Dive Tribe along with students from Mahidol University took to the beaches for World Ocean Day and in readiness for there up and coming recycle center project on Koh Sak Island.
The World Ocean day started on Friday evening with lectures from Dr Wayne Phillips on the ecology of the island along with the reasons why so much debris is to be found there.
Logistics and organisation of the teams were left to Dive Tribe, and on the Saturaday morning a boat with 17 volunteers set sail to clean Koh Sak.
How do we know this? well most of the bottles/plastic bottles and eating utensils are sold on the island and they all look fresh (As in no life growing on the bottles). We were told that a team is sent to clean up every morning, it is quiet evident that when we arrived early morning, no team was there or they had not done a good job !
On Saturday the teams set to work on South Beach , which is not so much the tourist beach as it has a stoney and rocky beach.Sadly the amount of debris on this beach is just too much to comprehend. Plastic bottles, plastic bags, two stroke oil cans, abandoned fishing gear,polystyrene food trays, syringes, straws, lighters, shoes and even a large speaker cone wash up here. We set about measuring the beach into 10 meter sections, and ask the teams to document everything they find in their area. Once this is done the trash is then weighed and put into bags to be removed or recycled.
The first day Saturday, the teams collected a total of 137Kg of beach debris and 750Kg of abandoned fishing gear. Although this did indeed clear much of the beach , there is still a lot of micro plastic in the sand and pebbles that will require a machine to sift it out. A very productive day and apart form the intense sun, all of the teams worked hard and had a great time.
Sadly as we left around 5.30pm, we were told 30 minutes later a group of Whale sharks turned up (we were told 6).
This is virtually unheard of on Koh Sak and we like to think that they turned up on World Ocean Day to say thank you !
Dive Tribe with Dr Phillips gave another lecture on Saturday night to our new team that joined us for Sunday.
Our focus on Sunday was to clean and document the trash on the North Beach, This beach is very busy with tourists all morning, our market research suggests that most of these tourists are from China, and to be honest they have very little concern about the environment they are interacting with. We witnessed many times tour parties just throwing their, plastic bottle on the beach or leaving it for others to clean up.
The reason I believe is the tour companies never give them a talk about taking care of the island before they disembark.
We managed to collect 36.91Kg of debris from the beaches on Sunday.
After the collection we took the group snorkelling to the reefs around the islands in the afternoon.
Our Total Collection Weight Of Marine Debris 923.91Kg
We are all amazed that people can treat a beautiful island like Koh sak as their dump site and Dive Tribe are working towards a management plan for the islands.
The first of these will be our recycle stations which will help the islanders keep the island clean while producing an income from recycling.
Please help us with this project by clicking "HERE"
Thanks to all the volunteers that took part from Mahidol university and hope to see you and many more on the 15th & 16th (You are all invited) back on Koh sak island where will be cleaning again above and below the surface and then installing the recycle centers
Thanks Team at DT