Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

March 7, 2009

Beach trash stars in "Catch of the Day" ads

Garbage at the beach may be as common as salt in the ocean, but a recent public service campaign adds a disturbing and humorous twist.

A “Catch of the Day” campaign by the Surfrider Foundation uses beach trash wrapped like supermarket fish items to educate people on the amount and kinds of pollution dumped into our seas.

Working with the global advertising firm Saatchi & Saatchi, this real trash was collected from various beaches in the U.S. The items – plastics, styrofoam and even condoms – were then offered up at farmers’ markets to make a point with the public.

Here at IBRRC, we’ve been speaking out against the constant remnants of our throw away society. If you’ve ever walked the beach after a winter storm, you’ve seen the bits of plastic debris that litter the shore. The amount of plastic is astounding. Bottle caps, toys, cigarette lighters, fishing line and other plastic garbage litter the high tide mark along many of our beaches and harbors.

Scientists have documented this surge of plastic trash in our waterways that directly affect seabirds. In many areas of the globe, birds inadvertently feed on plastic floating on the water, mistaking it for food, and many times this ingestion leads to death and even the death of their young. See photo to the right >>>

In recent reports by scientists studying the stomach contents of Laysan Albatross chicks on Midway Atoll in the Pacific Ocean revealed disturbing results. Forty percent of Laysan Albatross chicks die before fledging. Necropsies of the chick’s stomachs found them filled with plastic trash.

When you visit a beach, take time to pick up the litter left by others and dispose of it properly. To be part of the world’s largest, one-day volunteer clean up held every September, sign up for The International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) or the California Coastal Cleanup. Volunteers can show their commitment to cleaner waterways by working together to clean local beaches, rivers, lakes and canals.


Kudos again to our friends at the Surfrider Foundation, the organization working towards protection and enjoyment of beaches, sea-shores, oceans all around the world.

See more from the campaign

More info about plastics and the oceans:

What’s for dinner? (PDF download)

Birds and plastics

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3 Responses to “Beach trash stars in "Catch of the Day" ads”

  1. Arcadia Says:

    To make more profit many people are capable of many things.
    But the environment should be a constant matter, because we should take care of our home.
    If we continue scattering lefts overs or garbage the seas and the forests will be polluted, animals will die,the nature will be affected and so do we.

    Visit my blog Arcadia

  2. Fake Plastic Fish Says:

    Great post. Learning about the sad fate of the Laysan albatross chicks a couple of years ago changed my life — especially that photo of the bird carcass filled with plastic pieces. Now, I can’t walk down the street without picking up other peoples’ plastic.

    But more important is to find ways to reduce our plastic consumption in the first place. I’ve been working on it in my own life since June of 2007 and blogging my progress at http://www.fakeplasticfish.com.

    Since then, the blog has become a great repository of info on plastic-free alternatives as well as ways to reuse or recycle the plastic that is left.

    I’m just across the Bay from you in Oakland and I too was saddened by the oil spill in 2007. Would love to find ways to reach out and get more involved locally. Yes, the birds on the midway atoll need our help. But as your blog shows, birds here need our help too.

  3. Home Solar Energy Says:

    It`s going to be really hard for people to change their habits and along with the commercial side of dumping trash at sea, I expect the worlds beaches to be littered for a long time.

    It might be a better idea to push the packagers to make as much as possible degradable.

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