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Environment / Tangled gannet sparks marine litter reminder

Photo: Jordan Clark.

A FRESH call has been made for people to do their bit in the fight against marine litter after a local man photographed a gannet which appeared to have died after becoming tangled in rope and twine.

Jordan Clark came across the bird at Mavis Grind on Tuesday afternoon.

The 24-year-old said the stricken solan showed why it is important for people to continue tackling marine litter and keep Shetland’s beaches and coastline clean.

“I saw it from a distance and was hoping it was still alive and that I could cut it loose from the nets, but as I got closer I realised it was long dead,” Clark said.

Shetland hosts the UK’s most successful community litter pick-up in the shape of the annual Voar Redd Up, which focuses on beaches, coastlines and roadsides.

It is often said that marine litter is a global problem with Shetland, as a group of islands, naturally prone to having debris washed up on its shores from further afield.

But Clark said people need to remain vigilant all year round – echoing the #2minutebeachclean movement which encourages folk to do their bit when they can, even if it is just picking up a few pieces of bruck.

“The issue of marine litter is very important to me, I spend a lot of time by the sea or in it,” he said.

“We all post pictures online of how beautiful Shetland is, but Shetland has a serious pollution problem.

“It’s not going to go away pretending it’s not there or by not doing anything about it. Pick up that little bit of litter, better yet, pick up loads of it or face losing more of these beautiful creatures. Be the change you want to see.”

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