To mark World Ocean Day on June 8th, SEA LIFE centres across the UK and Ireland have filled empty habitats with plastic waste to demonstrate the reality of what lies within our waters.
World Ocean Day is an international day that aims to increase public interest and awareness in the protection of the ocean and the sustainable management of its resources, so SEA LIFE wanted to ensure the message was made loud and clear of the true threat to the world we live in.
With more than eight million metric tons of plastic dumped into our oceans each year, it is predicted that by 2050, ocean plastic will outweigh all the fish in the ocean*. This frightening fact is one of the reasons SEA LIFE wanted to create these shocking displays within its centres, to remind people of the harsh reality of ocean pollution to help ensure this doesn’t continue.
The plastic pollution displays have been constructed at SEA LIFE Centres in Birmingham, Manchester, Loch Lomond, London and Bray, meaning visitors can get a first-hand glimpse of the full extent of the issue. As plastics don’t break down easily, they cause huge damage to the natural environment, and it is often mistaken as food by marine creatures.
Craig Dunkerley, spokesperson for Sea Life, said: “Ocean pollution is one of the biggest environmental issues in the world right now. The amount of plastic waste in our waters is constantly rising and there needs to be more awareness of the damage we are doing to our planet. The constant flow of rubbish filling our oceans becomes life threatening and risks damaging the creatures’ habitats.
“We wanted to bring to light what is found on our seabeds in the hope that this will help protect our oceans and our beloved sea creatures. By filling these tanks with plastic, we hope they can act as a reminder to everyone that action needs to be taken to prevent the state of our oceans worsening.”