A team from World Animal Protection UK visited Cornwall last week to collect animal sculptures from a local artist who has made them entirely from ghost gear to support their Sea Change campaign. Ghost gear is the term used for lost, discarded and abandoned fishing nets that can cause a devastating impact to marine life in UK seas.
After a series of beach clean ups around the UK –including Cornwall - in Autumn 2014, World Animal Protection collaborated with St Ives-based artist, Katrina Slack, to use the ghost gear found during the clean ups to create large marine mammal sculptures which will be used as part of a UK tour in 2015 to promote the organisation's Sea Change campaign.
Alyx Elliott, Campaign Manager for World Animal Protection UK, said: “The turn out for the beach cleans, which was organised by our partners Surfers Against Sewage last year, was fantastic. It's wonderful to now have such a visual tool in the form of these sculptures from Katrina to demonstrate the link to people as to how damaging these nets can be on our UK ocean wildlife.”
“We also chose Newquay as a target location for our current research to the problem, as it's an area which demonstrates not only the impact of ghost fishing gear, but also the many pioneering solutions-focussed initiatives. We're currently assessing the amount of ghost fishing gear in UK waters and the impact this has on marine wildlife. The research in Cornwall will form part of a bigger report, launched in June which will detail the amount of ghost fishing gear across the UK.”
Katrina Slack said “I was delighted to be asked to take part in this project for World Animal Protection as it's a cause that I feel passionately about. I've been a lifelong environmental campaigner/ artist and have worked for many years with debris washed up from beaches. It's a privilege to live near the Cornish coast and I'm saddened to think of the impact this ghost gear could be having on our local wildlife. I hope these sculptures are able to draw attention to the campaign and encourage people to think about how they can help as well as raising awareness to the real crisis our oceans and its wildlife are in.”
The three- metre dolphin and two-metre seal sculptures have returned to London where they'll be used as part of World Animal Protection UK's Sea Change campaign throughout 2015, touring the country at various events to highlight the impact of lost, abandoned and discarded fishing gear.
For more information, visit the World Animal Protection website ( formerly known as WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals):
Posted: 19 January 2015
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