Hailing a year of Sky Ocean Rescue

Richard Harrington By: Richard Harrington
Date posted: 24 January 2018

It’s hard to believe that a whole year has gone by since Sky News launched its Ocean Rescue campaign with a hard-hitting documentary about ocean plastics in January 2017. MCS staff have watched the coverage avidly, and taken part in the campaign at key times; there is no doubt that Ocean Rescue has placed plastic pollution and marine protection high on the public agenda, leading to what should be real and lasting change.

Lizzie Prior with Sky News presenter
© Sky News

We really want to thank Sky Ocean Rescue for its hard work and commitment to raising awareness on plastic pollution.

Sandy Luk,
MCS Chief Executive
Plasticus the whale
© R Harrington/MCS

Sky Ocean Rescue has been a genuinely ground-breaking campaign by media giant Sky News. The channel has devoted many hours of news time to ocean issues, and the reporting team has unearthed marine stories from around the globe. A whale stranded in Norway with a gut-full of plastic, tides of waste on the shores of Mumbai and disappearing sea ice in the Arctic have been brought to mainstream attention.

MCS Chief Executive Sandy Luk says: “People must change how they use plastics. We really want to thank Sky Ocean Rescue for its hard work and commitment to raising awareness on plastic pollution.”

Sky showed our pollution campaigns and beach litter studies from around the UK. Scotland Conservation Officer, Catherine Gemmell, has showcased issues and solutions for Sky in Scotland – she collected 30kg of litter in 30 minutes with volunteers and Sky’s chief science reporter on Arrochar beach. We’ve talked about coffee cups, microbeads and bottles to Sky’s cameras, helping make sure that politicians and businesses take note of many crucial conservation matters.

The #skyoceanrescue campaign has bucked the traditional trend of only showing shocking news from a neutral perspective. Throughout the year, they have highlighted the work of #OceanHeroes the world over, inspiring viewers and making it easy to learn how we can make a difference in our daily lives.

Sky News the company has also made its own commitments to make the marine world a better place: they’ve removed single-use plastics from their own workplaces, signed up for beachcleans and surveys all around the country, and, in August, toured with a giant whale fashioned from recovered and recycled plastic items. The whale was made from 250 Kg of plastic - the same amount dumped in the ocean each second - using material recovered from the sea, on beach cleans and from local recycling plants.

Do you want to help stop the plastic tide? We are currently calling on UK governments to put a charge on single-use plastic throwaway items

Actions you can take


Did you know?…

Litter has increased by 135% since 1994, with plastics increasing by a staggering 180%

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is thought to be 6 times the size of the UK

On UK beaches levels of litter have doubled in the past 20 years