Protesters who took to the water in Cornwall for a marine protest have said G7 leaders need to take “radical action” to save the world’s seas.
According to organisers Surfers Against Sewage, more than 1,000 people joined the demonstration on the sea at Gyllyngvase Beach near Falmouth, less than an hour’s drive from Carbis Bay where the G7 summit is being held.
Surfers, kayakers and swimmers gathered in the sea carrying placards calling on world leaders to “save our seas”, while a giant inflatable shark even joined the display.
Hugo Tagholm, chief executive of Surfers Against Sewage, told the PA news agency: “We’ve seen in the pandemic that they can mobilise huge amounts of money and collaborate to create vaccines in just a year.
“But they need to act with the same urgency for the nature, biodiversity and ecological crisis.
“Now’s the time for radical action – business as usual is killing planet ocean.”
Mr Tagholm, from Truro in Cornwall, said the support at Gyllyngvase Beach shows “how much love there is” for the ocean and the fight against ecological decline.
The 46-year-old said governments need to act by protecting 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030, cut plastic waste and put a halt to damage caused by the fishing industry.
“There have been positive announcements from the Government this week on the piloting of highly protected marine areas in a small number of zones – but we need this to go faster,” he added.
Joe Turnbull, from Falmouth, joined the protest and said there was an “amazing and friendly atmosphere”.
“Living in Cornwall I always feel acutely aware of the environment all around us,” the 28-year-old told PA.
“You far too often see plastic on the beaches or in the sea when out swimming and paddle boarding… yet governments around the world always seem so slow to act or drive change.
“Action is needed now to prevent the climate catastrophe we are hurtling towards, and with the G7 in town this was the perfect time to make our voices heard.”
Mr Turnbull said his partner is a climate scientist, adding: “So this isn’t just something we believe in because of the media, but because it’s what the science says is happening.”
Nearby, Oxfam campaigners posed as G7 leaders on Swanpool Beach.
The charity has called on G7 leaders to commit to cutting emissions further and faster, and to provide more finance to help the most vulnerable countries respond to the impacts of climate change.
Earlier this week, the Prince of Wales urged G7 leaders to display the same sense of urgency in tackling climate change as they showed in tackling the pandemic.