North Ayrshire & Arran MP, Patricia Gibson, has joined the Sea Change campaign to end the devastating impact of ghost fishing gear on marine mammals and wildlife.
Ghost fishing gear refers to any fishing equipment or fishing related litter abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded.
Most fishing gear is made out of plastic and persists in the oceans for centuries, accumulating year on year. World Animal Protection estimates that more than 136,000 seals, sea lions and large whales are killed by ghost fishing gear every year. An unimaginable number of birds, turtles, fish and other species are also injured and killed. In the UK, seals, minke whales, seabirds and dolphins are at particular risk.
The campaigning organisation is encouraging local beach users, coastal walkers, divers and ocean lovers to send evidence of ghost fishing gear that is littering their local coastline.
They asked the public to look for any type of fishing litter, such as rope or netting, collect it, upload a quick photo to their website, below and then bin it. The photos will be used when meeting with Government to discuss the devastating impact of this environmental problem.
Alyx Elliott, UK Sea Change Campaign Manager at World Animal Protection said:
“We are grateful that Patricia joined us during our time at Parliament and is supporting our Sea Change campaign.”
“I am grateful to World Animal Protection for highlighting this little known environmental hazard.
“Ghost gear is one of the biggest threats to sea life. Whales, seals, turtles and birds can suffer slow and agonising deaths when they get trapped in ghost nets and other types of fishing litter.”
To find out more and how to log the ghost fishing gear you find on the beach or coastal environments visit www.worldanimalprotection.org/seachange