In conjunction with International Cleanup Day 2010, Langkawi Coral took the initiative to organise a team of volunteers to tackle underwater marine debris problems. The event was carried out on 25 September 2010 at Pulau Payar Marine Park, Langkawi.
The annual International Cleanup Day is a joint effort by Project AWARE Foundation and Ocean Conservancy. This year’s event saw some 15,000 AWARE divers in more than 100 countries around the globe documenting every item found beneath the water’s surface to help prevent the marine debris epidemic affecting the world’s oceans.
The data collected by these divers will contribute to the Global Marine Debris Index, which is a country-by-country breakdown of the amount and type of trash collected in the world’s oceans and waterways, and along their coasts. These efforts are recognized by the United Nations Environment Programme.
As a green tourism operator, Langkawi Coral is proud to be a part of the event as we are putting our best effort to protect and conserve our local underwater environment. This is also our effort in supporting the Ministry of Tourism’s “1Malaysia Green, 1Malaysia Clean” campaign launched recently.
Among the marine debris found during the cleanup were plastic bags, plastic and glass bottles, fishing nets and cigarette filters. According to Project AWARE Foundation’s International Cleanup Day Report 2009, some 140,814 cigarette filters were found and every year toxic chemicals in the 4.5 trillion cigarette filters littered worldwide threatens the wellbeing of marine life.
Marine debris such as plastic bags, fishing lines and nets are also affecting most of the marine mammals and sea turtles. These animals are choked or entangled in debris every year. The one million seabirds killed by litter each year is just one of the evidences of the damage done by these marine debris.
Here are some tips to keep our waters debris free:
• Reduce, reuse and recycle.
• Avoid buying plastic products.
• Be aware of everything you buy and avoid excessive packaging.
• Properly dispose of all pieces of fishing line, net and other associated litter.
• Keep plastics and rubbish off the ground and the oceans.
• Keep storm drains and shorelines free of rubbish.
• Remove debris on every recreational dive or shoreline visit.
• Always dispose cigarette filters properly and never overboard.