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SEA LIFE Porto gives new life to ocean waste in new exhibit

SEA LIFE Porto took advantage of the reopening of its doors to help raise awareness of the impact of plastic and waste on oceans and ecosystems.

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically accentuated the use of disposable materials. To warn about the potential danger of these disposables to our oceans, SEA LIFE Porto has dedicated a new exhibit to disposed COVID-19 protection materials such as face masks and gloves.

Visitors to the aquarium will be able to discover a display whose inhabitants were created from disposable material used to fight the pandemic. From fish made from masks, bottles and swabs, to starfish created from gloves and bottles of disinfectant gel, to other creatures born from the reuse of aprons, surgical sleeves, caps and disposable foot bags.

“The impact of disposable materials on our ecosystem is increasing. In 2019, we felt a great change in people's behavior and several studies have shown that society has finally begun to realize the impact of our choices. Unfortunately, with the needs created by the pandemic, we are once again increasing the use of disposable materials and this exhibition serves to alert us to the potential danger of this mass consumption. If there is no alternative, it is essential that these materials end up in the appropriate places for this purpose and not at the bottom of the oceans.”

Rui Ferreira General Manager, SEA LIFE Porto

At the same time, to celebrate World Turtle Day, SEA LIFE Porto inaugurated a new sculpture in its outdoor park. Oceana is the result of a partnership between the project Mar de Experiences and SEA LIFE Porto and aims to raise public awareness of environmental pollution, promoting reflection on the consequences of human behavior on animal welfare and biodiversity.

Inspired by one of the animals that suffer most from marine pollution, the Oceana turtle was built entirely from garbage collected on the beaches. Among the wide variety of waste collected and used in the piece, one particular item stands out as one of the most toxic debris found on our beaches: cigarette butts. In a thorough and patient work of reuse, thousands of butts were opened and glued in order to create a new texture. Equally symbolic is the rope on the Oceana fin that represents the different ways in which we can have a negative impact on marine life, in particular the suffering that, sometimes even unconsciously, we inflict on animals.

For more information visit www.visitsealife.com/porto.