The Plankton Not Plastic project by Rachel Brooks Art


As an ocean artist, wildlife guide, scuba instructor and advocate I spend a lot of my time in and on the water. I have travelled and worked in many beautiful parts of the world, but everywhere I go there is a common problem, and that is plastic. We have all heard the projection that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea, but have you stopped to really imagine the gravity of that fact? 
The IUCN estimates that at least 14 million tonnes of plastic enter our oceans each year, so what can we do about that? 


Seeing first hand the devastating impact plastic is having on our oceans I decided I wanted to do something about it, and I hope you do to! Here on the west coast of Scotland we are blessed with some incredible wildlife, and host to the worlds largest aggregation of basking sharks each summer. 
Basking sharks, Cetorhinus maximus, are the worlds second largest fish and the largest we see here in the British Isles. Growing up to an impressive 12m these gentle giants feed on a diet of plankton! They lead very mysterious lives during the winter but during the summer months we see them in large amounts in the Sea of the Hebrides, and this has now been designated as an MPA - the first of its kind for basking sharks! 
Home to whales, dolphins, seals, porpoises and a vast array of seabirds - the Hebrides are wildly beautiful, but their exposed position on the edge of the Atlantic can mean the bays here suffer from heavy tides of plastic. Combine this with their remote location cleaning these areas from land can be challenging or completely inaccessible - this is where your help comes in! 
Inspired by the work of Basking Shark Scotland on their previous clean up missions in this area I wanted to keep the 'Plankton Not Plastic' campaign alive and continue this amazing work. 

"Our area has fantastic natural assets from landscape, geology and stunning coastlines. However more importantly it is a haven for wildlife, having many species of marine mammals, basking sharks, seabirds and eagles along with all the underwater life that folk don't normally see. We need to ensure our coastline and oceans are kept in good condition so our amazing marine life can thrive!"


Shane Wasik, Basking Shark Scotland

I have designed a series of illustrations which will be part of the 'Plankton Not Plastic' project raising awareness of plastic pollution and the amazing wildlife we have on our doorstep. You can join the mission by supporting this collection and help spread the message! 
We hope to develop this project in the future to fund more offshore beach cleans so stay tuned! 
Plankton not Plastic Campaign by Rachel Brooks art
 All images  © Rachel Brooks, 2016-2022 All Rights Reserved