Seas the Day!

World-leading experts from University of Plymouth’s Marine Institute will explore the global challenges facing our planet: how to protect our seas. Come along to this family-friendly event the National Marine Aquarium and hear from scientists working to protecting our marine environment.


Bringing together scientistsartists and psychologists, this event also invites you to take part in a competition to make artwork from ordinary plastic, have a go at being the best litter picker in a timed litter pick and test the buoyancy of plastics


Please note 

The day is split into two sessions, the morning is aimed at adults with a programme of talks and an afternoon session for families with hands-on interactive activities to take part in.

This event is free and all are welcome to attend. Admission is not included and must be purchased separately from the National Marine Aquarium website.



Marine talks programme

A series of talks with our researchers sharing their expertise on the issues of marine plastics and climate change.


10:00-10:30 Marine litter – are there solutions to this environmental challenge? – Professor Richard Thompson OBE, Marine Biology and Director of the Marine Institute

Of all the litter in the ocean, it is estimated that 75% is plastic. Plastic has been found on most coastlines, in the deep sea and even Arctic sea ice and has been shown to harm marine life. So what are the sources of all this waste and what can be done about it?


10:30-11:00 Why we care if climate change affects recycling by sandhoppers – Professor John Spicer, Marine Zoology

Can you imagine paying to go sandhopper-watching on a beach in the same way as you go whale-watching on a boat? Didn’t think so. But give John 15 minutes of your time to show you creatures that can jump high buildings in a single bound, that cannot read a newspaper but can eat it in less than a minute, and that were doing recycling for us and everything that lives in the ocean long before the first human formed the word ‘recycle’, (in fact any word) in their mouth.


11:00-12:00 Can extreme animals help conserve our oceans? – Ellis Moloney

Tardigrades and rotifers are little-known super animals that can survive boiling temperatures, extreme radiation and even the vacuum of space! Ellis will share how his research, which looks into how their genes allow them to survive such extremes and could potentially be shared with more sensitive organisms to help conserve them under a changing climate (like coral reefs for example).


The Big Marine Family Afternoon
Hands-on activities exploring the marine environment, why it’s important and some challenges it faces, for littles and grownups alike.


All plastic floats, right?!

Come along and have a go at identifying different types of plastic , discovering what they’re made of and investigating their buoyancy properties.  Take part in this wet play to test whether all plastic floats. For the younger audience we will be looking at the buoyancy of various plastic items that have washed up on the shore local to Plymouth.


Rubbish art

Competition time! Your challenge is to create a temporary work of art using rubbish (which has been cleaned!). This artwork will be photographed, printed and displayed. The rubbish will be reused by others to create their own artworks too! Extra points are available if your artwork fits within the theme of plastics in the ocean.


Ready, set, pick!

Think you’re quick? Then have a go at our timed litter pick and see if you can make it onto our top pickers leaderboard!

These activities will be facilitated by Sea dream education CIC.


Digital undersea worlds with Andy Hughes

Keen gamers can explore undersea worlds found in No Man’s Land and Grand Theft Auto V with the University of Plymouth’s Creative Associate Andy Hughes. You can digitally swim through and navigate beautifully rendered virtual seas and future alien oceanic worlds as seen through the eyes of a game avatar.

Event Details

National Marine Aquarium
Rope Walk, Coxside

Date: 25/09/2021
Time: 10:00 am - 2:30 pm
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