Big Spring Beach Clean 2015

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Marine Litter Crisis

Ghost Fishing Gear

#SeaChange

Our haunted oceans……

 

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What an amazing turn out and sense of achievement had by all who participated in the SAS and World Animal Protection Big Spring Beach Clean 2015. Such a friendly and energetic atmosphere meeting at the Perranporth Surf Life Saving Club, with Vita Coco supplying us free refreshments and we were not short of doughnuts and bananas from the excited World Animal Protection team. All were welcome whilst the rain and wind pushed into our extensive, beautiful and renowned dog friendly beach at Perranporth.

The World Animal Protection and Surfers Against Sewage are in my experience some of the most friendly and accessible charities to volunteer with and get involved. One can whole heartedly rely upon their dedication to the ongoing cause and best possible outcome.

 

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Dom Ferris the SAS campaigns manager engaged with all the volunteers, giving us the insight and understanding of just how much our oceans and marine life suffer. As well as our buckets, the WAP supplied separate bags to place the ghost fishing nets in, so the evidence could be weighed and tackled head on with the Seachange campaign to be taken direct to the government for action.

 

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Ghost fishing nets when lodged into the rocks and sand, are not so easy to remove, so i asked “Who do we call?” when needing some help. A perfect response…. “Ghost Fishing Busters” of course!

We proudly set off and it wasn’t before long many of us were outraged by just how much can be found when actually looking for it. I walk these beaches regularly but clearly not opening my eyes enough to this horrifying fact.

 

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So much rope from the nets of all sizes, from a few centimetres to whole nets, and millions of small unidentifiable objects discarded from the plastic manufacturing industry.

Our wildlife is no wonder suffering to the extent it is, either caught up in the ghost fishing gear or swallowing the remains of the plastic industry, something needs to change and fast. Our world is rapidly losing species, whilst the human race grows and consumerism is destroying our oceans ecosystems.

 

 

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I found ourselves clutching our buckets and bags, whilst proud of our plastic harvest. We all knew there was a competition for the most unusual waste product found. We walked towards Perran Sands, not leaving anything without natural colour and stumbled across the most woeful looking cave of brightly coloured nets and plastic.

IMG_9925Four volunteers were standing under a waterfall of rain trying their utmost to clear several enormous nets and millions of pieces of plastic caught within the cave. We jumped in to help and everyone was soaked to the bone and covered in gunge from the debris being lodged for so long. These guys were not giving up. Raking out the biggest haul of the day.

 

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A sad day in respect of the shocking amount of plastic waste but to see such a great sense of pride whilst taking on the responsibility is an enormous achievement. Isn’t attitude everything? When going for a run, taking on a challenge, or having willpower, it all starts with a good attitude and is the hardest part. Anyone who takes on the responsibility and does something about it whether part of the cause or directly affected is why a volunteer can achieve their proudest moments. 

 

 

I find myself repeating this quote:

“I wondered why somebody didn’t do something. Then I realized, I am somebody.” – Source Unknown

IMG_9955285 Volunteers contributed to the Perranporth beach clean and hauled the 2 tonnes of ghost fishing gear and plastic debris. The whole campaign currently reports 5500 volunteers and 25 tonnes of plastic and rope removed from our beaches and subsequently removing the danger that our marine-life face in their natural habitat.

The very next day I found myself walking Talland Bay on the South East of Cornwall identifying enormous levels of plastic waste.

After volunteering I am now inspired to keep a bucket in my Landrover to take on my dog walks. Could we all get into this habit on a daily basis to tackle the problem?

 

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We await with anticipation for reports from World Animal Protection and Surfers Against Sewage on how everyone’s efforts impact on government legislation for the marine litter crisis we have today.

With huge thanks to all involved and The Surf Life Saving Club who loaned the 4×4’s to help us back with what became a huge haul of debris from the fishing industry.

We can all walk the beaches in the proud knowledge that 25 tonnes of hazardous waste is off of our beaches and out of our oceans that can no longer harm our marine-life. 

 

“How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world”  Anne Frank

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