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Lanterns ‘put sea creatures at risk’
4:30pm Monday 18th March 2013 in News
PEOPLE in Dorset are being urged to stop releasing balloons and lanterns amid concerns for sea life.
The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) says the lanterns and balloons can kill or injure creatures.
MCS pollution campaigns officer Emma Cunningham said choking and entanglement are the biggest dangers that balloons and lanterns cause when they float back down to earth.
“A turtle searching for food may mistake a deflated balloon for a jellyfish and swallow it up.
“The problem is the balloon will block the turtle’s digestive system and lead to starvation and eventually death.
“Lanterns floating over the sea have been mistaken for distress flares and resulted in false alarm call outs of coastguard staff.”
From charity releases to memorial events, letting hundreds, sometimes thousands of balloons and lanterns into the sky has become common practice up and down the country.
The MCS has produced a new guide to help people understand the dangers of mass releases.
The ‘Don’t Let Go’ downloadable action pack suggests alternatives to letting go and gives tips on how to go about stopping a planned balloon or lantern release in their local area.
Visit mcsuk.org/url/dontletgo for more details.