As part of World Animal Protection’s Sea Change Week, the international charity was at Westminster encouraging MPs to take action for marine animals.
Ogmore MP Huw Irranca-Davies has backed World Animal Protection’s campaign to end the devastating impact of ghost fishing gear on marine mammals and wildlife. Ghost fishing gear refers to any fishing equipment or fishing related litter that has been abandoned, lost, or otherwise discarded, also referred to as ‘fishing litter’.
Most fishing gear is made out of plastic which remains in the oceans for centuries, accumulating year after year. World Animal Protection estimates that more than 136,000 seals, sea lions and large whales are killed by ghost fishing gear every year.
During the week, the organisation also travelled to Wales to highlight the important work being undertaken by Welsh fishermen exploring new methods for reducing the ghost fishing potential of lost pots and traps.
Mr Irranca-Davies, recently elected Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, has a keen interest in marine biology, and has joined World Animal Protection on several beach clean-ups.
Mr Irranca-Davies said, “Often, we do not think of the effects our actions have on marine animals. It is crucial that we take steps to spread awareness and protect our sea life.”
Alyx Elliott, UK Sea Change Campaign Manager at World Animal Protection said, “Ghost gear is one of the biggest threats to sea life. We are grateful that Huw joined us during our time at Parliament and is supporting our Sea Change campaign.”
To find out more about the campaign, visit www.worldanimalprotection.org/seachange