Neptune's Army of Rubbish Cleaners (NARC)
Sea-Changers Grant given:
Based in the UK, NARC carry out regular underwater clean ups. To celebrate their 12th year, Sea-Changers funded 10 underwater sea cleans within Pembrokeshire. During the dives, NARC divers removed litter such as plastic, as well as trapped lobster pots that local lobster fisherman had previously been unable to retrieve.
The grant also funded equipment, like new underwater recording slates to ensure all litter and the impact of it are recorded, and new material to display at events for awareness raising.
NARC’s project was featured by Sky News, Sky Ocean Rescue, The Telegraph and The Daily Mail.
“Neptune’s Army of Rubbish Cleaners is tackling an unglamorous and largely unseen but very harmful blight on the littoral fringes of a coastal park.”
More than 10 dives took place over the summer period, attracting more volunteers than originally intended.
A huge range of marine litter was collected, including ghost fishing gear – some of which was returned to respective local fishermen – angling gear, and other rubbish, some of which appeared to have been fly tipped. The teams also found and released a number of trapped animals, including a dogfish.
The team at NARC received national coverage of their project, and liaised with the National Trust, the Crown Estate and the BBC to raise awareness of marine litter. The new banners we funded will ensure they are instantly recognisable at future events.
The litter retrieved from these clean ups highlights the occurrence of fly tipping in the area and subsequently may encourage local communities to take an interest and pride in their local environment. This in turn will raise awareness of the impacts of marine litter.
Following the initial project funded by Sea-Changers, NARC visited Sri Lanka to partake in a number of underwater clean ups. They also continue to contribute to the International network on ghost fishing, GGGI, and became a working group member in order to exchange knowledge on worldwide solutions.