Volunteers collected more than five tons of plastic rubbish on the coasts of the White Sea and the Barents Sea. Such environmental clean-up activities were carried out by the expedition Chistaya Teriberka Shore 2023 [Clean Teriberka Shore-2023] on remote Arctic beaches in Murmansk region.
The Whale Protection Fund estimates that about 16 million tonnes of plastic dumped in the World Ocean every year. Most plastic waste enters the Barents Sea with the Gulf Stream and on the Arctic rivers.
Plastic is one of the key reasons for marine mammal mortalities. Whales and other mammals can confuse large pieces of plastics with food or become entangled in fishing nets.
We performed high results when cleaning 12.5 kilometers of the White Sea coast from plastic, as well as three beaches in Teriberka Bay of the Barents Sea, the project leader Ulyana Latka noted.
We took 260 bags or near 5.3 tonnes of plastic away on the seacoast. In general, we managed <…> to make the sea cleanup campaign both highly attractive and highly effective, the project leader said.
So far, the cleanup campaign took place only on three beaches of the Barents Sea. However, about 1.8 thousand similar concentration of plastic is still detected on the northern coast of the Murmansk region. The experts admit that this plastic can only be removed manually. Thus, even the world's biggest companies won’t be able to do this job.