Ocean Blues at the Brighton Museum

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Following the success of the run in the Spotlight Gallery at the Brighton Museum, we are pleased to announce that Ocean Blues is now continuing until June 2016. Our oceans are home to over half of all life on earth, they cover 70% of the earth’s surface and have supported life for millions of years. However, the last century has seen our oceans face problems it has never faced before. Man-made problems caused by the inventions of plastics, industrialised methods of fishing and pollution. Ocean Blues looks at the threats to the oceans and how we are acting to try and change that with the likes of marine conservation zones and recycling programmes.

The exhibition looks at the problems the marine environment faces, separated into three themes; overfishing and bycatch, pollution and conservation. The overfishing and bycatch section of the exhibition looks at the destructive impact large scale commercial tuna fishing has on other species. It also looks at other fishing methods that are just as destructive. The second section of the exhibition looks at plastic pollution as one of the greatest threats faced by the sea today. Almost every piece of plastic ever made is still in existence somewhere on the planet, never rotting away but breaking up into smaller pieces. There have been many issues faced with the increased levels of plastic production, from large chunks of plastic choking wales, to the micro-plastics being washed up upon our shores. The section also looks at the contribution pollution has had on the piracy off the coast of Somalia.

Of course, there is something positive in the exhibition. It looks at more sustainable practices we are doing both locally and internationally, such as new technology and different methods to ensure the number of other species bycaught reduce drastically. There is also a focus on Marine Conservation Zones. Brighton is very lucky in that one of the first Marine Conservation Zones actually streches from Brighton Marina to Beachy Head. Ocean Blues looks at the species that will be protected if they look to extend the Marine Conservation Zone to Hastings. The museum also looks at the methods to reduce plastic waste from entering the environment, such as developing new materials.

The exhibition uses large quantities of things that have not been display either since entering the museum or since the mid-20th century. For example, a three month old albatross chick, seal and dolphin skeletons, and an otter. There is also a replica killer Whale skull and video footage provide by Greenpeace and the Plastic Oceans Foundation. There is so much to see in this educational and inspiring exhibition, so if you haven’t gone already, it would be something great to do in the New Year. To find out more about the exhibition click here.

Holly Martin


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