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The storms have carried objects thousands of miles from America

By cg_ailsam  |  Posted: February 05, 2014

  • A grey nickarnut seed pod from the Caribbean

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During the storms a collection of objects have travelled thousands of miles and have been washed up on the Cornish coast.

Claire Wallerstein, of Rame Peninsula Beach Care (RPBC), found a lobster pot marker buoy from Rhode Island, America, that had travelled to the beach at Tregantle, in Whitsand Bay.

Other objects found include a grey nickarnut, which is the seed pod of a plant that grows into a six-metre high vine from the Caribbean, and lobster pot tags from North America.

Ms Wallerstein said: “Using the photograph and registration details on the buoy I was able to send out an appeal to other beachcombers online to track it back to where it had come from.

“This is quite a find, but by no means unprecedented- we pick up lots of items, for example lobster pot tags, that can be clearly traced back to America.

“All these things show just how easily stuff floats across the Atlantic to reach our shores, and you have to wonder how many more items - which cannot be identified - have also come from across the sea.

“We pick up thousands of pieces of plastic shotgun wadding on our local beaches.

“The numbers seem to be too high for these to have come from local sources or cruise ships doing clay pigeon shoots off the stern.

“It seems very likely that many of them will have floated here on the North Atlantic Drift from the annual hunts in Newfoundland and Labrador in which hundreds of thousands of guillemots are killed.

“In the UK, people using shotguns over farmland often have to use biodegradable (felt or cardboard) shotgun wadding, to prevent cattle from eating them and dying.

"It's a shame there isn't the same concern about these things getting into the sea, where hundreds of thousands of creatures are killed each year by mistakenly eating plastic.”

According to Ms Wallerstein she has found pieces of lego from the Tokio Express.

It was a ship travelling from Rotterdam to New York that was hit by a freak wave off Land's End in 1997.

It shed a lot of containers - including one filled with millions of pieces of Lego.

Plastic does not biodegrade, and many items will take hundreds of years or more to break down.

This means the amount of plastic in our seas is increasing dramatically, with plastic found on our beaches having increased by over 120 percent in the past 15 years, according to Ms Wallerstein.

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