Words by Smiley Team
Watford FC goalkeeper Ben Foster has prevented over 1,000 footballs from entering the net. It’s this same number of sea creatures that the football star now aims to save from an entirely different kind of net – fishing nets.
Supporting the charity Whale and Dolphin Conservation, the star is raising awareness for its campaign, Not In Our Nets! Together they aim to prevent more than 1,000 whales and dolphins from dying in fishing gear by calling on ministers to support better industry regulations.
“It’s my job to keep things out of nets – to make important saves,” Ben explained.
“So I got involved with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation #NotInOurNets campaign to use my role in football as a platform for change, to help save whales and dolphins and keep them out of nets.”
Globally, fishing nets are the single-biggest cause of death for large sea creatures, killing hundreds of thousands of whales, dolphins and porpoises every year.
To turn this around, the British government has already promised to support threatened sea creatures in law. After the UK left the EU, Whale and Dolphin Conservation successfully pressured ministers to create the Fisheries Act 2020, which included a pledge to stop dolphins, whales and porpoises from dying in fishing gear.
To translate these promises into action, the conservation charity is urging fisheries ministers to introduce a range of new policies. These would involve less dangerous fishing gear, no-fishing zones and restrictions to protect sea life in specific areas at times of the year they are more likely to get caught in nets.
“Too little has been done for too long,” stated the charity. “We need a sense of urgency from governments that have dragged their feet on this. We need ministers to set clear and ambitious goals to prevent bycatch and timelines for achieving these goals. We need solutions, not more talk.”
TAKE ACTION: Tell ministers you want action to protect whales and dolphins, with an email or tweet.
DONATE: Help make the ocean a safer, cleaner home for sea creatures. Donate to Whale and Dolphin Conservation.