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Every year 200 000 tonnes of litter is dumped in the North Sea, causing immense damage to its flora and fauna. More than a million birds die each year after becomong entangled in floating refuse or eating it and more than 100 000 marine mammals suffer the same fate, EVERY YEAR. Litter also causes immense damage to fishing nets and huge quantities end up as unsightly heaps on our beaches. This is an enormous problem here on the west coast of Sweden as the prevailing currents carry much of the litter from the UK, Holland, Germany and Denmark to our shores. Our beaches resemble rubbish dumps every spring after the winter storms and the cost of removing it all is enormous. At last something is being done about the problem, however. The Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation is holding an international conference on the subject here in Gothenburg on December 4th and the fishing organisations of the UK, Holland and Denmark have already started a campaign, under the motto "Fishing for Litter", by which they collect all the litter that they catch in their nets for proper disposal ashore. We divers are always ready to criticise the fishing industry for its harmful practices so let us give them praise where praise is due for once!
You can read more about the "Save the North Sea" campaign here:
http://www.savethenorthsea.com/templates/hsr/HSR_StartPage.asp?id=30
 
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