Reclaim our Sea continues its protest with an event this Sunday (2 October). The event will see people make a human chain that will encompass as much of the coastline as possible. As a show of support and solidarity, a wave motion will pass north to south. This follows on from a previous protest which included 100 miles of coastline in the North East and North Yorkshire.
Protestors are deeply concerned about the recent die-off of marine life including crab, lobster, razor clams, seal pups and porpoises. There are also concerns about the incessant disposal of untreated raw sewage as well as dredging and levels of plastics in our seas.
Reclaim our Sea is calling on the government to reinstate effective environmental laws which are rigorously policed. They demand legislation that puts our natural habitats and human health over profit.
And the group is calling on people to join the human chain wave, saying:
“Big or small…collectively these waves make a tsunami.”
In the North East
Here in the North East of England the demands of Reclaim Our Sea remain the same.
- A halt to dredging within the river Tees until a cause of the ongoing marine die off is established
- A further investigation commenced by independent scientists.
- An overhaul of national legislation governing the sampling and disposal of dredged material
What are the protestors saying?
Sally Bunce, seal rescuer and co-founder of Reclaim our sea said:
“The seal pups born in the river Tees this summer have struggled with contagious disease and an inability to gain weight and thrive resulting in most dying on beaches or requiring euthanasia. Chemical pollution in marine habitat is known to be a cause of these symptoms due to it suppressing their immune system”
Rowan McLaughlin of South Tees Green Party said:
“We join the call for a halt to deep dredging until an independent inquiry can work out safe methods for the process. We lament the loss of life in our seas and stand in solidarity with local people whose livelihoods are threatened by the mass marine die-offs in our area “
Jane Hardy, seal rescuer and co-founder of Reclaim our Sea said:
“As an open water swimmer, I’m horrified at just how much sewage is dumped in rivers and at sea. I’m fortunate enough to be able to check an app and I know when to avoid the sea. Unfortunately, our wildlife doesn’t have access to this technology and has to somehow swim, feed, live & survive in this filthy water.”
Alison Pake, seal rescuer and co-founder of Reclaim our Sea said:
“We are seeing more people from around the country wanting to shout out and demand action to stop our seas and waterways from being poisoned with toxic waste and sewage. Something is killing the very thing that gives us life. What happened around the Tees is devastating. We see death around the shoreline frequently.”
And from the fishing industry
Stan Rennie Hartlepool fisherman said:
“We have lost an entire ecosystem. Since the dredging a year ago I’ve hardly caught any crab or lobster. I travel ten miles north to make sure what I catch isn’t dangerous to eat. Out of 140 pots I average three lobster. We are living off our savings; I’m not sure how much longer I’ll have left despite having fished all my life. It isn’t about money though…it’s about getting back our sea so it’s healthy and full of life again.”