Conservation groups’ beach litter appeal to help protect seals and other marine life

Residents along the East Coast are being asked to help clean up the area’s beaches.

Monday, 1st February 2021, 3:08 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th February 2021, 1:57 pm
Medics have been called out to entangled and distressed seals.

The Marine Conservation Society and British Divers Marine Life Rescue volunteers are urging people to help pick up litter which endangers seals and other marine life along the coast.

In the past two months, a team of marine medics along the coast have been called out to help entangled and distressed seals.

During the summer, seals visiting the shores of North East England were facing a different threat, with many seaside visitors approaching the animals for “seal selfies”.

The Marine Conservation Society said it strongly advises against approaching these animals – while they may look friendly, they are still wild animals.

Matt Barnes, North East volunteer and community engagement manager at the Marine Conservation Society, said: “It’s heart-breaking to see these charismatic animals injured and in pain.

“Whilst we’re able to attend callouts in the area and help put these animals on the right path back to health, we’re receiving more reports of animal entanglements.

“For anyone taking a walk on the beach during lockdown, please pick up any litter on the shoreline. We see a direct impact on sea life from litter left to be swept into the sea.

“Keeping a safe distance from animals such as seals, and ensuring that the beach is kept clear of litter are two ways to support the safety of seals and other animals which use the UK’s coastline as a refuge and resting place.”