Pembrokeshire has some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in the UK which provides habitat for a diverse range of fauna and flora. This habitat and the wildlife it supports have come under increasing pressure in recent times. Coast Care aims to involve people in caring for their local, coastal environment where volunteers can adopt a beach or stretch of coastline and carry out activities such as litter picks, dune maintenance and environmental education events.
While the impacts of litter washed up or left on our shoreline can easily be seen, the same cannot be said for marine litter that is below the surface of the ocean. Neptune’s Army of Rubbish Cleaners or N.A.R.C for short mimic the beach litter picks carried out by Coast Care groups with the only difference being they are carried out underwater! The organisation is made up of voluntary divers with a passion for keeping the underwater environment in Pembrokeshire as pristine as it should be.
Divers descend in buddy pairs armed with scissors, bags, trays, lifting bags and a great belief in what they are doing. Dives can last almost an hour in which litter is collected, bagged and sent to the surface for retrieval by a support boat. The diversity of litter found on dives is staggering with mobile phones, shopping trolleys, bicycles, revolving chairs, skate boards, batteries and quite literally the kitchen sink! The highest presence of litter is from recreational fishing with weights, rods, hooks and endless amounts of line retrieved from dives all around the county.
The impacts upon wildlife are only too apparent with fishing line often cut from spider crabs and lobsters, dog fish released from hooks and lost crab pots ghost fishing. The litter can also be a hazard to divers and other water users. Once retrieved the various items are cleaned, sorted, recorded and recycled where possible.
- NARC joins forces with Loutraki Divers to help clean Greek seas
- Neptune’s Army of Rubbish Cleaners initiative shortlisted for the Campaign for National Parks Park Protector of the Year Award
- NARC invited to launch of Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) in London
- Narc working with World Animal Protection and local fisherman
- Neptune’s Army welcomes new volunteer
- Rubbish army celebrates 10 years of underwater cleaning
- Penguins join the litter army
- Underwater litter pickers get in the driver’s seat
- NARC raising awareness of marine litter on the BBCs One Show
- 2013 goes down a one of NARC’s best clean up years