Posted 12th February by Peter Byrne
The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales has issued a call to arms, looking for help to tackle the issue of marine litter
The Living Seas team at the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre (CBMWC) are dedicated to conserving marine wildlife in the Bay through research, raising awareness and education, which will include tackling issues such as litter in the marine environment, part of an ongoing conservation effort.
Staff and volunteers at the CMBWC have been cleaning up New Quay's beaches and the surrounding area, with a dedicated Living Seas Team of staff and volunteers hosting regular community litter picks and conducting daily beach cleans throughout the summer.
Since 2011, the team have recorded the amount of litter they collect, with categories including plastic, cigarette butts, glass, rope / fishing gear, polystyrene and more. During this time, volunteers spent over 950 hours collecting an astounding 157,736 pieces of litter, including over 50,000 pieces of plastic.
Dr Sarah Perry, WTSWW's Living Sea Science Officer, said: "Litter can be a real problem in the marine environment, not only for species inhabiting our seas but it can also be a danger to us. The majority of marine litter we collect is plastic, which can enter the food chain when mistaken for food by fish, seabirds or large animals like seals, dolphins and turtles, who can mistake plastic bags for jellyfish".
As they look to continue their ongoing efforts to support the Plastic Free New Quay campaign, the CBMWC are running beach cleans throughout 2018 and are looking for help. Dr Perry said: "Over 50 people attended our first beach clean of 2018 and we collected 25 full bags of rubbish! We’re hoping that we have another great turn out for our next clean up on Tuesday 20th February, meeting at our visitor centre in New Quay at 3pm".
You can find out more about participating in a beach clean here.
Picture courtesy of Sarah Perry