Education & Awareness

Blue Marine Foundation

The Solent Oyster Restoration Project is led by marine conservation charity Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) and is restoring the native oyster (Ostrea edulis) to the Solent. BLUE is working with a fishermen, scientists, authorities, local businesses and the communities of the Solent to carry out this work and has so far restored over 20,000 oysters!

More information can be found on BLUE’s website: http://www.bluemarinefoundation.com/project/solent/

BIG FISH PROJECT

 

Long before Blue Planet was aired on TV, the artist Kevin Dean was becoming increasingly concerned about the amount of plastic waste that was being washed up on the beach near his home in Southsea, Portsmouth. He began designing a large stainless steel fish sculpture, 6 metres long and based upon the sea bass, a species that is often caught in the Solent.

Named The BIG FISH, the sculpture’s belly would be partly exposed to reveal a typical range of plastic rubbish that could be collected from Southsea Beach. The concept was readily adopted by Portsmouth City council and several sites for siting The BIG FISH on Southsea Seafront were suggested.

However, Kevin began to realise the difficulties of funding such a project and the technical demands of building such a large structure. In 2017 Kevin met Rafael Klein an international sculptor with a track record of creating large public sculptures.

Together they have devised an exciting public engagement project and refined the methods required to build the sculpture. They have created partnerships with the University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth City council and Aspex Gallery Portsmouth.

In many ways the sculpture itself will be the final flourish of an extensive public engagement programme that seeks to support and add to the growing awareness of plastic waste in our seas.

Some funding has been raised, but more will be needed, however there has been so much support for the project that the artists are very optimistic about it being built and look forward to presenting The BIG FISH to the general public for the first time at The Portsmouth Seafood Festival on 30th June – 1st July.

Kevin Deans first sketch of the sculpture and an artist’s impression of the fish in which will be seen at Portsmouth Seafood Festival 2018.

Final Straw Solent

The UK and USA throw away 550 million plastic straws A DAY. These straws are, on average, used for 20 minutes before they are tossed in a bin (or, unfortunately, on the floor). It is estimated that a straw will take over 200 years to break down – that straw you used last week will be around long after you are! And before they start to break down, they can pose a threat to wildlife (for example, this turtle video is upsetting viewing). When the plastic eventually starts to break down, it becomes tiny bits of microplastic that can be eaten by marine animals. There is some evidence these microplastics have entered our food chain. And plastic acts like a magnet for chemicals, it adsorbs and holds them so that if they are ingested they cause even more problems as the chemicals are released.

It can all feel a bit overwhelming, so we have decided that we need to focus on the small things we can do to make changes.

REFUSE STRAWS. Most people do not need a straw, and if you do then why not use a paper straw or reusable metal one. If you are offered a straw in a cafe, bar or restaurant, just say ‘no thanks!’.

USE REUSABLE BAGS. Plastic bags are not very strong anyway and can get blown into the countryside, waterways or the sea so easily. There are loads of interesting, cool, fun or pretty reusable fabric shopping bags around, so why not take one of those with you every time you go shopping, rather than asking for a plastic one?

Simply, if it’s plastic or wrapped in plastic, think about viable alternatives. Refuse that straw and any other unnecessary plastic, spread the word and help save our planet!

Southern IFCA

Southern IFCA is one of 10 IFCAs that manages the marine inshore environment around the coast of England. The Southern IFCA District stretches from the Devon/Dorset border in the West to the Hampshire/Sussex border in the East and covers the combined areas of the relevant councils as well as the entire Dorset, Hampshire and Isle of Wight coastline out to 6 nautical miles from baselines. The Southern IFCA borders the Sussex IFCA to the east and the Devon and Severn IFCA to the west. Southern IFCA aims to lead, champion and manage a sustainable marine environment and inshore fisheries, by successfully securing the right balance between social, environmental and economic benefits to ensure healthy seas, sustainable fisheries and a viable industry.

www.southern-ifca.gov.uk

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