In a bid to collect data of marine debris and create awareness among the islanders and tourists to fight for a trash free sea, Save Our Sea in cooperation with IUCN Bangladesh and Mangroves for the Future (MFF), Bangladesh is going to conduct annual National Underwater Cleanup 2016 in the marine area around Saint Martin’s Island, Bangladesh. Adjacent marine water off this island supports Bangladesh’s only coral habitat in the Bay of Bengal.
Local youth initiative ‘Sukher Saint Martin’s will help in the event as part of Save Our Sea’s Fighting Marine Debris program. The program will run from 25th to 27th February. Diver and volunteer registration for this citizen science program has been concluded.
Divers will conduct marine debris survey by following Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris methods and bring up trashes. Non-divers volunteer will help the divers in clean-up dives, engage communities in the clean-up, and run awareness campaign among the tourists and local people.
Since 2013, Fighting Marine Debris program is creating awareness among the tourist and islanders about threats of marine debris and providing critical information and data how to fight marine pollution.
About the cleanup effort and the scenario of marine debris in the Bay of Bengal, Save Our Sea’s founder and CEO Mohammad Arju said, ‘the state of marine debris in the Bay poses a wide range of threats to fisheries, tourism and recreation, and the value these add to our local economies also complicates shipping and transportation by causing navigation hazards.’
Mr. Mohammad Arju said, ‘we should concentrate on building national capacity for research, monitoring, and reduction of marine debris, as ‘significantly reducing land-based marine debris and nutrient pollution’ are also a target to be achieved by 2025 under newly adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals.”
He noted that, a brief excerpt of the previous survey report shows that among the debris, plastic materials constitute 54.26 per cent and glass and ceramic, metal, rubber, wood, cloth, paper/cardboard and mixed materials 45.74 percent.
Among the plastic materials, most abundant objects were poly-pack of consumer products like biscuits, potato chips, chanachur, food wrappings, and water bottles. Among the other materials, most abundant items were beverage cans, shoes, tableware and dishes.
Media Advisory and Inquiry: If you are a member of the media, please find the media advisory and related visuals in this link. For any media inquiry please write to Fuad Murshed, Communication Associate, Save Our Sea at [email protected]
Sumon Karmokar is a Program Associate at Save Our Sea. Currently he is studying Mass Communication at Stamford University.
National Underwater Cleanup 2016
The National Underwater Cleanup 2016 will be held from 25.02.16 to 27.02.16 in Saint Martin’s Island. An inaugural ceremony will be held on 26th February 2016 at 12 PM in front of the Coast Guard base. Read More …