Angus MP, Mike Weir, has shown his support for World Animal Protection’s Sea Change Week, at an event at Westminster.
The international charity was encouraging MPs to back the campaign, which aims 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 that has been abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded.
Most fishing gear is made out of plastic meaning that it persists in the oceans for centuries, accumulating year on year.
In the UK, seals, minke whales, seabirds and dolphins are at particular risk. The campaigning organisation dedicated the week to 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 and then dispose of it safely in a bin.
Commenting on the campaign, Mr Weir said: “Our coastal communities have a long association with fishing and, inevitably, despite the best efforts of crews some gear gets lost and ends up on our beaches. This is an important campaign to highlight the dangers such lost gear can cause and hopefully lead to greater efforts to remove it from our seas and beaches.”
World Animal Protection is also asking members of the public to email their digital postcard to the Minister for the Marine Environment, George Eustice, requesting he prioritise the impact of ghost gear.
To find out more, visit www.worldanimalprotection.org/seachange