Been fishing? Please participate in our survey
Slains School pupils enlisted to help protect our sealife
Pupils at Slains Primary School had a visit last Thursday from ‘Freddie the Fulmar’ and heard all about how marine litter is harming our sealife. During the session, they heard how plastic breaks down in the sea into small pieces which last a long time and are easily mistaken by seabirds for food. Over 3 million seabirds, including 500,000 fulmars, visit Scotland to breed every year.
Fulmars forage exclusively at sea, capturing prey from the sea surface. They frequently ingest floating marine litter, including plastic objects, confusing them with food. Unlike most seabirds, fulmars do not regurgitate plastic particles but accumulate them. Ingested plastics reduce food intake and the bird’s ability to process the food, leading to a deteriorated body condition often associated with increased mortality and reduced breeding success. 98% of northern fulmars now have plastic in their stomachs. The children also heard how plastic bags are mistaken for jellyfish and eaten by sea turtles.
After examining a range of marine litter collected from Collieston Beach, the children made some great suggestions for helping to solve the problem – from more bins to beach cleans to the recruiting ‘litter police’. At the end, they discussed KIMO UK’s ‘Pick up 3 Pieces’ initiative. This simple initiative invites visitors to beaches to make a difference by taking just three pieces of litter home every time they visit. If everyone in Scotland’s coastal communities did this every month, 55 million pieces of litter would be removed from our beaches.
If want to get involved with Pick up 3 Pieces, visit www.pickup3.org.uk. The initiative is being promoted as part of KIMO UK’s Fishing for Litter project and is just getting underway.