SEA LIFE Blackpool Plastic Bag Amnesty

The SEA LIFE Blackpool Plastic Bag Amnesty Conservation Event Launches Turtle Fest’ 2013

SEA LIFE Blackpool is launching its annual month-long Turtle Fest’ on Monday 13 May, aimed at raising awareness of the plight of turtles across the world, with a Plastic Bag Amnesty.

The amnesty will highlight the fatal effects plastic bags have on thousands of marine animals, including turtles, which are killed each year by mistaking the bags for food.

SEA LIFE would like anyone with plastic bags lying around the house after a weekly supermarket shop or collecting under their sink or in a cupboard to bring them into the centre from Monday 13 May and SEA LIFE will recycle them correctly to ensure they do not end up in our oceans.

Hatchlings

Turtle Fest’ which runs from Monday 13 May to Sunday 2 June, will see a host of special activities staged at SEA LIFE Blackpool to highlight sea turtle conservation efforts and raise more vital funds for a new Sea Turtle Rescue Centre on the Greek island Zakynthos…paid for by donations from SEA LIFE visitors across Europe.

As well as the plastic bag amnesty, SEA LIFE Blackpool will host an array of events and activities for all the family, from a beach clean on May 23 at 2pm to daily turtle talks as well as a special Turtle Weigh-In on Tuesday 28 May at 11am.

Jenn Newton, General Manger of SEA LIFE Blackpool, said: “The plight of turtles across the globe is close the hearts of everyone at SEA LIFE Blackpool and to be able to dedicate a whole month of awareness-raising is fantastic.

“Plastic bags take years to degrade and pose a real threat to marine wildlife from birds to turtles and fish including basking sharks. We hope that by offering to dispose bags correctly that we can ensure far fewer bags are allowed to enter the ocean eco-system. ”

SEA LIFE will also renew its campaign for better protection of the vital sea turtle nesting beaches of Zakynthos.

It will ask visitors during Turtle Fest’ to sign a petition targeting the Greek Government and the National Marine Park of Zakynthos.

“We went to Brussels in 2000 demanding that protective legislation to safeguard the island’s important loggerhead turtle nesting beaches be properly enforced,” Jenn Newton continued.

“It led to the EU threatening the Greek Government with stiff sanctions if they failed to comply, and yet our allies on Zakynthos report little if any improvement.”

Zakynthos hosts more than 50-per-cent of the nests of all the loggerheads in the Mediterranean, but both turtles and beaches have come under increasing pressure from the growth of its tourist business, the majority of holidaymakers hailing from the UK.

More about Zakynthos and other sea turtle issues can be found on a special Turtle Fest page.

There are no loggerhead sea turtles at Blackpool, but visitors will get to see an alligator snapper, Mississippi map turtles, Chinese soft shell turtle and musk turtles and well as sharks, rays, Big Daddy the Giant Japanese Spider Crab and a wide variety of both native and tropical marine species.

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