MARINE MONTH

October 30, 2009 by dyertrust

October has been declared Marine Month and Monday 19th October was a beautiful day for a coastal clean up. The Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) with the assistance of a very enthusiastic Grade 6 class from Blompark Primary, led by Mr Dreyer, did just that.

DICT was given yellow garbage bags and data cards from the Ocean Conservancy and the Plastics Federation of South Africa, who are pro-active about litter awareness. The class was given an educational talk in the classroom on the impact of marine litter. They were reminded that every piece of litter has a persons face behind it. The clean up was done on a stretch of beach at Danger Point where the amount of plastic collected along with around 120 tangles of fishing line served to raise awareness on the possibility of harm to seabirds and other animals.

Marine litter causes injuries and deaths due to entanglement or because eaten in error, killing more than one million seabirds and 100 000 marine mammals and turtles each year. DICT has placed fishing line disposal bins at strategic places such as the Kleinbaai harbour, to encourage fishermen to recycle wisely. It is a frightening fact that scientists estimate that one plastic bottle could take up to 450 years to decompose. The data cards were dutifully filled in and at least ten full bags of litter were collected. Some interesting items turned up a light bulb, a jacket, a screwdriver.

International volunteers from shark cage diving operator,Marine Dynamics, were on hand to assist the scholars with their data. All information is fed back to Ocean Conservancy for international statistics. The educational clean up forms part of the schools curriculum and educational pamphlets were given to Mr Dreyer for further use in the classroom. The day was completed by refreshments at the Great White House before heading back to school.