We gathered at base, ready to tackle the rubbish that continually washes onto our beaches, and is left by careless beachgoers. After a few hours of cleaning, we returned to base with a shocking amount of rubbish.
As always, it was very disappointing to see just how much trash can be found in our reserve areas, but it was still very satisfying to know that at least those items would no longer be floating around our oceans, putting marine life at risk.
The event was in line with SYAH’s recent commitment to the Marine Debris Challenge 2016, an international challenge where selected participants receive support for running regular beach cleans from 22nd February, all the way up to Earth Day on April 22nd. SYAH have dedicated themselves to running one clean every single weekend in that time, all across the Seychelles.
Regular beach cleans fall easily into GVI’s own objective of preserving our important marine areas. Marine debris is causing major problems all over the world, as plastic matter continues to cycle the globe rather than break down, unlike organic matter. This huge issue is causing problems all the way up the food chain as plastics and other harmful materials are consumed by unsuspecting predators. Once ingested, the plastic is very difficult to eject from the body, and may cause digestive obstructions of suffocation.
Despite our efforts in the reserve, this issue will remain a problem until humans take a much closer look at the way they use and dispose of these materials. Although difficult, a plastic-free lifestyle is certainly possible by making careful choices as a consumer. Please think carefully about your waste consumption, and remember to reduce, reuse and recycle. Our turtles will thank you!
We applaud this fantastic effort by SYAH – it’s great to see a youth group so active on important issues such as waste and climate change, and we look forward to supporting them in their future events, including the largest of their beach cleans, scheduled for the 14th April in Beau Vallon.