Looe Festival of the Sea 01/05/2016

Blog by Dave Perry

Well where shall I start…..

Looe Festival of the Sea is an annual event hosted by Looe Marine Conservation Group. Fathoms Free was kindly invited (and of course accepted) to provide a stand and also a Dive for Debris. Lots of other organisations were there providing a wealth of knowledge to the general public on this bank holiday weekend.

The weather was cloudy and rain was imminent, but we had just purchased a new gazebo and even though we didn’t have a clue how to put it together or how it would cope with the weather, we gave it go.

It wasn’t that bad to put up (ok, I escaped for 30 minutes to park the car and the majority was done by Anita and Zillah) but Rob and John was on hand to help complete it with me by the time I got back.

So the gazebo was up and the decorating/setting up the display started. We had plenty of things to put inside (perhaps we need a bigger gazebo already) but we made it look fun/educational and inviting to the public, especially as the drizzle had started.

We had Anita, Zillah and Lizi manning the stand and the divers were Rob, John, Al, Simon, Jake and Roisin and myself.

Divers Jake and Roisin are students at Falmouth University studying a masters in Film and Television and wanted to do a documentary around litter in our ocean and how it is effecting the marine environment. I mentioned that our next event is at Looe and they are welcome to come along which they kindly accepted and arrived with a couple of the camera and sound crew.

Passers by were quite intrigued with our stand, we had a nurdles box, lots of fishing net draped around, the bird made from recycled items and some fun colouring in fish shapes for children who can then peg them onto the fishing net for others to see.

So the 7 divers entered the Sea for 60 minutes collecting debris. At a glance it doesn’t look like there is any rubbish at all, but when you start to look in between the rocks then that’s where we found it. There were lots of plastic tubing and other bits that had been wedged in boulders or covered in lots of sand so we was unable to retrieve these bits unfortunately.

It was a very weird feeling just getting out of the water and then a random man comes bounding down the steps, sticks his head next to mind and then takes a selfie of us both with his phone…..and then runs off!!! That’s a first for me lol.

So now all the debris that was collected had to be catalogued and weighed which Anita, Zillah, Lizi and Rob all helped to do. The total was 28.94kg and the most amusing item of debris brought up was……… a traffic cone 🙂

Well done to everyone involved, shame the weather wasn’t as sunny and dry as we had hoped but we all had fun and I’m sure the public enjoyed all the stands throughout the festival. Also a big thank you to Looe Marine Conservation Group for inviting us.

As soon as we get copies of the film documentary from Jake & Roisin and newspaper press releases, I will then upload some more here.

So until next year! Thank You

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