‘As you approach the island it appears covered in snow, but as you get closer, the vivid blue and orange colours of the net and fishing line become apparent.  This is literally a nature reserve covered in plastic’

David Jones – Environmentalist

Grassholm Island off the Pembrokeshire Coast is a sanctuary for wildlife and a nature reserve.  However we had heard that there was a problem so we went to take a look.

The island is home to a large colony of Gannets as well as other birds such as Guillemots.  However, over the last few years the island has changed – due to plastic fishing line and netting.  The birds collect the plastic pollution from the ocean and use it as nesting material.  As a result the island has become transformed, turning into a vivid blue and orange landscape.  It has literally become a nature reserve covered in plastic.

Gannet strangled by plastic

Unfortunately, while it might be convenient for the birds to pick up, the monofilament fishing line and netting material also creates a dangerous environment, trapping many bird and causing injury or death.  Discarded fishing line in the ocean lasts for hundreds of years and once picked up by ocean currents is distributed around the world.  Unless we somehow regulate the disposal of this product it will always pose a threat to the environment

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