Meet Fin the Fish, a magnificent sculpture commissioned by Yorkshire Water and the University of Hull to showcase the growing problem of plastic pollution in our seas.
Built by Godbold Blacksmiths Ltd and galvanized by Premier Galvanizing Hull, Fin the Fish acts as a receptacle for used plastic and is part of the ‘Do your bit’ campaign which encourages people to recycle plastic, reduce plastic use, and consequently make small efforts to look after the environment.
Originally installed at Scarborough’s South Bay last Summer to entice beach goers to clean up the beach, Fin is now spending his winter months at The Deep in Hull.
Fin’s Summer months proved successful. In just eight weeks, the public fed him over 6000 plastic bottles, which Scarborough Council recycled. The sheer number of bottles highlighted just how much plastic is used on a daily basis and encouraged people to think about how widespread plastic pollution is, and how much damage it causes to our marine ecosystem.
Yorkshire Water and the University of Hull are hoping Fin will have the same effect on the residents of Hull. To measure the success, local firm Biffa will record how much plastic is fed to Fin on a weekly basis, emphasising just how much plastic could have instead (possibly) entered the water courses.
As reported in an article by Yorkshirewater.com: “The University of Hull Energy and Environment Institute is researching solutions to some of the biggest environmental challenges facing the world today, from climate change and plastics to flooding and renewable energy.
Professor Dan Parsons, Director of the Institute, said: “The world has woken up to the critical issue of plastic pollution in our oceans, which is a growing challenge and is having devastating consequences for marine environments both globally and off our Yorkshire coastline.”
Fin the Fish was fabricated from steel, is 5m long and weighs 700kg.
To protect the sculpture from the elements and prevent it from rusting – especially in harsh coastal environments – it was sent to Premier Galvanizing Hull for a protective galvanized finish.
Andrew Tweddle, Commercial Manager at Premier Galvanizing said: “The environment and sustainability is important to Premier Galvanizing and we try to introduce more innovative and environmentally friendly processes at our plants on a daily basis. Because of this, it was an honour to be asked to protect the steel for Fin the Fish.”
Alex Camp, Divisional Manager at Premier Galvanizing Hull said: “We visited Fin when he was first installed at Scarborough in the Summer. It’s quite nice to see him back in Hull though for the Winter months. He has already proved popular with the locals and we’re keen to see what the final plastic count will be when he moves location in April. We hope Fin the Fish makes a difference – no matter how small – in changing the way people think about protecting the environment.”