Whilst we await the concluding comments from the WDCS team in Jersey (well one of them is still there propped up on the beach in the pouring rain), here are some pictures of marine debris found by colleagues during the IWC's Scientific Committee in Arctic Norway. Pierre Gallego, the Alternate Commissioner for Luxembourg is shown to provide scale.
And why were we making a fuss about marine debris this year at the IWC? Because it is everywhere in the seas - even here in the Arctic - and it is a growing, global problem. Human detritus dumped from vessels and sea platforms, blown from landfills, spilling from industrial outfalls and discarded by coastal communities does not just foul beaches and threaten human health and safety. As it pervades the sea, it kills or maims countless marine animals through entanglement or ingestion and destroys wildlife habitats by smothering the seabed and disturbing benthic communities by mechanical scouring. Pieces of marine debris can also transport invasive species between oceans and facilitate the transfer of persistent organic pollutants into the food web.
You can find out a little more about the debris threat here.
Stay tuned - final comments on IWC 63 coming shortly.
And whilst you are waiting, we can also recommend a new book to you that many of the IWC delegates have contributed to and which looks at many of the issues discussed in and around the whaling commission: 'Whales and Dolphins - Cognition, Culture, Conservation and Human Perceptions' was published by Earthscan just a few weeks ago. More information here. The contributors include the alternate Commissioner for Argentina, the ex-Commissioner for the UK, long-standing members of the UK and New Zealand delegations and NGO experts from Norway, the UK, Canada and many others.