Young Strandliners find dangerous invaders!

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I have recently been participating in a group of ‘young’ litter-pickers and pollution recorders, a youth version of Strandliners. We have come together for our first two events, and already our group is growing!

Our second meeting was on Saturday, September 23. Before we even started our 100 metres survey of litter on the beach at Pett Level, my sister found a Portuguese man o’ war. It is incredibly rare to be found on the south coast. My sister thought it was litter!

From the photo you can see that it looks like a balloon, or perhaps some discarded plastic packaging. The tentacles had been lost, probably ripped off in storms, and it’s ‘sail’ was deflated inside itself, leaving a multi-coloured balloon shape of air. Although dead, it is still highly poisonous, so it was lucky that my sister picked it up with her litter-picker grabber!

Apart from the man o’ war, we also collected several kilograms of litter, including shoes, cigarettes, cans, wrappers, dog poo bags and more.

Please be aware of the Portuguese man o’ war. They look like a harmless balloon, but it is important to not touch as they are very dangerous – Portuguese man o’ war – Wikipedia.

Numbers washed ashore on beaches in the UK have risen, probably due to climate change – in Wales they are putting up signs to warn the public as it has become a concern. You can find out more here:

Why sightings of Portuguese Man o’ war are rising on UK coasts | The Independent

Visit this website to find out more on Young Strandliners (for 10-18 years olds) and how you can take part – Young Strandliners – Cleaner Rivers, Cleaner Seas

Image Credits: Xavier Marrs .

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