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Shocking ocean debris threatens fur seals

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Shocking amounts of plastic, discarded fishing lines and cigarette butts have been found on Phillip Island beaches over the past six months.

Shocking amounts of plastic, discarded fishing lines and cigarette butts have been found on Phillip Island beaches over the past six months.

Volunteers and conservationists have cleared over 113kgs of marine debris from the island in 2020 alone.

They have found more than 13,000 hard and soft plastics, 472 metres of fishing line, 713 cigarette butts, over 1100 food packaging items and over 500 pieces of rope.

Every two months, dozens of fur seals must be rescued and cut free from ocean debris to avoid serious injury as a substantial quantity of the rubbish finds its way around the nicks or in the mouths of animals.

Marine scientist Dr Rebecca McIntosh has the grim job of cutting the seals and their pups free.

"Not all the debris comes from commercial vessels or recreational fishing," Dr McIntosh said.

"A lot of it is washed into the ocean from urban environments."

Phillip Island Nature Park is celebrating World Oceans Day by sending a stern warning about the harm of litter and waste on our wildlife.

"It's vital that we protect our ocean home on World Oceans Day and every other day," Dr McIntosh said.

"That biodiversity is so precious."

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/world-oceans-day-debris-threatens-phillip-island-fur-seals-in-victoria/0fe9b97a-42fb-40e9-bdc4-63e66ae53d92

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