COMMENT: Ram home message – but not in a bottle please

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Earlier this week hundreds of people packed the Kings Theatre, Southsea, for the annual Banff Ocean Film Festival.

The evening comprised a selection of stunning short documentaries all related to the sea.

Each delighted the audience, apart from one, which will have left everyone who saw it disgusted and perhaps more than a little guilty.

It is an award-winning yet shocking work featuring a Canadian research scientist who, in the course of her work, gently presses the stomach of a dead seabird, a shearwater. Its stomach crunched with plastic beneath her thumbs.

She then opened up the bird and out spilled the contents of its stomach including about 20 plastic bottle tops. This was not a one-off, for as the audience was told, 100 per cent of shearwaters have plastic in their stomachs.

Shocking, yes, but it will hardly come as a surprise to those of us who live in this sea-centric region who regularly witness the appalling amount of plastic either washed up or dumped on our beaches.

Sir David Attenborough stirred our awareness to this huge problem in his Blue Planet II series and the impact it has had so far, even he admits, has been astounding.

But despite that we all need to be constantly reminded about the issue – of the millions of tonnes of plastic bobbing around in our seas killing wildlife and wrecking the environment.

Which is why the appointment of Olympic sailing legend Sir Ben Ainslie and his wife Georgie as ocean ambassadors is a welcome move.

As we report today, they want the importance of the oceans to be taught in schools and given just as much prominence as lessons devoted to saving the Earth.

Who better to help ram the message home than a man who owes his livelihood to the sea. So much better than one in a (plastic) bottle.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​