UK plastic pollution captured by underwater photographer

10th April, 2019

Underwater photographer Zena Holloway has released a short film and photography series highlighting the pollution problems facing our freshwater environments.

“Being able to explore underwater with a camera puts me in a special position to capture the good, the bad and the ugly truths about what human impact looks like,” said Zena.

The project took Zena as far north as the Fairy Pools of Skye and as far west as the River Dee in Wales. Other filming locations included the River Tame in Manchester (found in a recent study to contain more than 1,000 pieces of microplastics per litre), River Dove in the Lake District, Great Stour in Canterbury and the Dour in Dover.

“I’d be delighted to see this project used in the fight to reduce pollution and connect more people to Britain’s remarkable rivers,” said Zena.

A 2018 report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) examining the impact of human consumption and activity on the environment, found freshwater habitats lost 83 percent of their vertebrate populations between 1970 and 2014. “Freshwater habitats, such as lakes, rivers and wetlands, are the source of life for all humans yet they are also the most threatened,” the report stated. Pollution was identified as a key threat, along with climate change, habitat modification, invasive species, overfishing and disease.

As the issue of plastic pollution continues to escalate, campaigners are finding creative ways to raise awareness.

Recently, synchronised swimmers Kate Shortman and Isabelle Thorpe performed their World Championship routine in a swimming pool filled with plastic, to demonstrate the challenges facing marine life.

Liz Lowe

Cry Me A River by Zena Holloway

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