in beach cleans during the summer.”
Sea Life Brighton staff hope the worrying results from their 2017 beach clean will inspire people to take action and make a personal pledge to reduce ocean pollution on the Sea Life Trust charity’s national #teamturtle campaign website: teamturtle.sealifetrust.org/pledge.
The #teamturtle campaign encourages the use of reusable resources in an effort to prevent ocean pollution, with a focus on reducing plastic bags entering the sea. Sea turtles often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, one of their favourite foods, and ingesting them can cause the endangered creatures a long and painful death. Pledges so far include using reusable shopping bags, reusable drinking straws and reusable water bottles.
Fiona explained: “Beach cleans are admirable and we fully support them, but we see this as an important wake up call for us to raise more awareness about preventing ocean pollution as well as cleaning it up. The problem has to be tackled at both ends, or we’re really going to struggle to keep up – especially if rubbish continues to mount up like it has this year.”
“One pledge can make the difference between life and death for a vulnerable sea creature, so this is an urgent appeal for everyone to join #teamturtle and do their bit” she added.
Sea Life Brighton hosts weekly 10-minute beach cleans from 09.50am each Sunday as part of its ‘Save Our Seas Sundays’ initiative.
To find out more about marine conservation at Sea Life Brighton, please visit: www.visitsealife.com/brighton. To make a pledge to prevent ocean pollution and save the lives of vulnerable marine creatures, please visit: teamturtle.sealifetrust.org/pledge.