Litter threat to local marine life

beach clean
beach clean

DISCARDED junk from as far away as Canada has washed up on the Rye coast-line.

During beach survey for the Marine Conservation Society last month at Pett Level nearly 1000 pieces of marine litter were picked up and recorded.

Around 75 percent of all the litter was plastic which presents a threat to marine life says Andy Dinsdale, who led the survey and clean-up.

He said: “It is unsightly and a danger for marine wildlife.

“Plastic would have been in the marine environment for possibly over 500 years only being degraded into smaller and smaller pieces.

“ The origin of this rubbish may have been a mixture of beach visitors, shipping, fly-tipping, sewage related and the fishing industry.

“Not all the rubbish would have originated locally.

“Two pieces had travelled from as far as Canada One was a cup lid marked with “twin cup made in Canada”, with possibly the remains of marine animals bite marks.

“The other was a lobster trap tag marked with a tag given by the Fisheries Departments to lobster fishermen on the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S and Canada.

“It would have completed a journey of at least 2,500 miles. Rye Bay seems to be a good collecting area for these traps.

Andy added: “A big thank you must go to the 19 volunteers who helped with the survey, which can only be described as a forensic beach clean event.”

The next beach clean has been scheduled for Sunday March 30 at Pett Level.

For more information and to volunteer, contact Andy Dinsdale at or have a look at Rye Bay Beachcombing on Facebook.