Sea Shepherd UK volunteers spent hours removing debris and hazards such as discarded fishing net from the Bexhill coastline on Saturday 29th May. A Bexhill resident discovered the materials washed up on the shore. Unsure what to do about it, she contacted Sea Shepherd which then mobilised four volunteers to clean the area.

Tina Degner, a Sea Shepherd Regional Coordinator for the South-East, said: “A woman saw there were nets and debris on the shore, and she googled what to do – that’s how she found Sea Shepherd. I was alerted and then I made a call out to volunteers. We then went to Bexhill, not knowing what was awaiting us. It took us over four hours of digging and washing off the sand to then cutting the net”.

Clearing Beach Debris
CREDIT: Sea Shepherd

This abandoned but still dangerous fishing material is referred to as ghost net. It is important to get ghost net out of the water and off the shores. Marine mammals such as dolphins and seals can get entangled – they will drown if they can’t get back to the air. This happens with great frequency around the world. On the shore birds and creatures can get entangled – they can be predated by other animals or starve. Some dead spider crabs were found amid the hazards cleared away.

Ms Degner said: “We found net, discarded rope, plastic. Discarded facemasks are a growing problem. Birds get entangled, please cut the elastic or loops when you discard masks – or better yet use a reusable one.” 

Plastics are a threat too, the plastics do not disintegrate but will be ripped and shredded over time into small, microscopic particles. These are in the food chain for wildlife – and for us. As expected, the Sea Shepherd crew at Bexhill beach removed plastic waste too.

CREDIT: Sea Shepherd

Established in 1977, Sea Shepherd’s mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species. They use innovative direct-action tactics to investigate, document, and take action when necessary to expose and confront illegal activities on the high seas. By safeguarding the biodiversity of our delicately balanced ocean ecosystems, Sea Shepherd UK works to ensure their survival for future generations.

If you would like to learn more about the work Sea Shepherd does to protect marine ecosystems and species you can either head over to their website or visit their social media pages
on Facebook and Instagram

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