Sea can only take so much


It seems that those persons unknown have now been identified by the authorities and have been offered ‘words of advice’ by the police.

I hope that those words included the phrase ‘do that again and we’ll nick you’ – or something very like it. I also hope that if anyone else pulls a similar trick involving wanton littering at the same or any other location the words of advice will be spared in favour of prompt prosecution.

In the wide open spaces of the Sahara or Outer Mongolia the environment might be able to stand a bit of despoliation by human hand – though it’s to be strongly discouraged everywhere – but in 45-square-mile Jersey it just ain’t on.

And that also applies out on the far more than 45 square miles of water that surround us.

Just because the sea is big, it doesn’t mean that it can absorb and, through the processes of natural decay, neutralise anything that irresponsible humans choose to throw into it.

As the saying goes, ‘the sea is not a dustbin’. But wise and appropriate as that saying undoubtedly is, some folk just don’t get the message, do they?

I was told that the other day, when the sun was shining and the ocean was flat as a fluke, a team of anglers fishing for black bream off Bonne Nuit were discarding fag packets and beer cans into the briny almost as fast as they were hoisting fish over the gunwhale.

No pictures of their misdeeds were taken, the miscreants are unlikely to be identified, and they are even more unlikely to be offered words of wisdom by the boys in blue.

However, on the off-chance that any of the Bonne Nuit litter bugs are reading this, I’d like to think that they might take the trouble to learn something about the awful impact that human waste of all sorts is having on the world’s oceans. Plastics are the biggest villains, but, my friends, if you think that your packets and your cans are making no difference because salt water will soon reduce them to pulp and aluminium salts, think again.

How much pollution do you believe the sea can safely accommodate?

Oh, and here are my additional words of advice. As accident statistics affirm, beer and boating have a nasty habit of equalling death by drowning.


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