Thursday, 26 June 2014

Big Blue Day success for Federica!

Last Friday (20th June) Federica Squadrilli Carr held her annual Big Blue Day with her colleagues at BlackRock in London raising a whopping £5,000 including £2,500 matching from BlackRock (and she’s still counting the coins!)

Federica’s Big Blue Day comprised of a dress down day (for a £2 donation) and a raffle with prizes including a GoPro camera, goody bags donated by Nespresso and BlackRock, bottles of whisky and champagne and a pair of Goodwood tickets. Federica also encouraged her colleagues to bake cakes to sell and had also some lovely cupcakes donated by Bea’s of Bloomsbury – the cake sale alone raised over £300.

Tori Williams and Ed Santry went along to support the event giving MCS the opportunity to raise even more awareness of our work amongst BlackRock staff. Tori Williams said “It was another fantastic event at BlackRock and we really appreciate all of the work that Federica puts in to organising it each year – arranging donations of prizes, promoting the event to colleagues and of course inspiring everyone to donate on the day too. A big thank you for your dedicated support Federica!”.

Federica said “The Big Blue Day at BlackRock is always great fun to run, and I am lucky to have the support not only of the firm but of many colleagues who bake, collect money, spread the word and of course, donate! Hopefully the funds raised can help MCS achieve their goal of protecting our beautiful seas and shores for the future”.

Federica has been supporting MCS for over five years and has helped raise well over £50,000 to support our work, through her employer and colleagues.

If you are interested in organising a Big Blue Day yourself download our “How to Guide” or contact for more information.

Federica at her annual Big Blue Day at BlackRock in London.

It's a wipeout!

Pole jousting, kangaroo boxing and tug of war... a fundraiser on the beach in Falmouth!

The "Gylly Beach Wipeout", organised by Sea Champion Hattie Frisby, saw 11 teams take to a beach in Falmouth with their inflatables and fancy dress, battling it out through a tough, beach obstacle course.
Pole jousting, kangaroo boxing, sumo wrestling and tug of war were all part of the challenge!

"Everyone seemed to have a great day, and despite the forecast, the rain managed to hold out until the prize giving at the end. There was a real competitive spirit in the air for the whole event, and scores were very close!" says Hattie.

Thanks Hattie for organising such a fun event, and for raising £40 to help save our seas!

If you fancy organising a fundraiser, check out our online resources>>
The Gylly Beach Wipeout! - a fundraiser organised by Sea Champion Hattie Frisby.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Big Beach clean-up success!

Over 5,000 volunteers cleared over 24 tonnes of beach litter!

Thousands of people took the beaches and waterways for the third Big Beach Clean-up event organised with our Forever Fish partners, Marks and Spencer.

Sea Champions Atlanta, Libby and Michelle ran their own Big Beach Clean-up events, and Pat, Anna, Natasha, JoJo and Jess helped out at beach cleans across south England, whilst Margaret, Lesley, Rona, David, Leigh and Thomas helped out at beach cleans across Scotland.

Big thanks to Sea Champions Pat and Anna who kindly donned the MCS starfish and cod costumes at Uphill beach, and to Daisy for running children's educational activities.

Among the stuff our amazing volunteers bagged up were:
2,904 balloons
17,318 bottles
2,114 bags of dog poo
10,187 cotton bud sticks
1,266 tampons
331 condoms
21,385 wrappers
14,226 bits of fishing line

Thank you Sea Champions!


Monday, 16 June 2014

There’s got to be easier ways to raise money!

MCS supporter, Alex Dew, has completed the gruelling Marathon Des Sables - an ultra marathon run over six days, covering 156 miles in the baking heat of the Sahara desert.

Alex, who raised over £900 for MCS in the process wrote about his experience which sounded dreadful! Alex – we salute you!

“I didn't wash in six days. I had to poop in bags. The water I drank was filled with electrolyte tablets, which made it taste like grape juice with added bleach. My food looked like vomit and tasted awful.”

“Running on sand was painful and exhausting. My muscles tired quickly because with every step the sands shifted, forcing my feet to be thrown in different directions. Each new angle forced my feet to slip around inside my shoes, which caused skin abrasions and blisters.”

“By the end of stage two my feet had started to fall apart. I had holes in the soles of both the left and the right, and blisters on many toes. At the clinic, iodine was poured into the open wounds, the pain of which was akin to having nails driven through my feet.” 

“As the finish line approached my feet felt as if they were bloody stumps, but the sight of the end of my pain spurred me into a fast jog. Tears streamed down my face, making little rivers in the grime, as I crossed the finish line and stopped running!”

If you fancy taking on a challenge and raising money for our seas, check out our
resources for fundraisers >>

 MCS Fundraiser Alex Dew still smiling at the end of the world's toughest race!

Friday, 13 June 2014

M&S promises microbead ban in face products

High street retailer M&S have promised to take microbeads out of all their scrub products by the end of 2015. The move comes after pressure from MCS and Beat the Microbead campaign partners. We hope other retailers take note!

Thanks to all of our Sea Champions so far who've been going through their bathroom cabinets and letting us know which products do, and don't contain microplastics.

Please continue to help us put press pressure on retailers! You can use our online form to report any products containing microplastics.

Read more and get involved>>

Your bathroom products could contain microplastics, which get washed down the drain and into the sea.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Something fishy in your chippy?

Does your local chippy deserve to be rewarded for selling seafood from sustainable sources?

Sea Champions in Exeter have been encouraging their local chip shops to take part in the "Good Catch Awards" and you can too!

If you know your local chippy sells Marine Stewardship Certified seafood, or sells fish from the Marine Conservation Society “fish to eat list”, or take other steps to make sure the seafood they sell is sustainable they could be in with a chance of winning this prestigious award!

Good Catch - The Sustainable Seafood Award 2015 recognises chippies who work hard to source their seafood from fisheries and farms that are responsibly managed. This ensures future generations can enjoy one of the UK’s best dishes. The Good Catch Award is co-sponsored and co-judged by the Marine Conservation Society and the Marine Stewardship Council and is a staple category in the National Fish & Chip Awards run by Seafish.

Entries need to be received by July 31st 2014, and the chippy owner needs to register his or her business for it.

You can take this letter to the shop owner - or you could simply tell them to register at

On Twitter? You can copy and paste these tweets:

Calling all #chippies. Enter the Good Catch-Sustainable Seafood Award, judged by @mcsuk & @MSCintheUK now!


Does ur #chippie serve sustainable fish? Enter Good Catch Sustainable Seafood Awards judged by @mcsuk & @MSCintheUK

Look out for more actions in August as we'll be looking for Sea Champions to mystery shop the finalists.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Scottish carrier bag charge approved by Scottish Government - thank you Sea Champions!

We're pleased to see overwhelming support for 5p bag charge amongst politicians in Scotland, following vote in Scottish parliament. 

You hard work has certainly paid off - Sea Champions across Scotland encouraged hundreds of people to take part in the consultation to gather support for a single-use carrier bag charge.

You helped us get the word out at 160 face to face people engagement events and talks, at countless beach cleans, and at our turtles roadshow which so far has engaged over 1,100 kids, parents and teachers on the issue. We really couldn't have done this without you!

The charge on single-use carrier bags will be introduced by law across Scotland in October this year. MSPs voted overwhelmingly in favour of going ahead with the charge in the Scottish Parliament yesterday.

The 5p charge will be applied to all single use carrier bags provided by retailers to shoppers from October 20th 2014. It applies to bags of any material provided for single use, not just to plastic bags. The net proceeds from the charge will be expected to be given to good causes, according to the Scottish Government.

"It is reassuring to see just how many MSPs backed the charge, with 100 voting in favour to only 12 against," Calum Duncan, Scotland Programme Manager for MCS says. "The charge was announced over a year ago, for which MCS and partner organisations had been advocating for many years, but this overwhelming vote is a real endorsement. We look forward to recording fewer discarded bags during our Beachwatch cleans and surveys in future."

Richard Lochhead, Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment said "We want to promote the reuse of bags and other items in our society, to help get the most out of our increasingly limited resources and to cut carbon emissions. Placing a value on bags challenges our throwaway society".

A similar charge is due to be applied to plastic carrier bags in England in Autumn 2015, but MCS wants to see a commitment made for all single-use bags and all retailers, not just larger ones, to be included under this. MCS and partner organisations also want to see plastic bag use go down before this date - you can pledge to Break the Bag Habit in England.