CMS, ASCOBANS Event Focuses on Marine Debris and Migratory Whales and Dolphins
18 March 2014: The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and the Agreement on the Conservation of Small Cetaceans of the Baltic, North East Atlantic, Irish and North Seas (ASCOBANS) sponsored, with support from Defra, UK, WhaleFest 2014, to celebrate whales and dolphins. The main theme of the event focused on the issue of marine debris.
WhaleFest 2014, held from 15-16 March in Brighton, UK, brought together exhibitors from all over the world, celebrities and world class experts, to learn about the work of charitable organizations, and discuss marine life and its challenges, among different activities.
Participants were educated on the threats posed by marine debris, especially to migratory species that may become entangled or ingest plastic waste, discarded fishing gear as well as any other type of waste that ends up in the ocean intentionally or unintentionally. They also learned about the dangers of microplastics, very small pieces that can be swallowed and contaminate the food chain. ASCOBANS and CMS also distributed a leaflet titled 'Oceans Full of Plastic,' which contains tips on how everyone can be part of the solution, including cutting open any closed plastic loops, and participating in local clean-up events along coasts and waterways. [CMS News] [ASCOBANS website]