Marine specialists have launched urgent beach clean efforts, following the stark declaration of a global marine crisis. SEA LIFE Brighton will be leading a beach clean event this World Ocean Day. On Thursday 8th June, hundreds of volunteers are set to help rid the local beaches of plastic and pollution.
This comes after the WWF reported that more than half (52%) of the world’s turtles have eaten plastic waste. If things don’t change, by 2050 there could be more plastic in the sea than fish.
Every year more than one million marine animals die from plastic debris in our oceans. More than 80% of all harmful pollutants tracing back to human activities on land, according to the global conservation charity, SEA LIFE Trust.
Turtles often meet this grisly fate. They mistake litter, such as plastic bags or microplastic for jellyfish or algae, which make up a large part of their diet.
When too many microplastics are ingested, it causes internal infections, blockages and eventually death – particularly among hatchlings.
To help prevent damage to more marine creatures and to protect oceans for future generations, SEA LIFE Brighton will be targeting popular Brighton beaches which are frequently left covered in litter during the summer months.
The centre is expecting around 250 volunteers to participate over a four-hour period. Staff will also undertake the first ever underwater clean around the pier.
Globally, the SEA LIFE Trust is also ramping up its annual beach clean efforts. This year is set to be the biggest to date.
Clean-up events will kick off in New Zealand and finish in California. Over 50 different SEA LIFE attractions will participate over a 24-hour period to tackle the tidal wave of pollution across the world.
Donations to the SEA LIFE Trust are welcomed to help towards the conservation of the oceans and marine life in celebration of World Ocean Day.
Neil Harris, SEA LIFE Brighton General Manager said: “We need to act now to save our oceans, beaches and all creatures that inhabit our waters before it is too late. Every single piece of plastic ever created still exists. It is being created day by day and unfortunately large quantities end up in our oceans, harming and often killing marine creatures.
“We all need to come together to tackle the global pollution crisis. Not only for sea creatures, but to protect the global environment for future generations as well. Here at SEA LIFE Brighton, we regularly take part in clean ups on the beach ahead of opening the attraction. As well as striving to educate our visitors on the damage of plastic pollution. The beach clean set to take place this World Ocean Day is the perfect opportunity to get involved and help make a difference.”
Graham McGrath, Director at the SEA LIFE Trust, said: “It’s more important than ever that we work together to help protect our world’s oceans. They are the engines of our climate and produce half of the air we need to breathe. By looking after our seas, we’re looking after ourselves and our children’s futures – not forgetting all the marine life within it.
“What better way to make a positive difference than by joining the biggest collective beach clean in the world!
We have groups of people from one side of the planet to the other. They take a moment to collect rubbish from beaches, rivers streams and canals where they live. Rubbish which otherwise would find its way into the oceans and enter the ecosystem and our food chain – and we need to stop this!
“With each person around the world who joins this terrific event and makes one small drop in the ocean, together we can all make a giant wave of positive change!”