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British beaches and wildlife under threat from tide of litter

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As more visitors flock to the English coastline, the Marine Conservation Society and coastal councils call on British public to play their part.

Since the lifting of lockdown restrictions, local authorities from around England’s coast are reporting unprecedented levels of litter. The Local Government Association Special Interest Group on Coastal Issues, alongside the Marine Conservation Society, is calling on the public to help protect the UK’s coastline this summer.

The LGA Coastal SIG has received numerous reports of high levels of discarded PPE such as single-use masks and plastic gloves along British beaches and in the water. Additionally, unprecedented levels of illegal “wild” camping have caused issues with human waste and toilet paper/wipes on our coast, as well as incidents of fire damage and injury from camp fires and BBQs.

This increase in single-use litter and pollution not only poses a threat to amazing British wildlife, but also blights the beautiful English coastline for other visitors and locals. In addition to well-publicised single-use litter like plastic bags, local authorities are reporting an increase in PPE related litter, with plastic gloves and masks adding to beach pollution. Much like other single-use litter, PPE poses a threat to marine life which can be entangled in it, or ingest it.

Local authorities are working hard to tackle this issue by increasing the number of bins and litter patrols on British beaches, and increasing toilet provisions in line with social distancing. However, every person visiting England’s outdoor spaces this summer can help.

Councillor Ernest Gibson, Chairman of the Local Government Association Special Interest Group on Coastal Issues: “Local authorities are working extra hard in these difficult circumstances by providing more bins and litter patrols, but people must start taking responsibility for their own litter. No one wants their children to be swimming in a sea full of used masks or burning their little feet on a discarded BBQ – put your litter in a bin or, if the bin is full, take it home with you.

For those who want to do more, the Marine Conservation Society’s annual Great British Beach Clean, running from 18th – 25th September, needs more organisers than ever to adopt a 100 metre stretch of beach to clean and carry out a litter survey.

Lizzie Prior, Beachwatch Officer at the Marine Conservation Society: “Every year, the Great British Beach Clean is a fantastic opportunity for us to get a sense of what litter is blighting the coastline, thanks to our litter survey. Data from the surveys have helped us push for policy change including the 5p plastic carrier bag charge. Taking part in this year’s events as an organiser is a fantastic way to protect your local beach, support your local community and help gather important data for our future policy work.”

To become a Beachwatch Organiser please visit the website here.

Find information on the Source to Sea Litter Quest here.

For more information or to contact the Marine Conservation Society please visit www.mcsuk.org

For more information on the LGA Special Interest Group on Coastal Issues, please visit www.lgacoastalsig.com

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

Gear News

Introducing the Mares Magnetic Connector BCD Accessory

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The innovative magnetic securing system by Mares is the ultimate way to connect your diving accessories and equipment. Gone are the days of dangling hoses and lost dive lights. The Magnetic Connector is a versatile and unique system that includes many uses such as an octopus and console holder, torch/dive light hook, camera attachment, and much more!

The Magnetic Connector’s simple yet effective design allows you to quickly find the connection site,
especially when the connection point is not easily visible. The audible “click” of the attachment
also lends assurance that everything is securely connected. The advanced engineering of the
mechanical closure system locks the fastened item in place safely and reliably. It can hold over
60kg (132 lbs.) of equipment.

The Magnetic Connector’s compact design not only keeps your diving accessories secure but as
streamlined as possible. In fact, the Magnetic Connector is even shorter than a double-ended
carabiner and just as easy to install. By simply unscrewing the connector’s head, the threaded pin
can easily connect to all BCD D-rings.

Another valuable benefit is its 360-degree free rotation, which allows for the perfect placement of
your equipment and accessories. The free-swiveling ball head also allows the connector to tilt in
every direction for maximum comfort. The Magnetic Connector is currently available in two color
options, black and yellow.

Although it is rugged and extremely secure, Mares still made it easy to use by allowing divers to connect and disconnect their equipment to it, not just single-handedly, but with the use of only two fingers! The Magnetic Connector is simple, quick, and safe. It unlocks quickly even under a full load and is the smartest alternative to a carabiner.

Features:

  • SIMPLE AND SECURE
  • FAST AND EASY MAGNETIC CONNECTION
  • SINGLE-HANDED USE
  • 360° FREE-SWIVELLING
  • SAFE UNLOCKING, EVEN WITH A FULL LOAD
  • DESIGNED TO ATTACH TO ALL BCD D-RINGS
  • HIGH-QUALITY, STURDY MATERIALS

For more information visit the Mares website by clicking here.

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Gear News

Hammond Drysuits launch CoreTek Base

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For those times when you need to layer up, or for warmer days when you need something lighter just to take the cool edge off the air temperature, the next must have item for your kit bag is the CoreTek Base from Hammond Drysuits.

The CoreTek Base has been designed to be worn next to the skin. It is the perfect extra layer for those cooler days, and the ideal layer on its own for the warmer ones.

CoreTek Base features:

  • 100% Polyester for easy care
  • Snug fit for superior warmth
  • Brushed fabric for maximum comfort
  • Longer length to remain tucked in to keep warm

Our three-piece undersuits, CoreTek and CoreTek X, have been well received by customers since their launch in 2018,” comments Chris Hammond Managing Director for Hammond Drysuits. “Customer feedback has resulted in us reviewing the layers in order to extend the temperature range they are
effective in. As our clients sail and scuba dive around the world, water and air temperatures vary, and this is the layer we have been missing from our product range.”

Sizing: Unisex Small, Medium, Large, X-Large and XXL
Available: Now
Price: £14.95

For more information visit the Hammond Drysuits website by clicking here.

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Competitions

Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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