WAZA Joins Global Partners to Battle Marine Litter

Date: 2017/08/02


WAZA joined with other key stakeholders to launch the World Aquariums Against Marine Litter campaign on 27 July in Monaco.


 Faced with doomsday scenarios that predict more plastic waste in the oceans than fish by the year 2050, the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) joined with the European Union, United Nations Environment and other key stakeholders to launch the World Aquariums Against Marine Litter campaign on 27 July in Monaco.

The campaign unites more than 80 aquariums worldwide to help reduce plastic refuse in the oceans and was introduced by H.S.H. Prince Albert II in a ceremony at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco.

"Plastics are a major threat, not only for animal species that ingest them directly, but also for the food chain of which they are a part," said Prince Albert. "This is why it is essential to utilize awareness-raising efforts on such a major issue, like the initiative bringing us together today."

WAZA Chief Executive Officer Doug Cress committed the world's leading zoos and aquariums to help reduce plastic waste through outreach programmes.
"Behaviour change is not easy," Cress said. "It takes time and patience. But more than 700 million people visit zoos and aquariums each year, and we need to take advantage of this opportunity to work together to save our oceans."

Virtually every corner of the world's oceans is affected by pollution, a growing global challenge with an acute environmental, social and economic impact.
Marine pollution provokes deep ecological shifts, great losses in biodiversity and reduced commercial yields. Contaminants such as heavy metals accumulated through the food chain or bacterial loads in coastal waters directly affect the health of millions of people.

Plastic litter and urban waste are accumulating worldwide at an alarming rate. In some areas, micro plastics already outnumber plankton by six to one.
A special exhibit was unveiled at the Oceanographic Museum that displayed marine litter dredged from the Monaco harbor, and a sculpture by French artist Philippe Pasqua of a sea turtle wrapped in marine litter was placed in one of the museum's main halls.


"Aquariums are a television screen to the ocean," said Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. "This campaign on marine litter is urgent and welcome...To bring change we must show them the reality of plastic pollution."


A number of WAZA member aquariums are included in the Global Aquariums Against Marine Litter campaign, including the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium (USA), The Deep, Bristol Zoo (Great Britain), Loro Parque (Spain), Duisburg Zoo (Germany), Ocean Park (Hong Kong), Antwerp Zoo (Belgium), and the Vancouver Aquarium (Canada).


WAZA is the global alliance of leasing zoos and aquariums with nearly 400 members in over 50 countries. For more information, please visit www.waza.org or contact secretariat@waza.org.



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