Cullercoats campaigners help swell calls to protect world's oceans

Greenpeace volunteers and residents have taken their fight to protect the world’s oceans to Cullercoats.

Friday, 14th June 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Friday, 14th June 2019, 9:00 am
Greenpeace volunteers and residents took their fight to protect the world’s oceans to Cullercoats.

Wearing blue clothes and donning colourful face paint, dozens of campaigners have taken part in creating their own ‘human wave’ on Cullercoats beach.

The eye-catching initiative could be seen by passers-by during the awareness-raising World Ocean Day on Saturday.

The initiative was part of a UK-wide campaign calling on the government to put its full weight behind a strong Global Ocean Treaty designed to create a network of ocean sanctuaries.

The aim would be to protect marine wildlife from destructive industries around the world.

Campaigners say that healthy oceans are one of the world’s best allies against a changing climate because some of the marine life captures and stores large amounts of carbon.

But these creatures are under threat from overfishing, as well as from deep sea mining and plastic pollution.

However, currently, less than five per cent of the world’s oceans are protected from such problems.

Greenpeace supporters are now asking the UK government to drive forward the ambition at the next wave of negotiations in August.

And they hope that it will lead on to making a strong Global Ocean Treaty a reality.

One of those attending the human wave event at the weekend was Eilidh Skinner, from Tynemouth.

She said: “We’re used to seeing some pretty big waves in the North Sea, but I’ve never seen one this beautiful before.

“It is fantastic that so many people got together to show their support for a strong Global Ocean Treaty.”

She added: “As a coastal town, we know how important our oceans are for food and to protect us from climate change.

“They are also a vital habitat for the sea creatures we know and love, such as whales and turtles.

“Our government must now surf this wave of support and push for a strong treaty at the upcoming UN negotiations.

“It is vital that we protect at least 30 per cent of our oceans by 2030.”