Unfortunately, we're all too familiar with
seeing our beaches littered in plastic, although shockingly this is just the
tip of the iceberg. Using divers, Fathoms Free aim to raise awareness of the 70% of
plastic that sinks below the sea, by conducting underwater litter picks, removing lost fishing
gear and conducting beach cleans.
As part of next week's Great British Spring Clean, Fathoms Free - a volunteer marine conservation organisation - will be carrying out an underwater beach clean at Porth Gaverne in Cornwall, alongside a beach litter pick. With their dive boat, the team will be conducting underwater debris and ghost gear retrievals - this is abandoned fishing gear which keeps on killing marine wildlife for years after it is lost.
They'll also be finishing up with a lobster release from the National Lobster Hatchery. As one member of Fathoms Free says, "it’s always a real pleasure to reintroduce life after removing the threat of ocean plastic and ghost gear."
Through collaboration Fathoms Free are also working on two further environmental initiatives. They are currently recycling the marine plastics they recover from their litter picks into ocean kayaks, which can then be used as a community resource to retrieve plastics from less accessible parts of the coast. The second initiative is to help tackle the 640,000 tonnes of fishing nets that are lost in the oceans annually. They hope to reduce this by offering free recycling to end-of-life fishing nets, so fewer nets end their lives in the sea, where they continue "fishing" for years to come.
As Fathoms Free say, "the
fight against marine debris is a big one, it comes up against industry and
involves significant lifestyle change. We believe that individuals can make a difference and that by
working together to raise awareness, that we are in a position to take on what
appeared at first to be the impossible."
We are sure you'll agree that Fathoms Free are an inspiring group and very deserving litter heroes. Even if you don't want to get your feet wet, its not too late to join in with next weekend's Great British Spring Clean. You can organise your own litter pick or join in with one of the nearly 2,000 already organised around the country - either way your first step is to register at www.greatbritishspringclean.org.uk
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