On the first Saturday in September,organize by Scuba Amigo with 25 of members of Malaysian Nature Society Negri Sembilan-Melaka Branch set off for Pulau Undan, the further most island off the coast of Melaka. This trip was arranged by Robin Soong, our committee member and also a Scuba Instructor. September is the month of Project AWARE Debris Month of Action to fight against our oceans’ silent killer i.e. marine debris comprising mainly of plastic waste (90%). So Robin arranged the registration at the Umbai jetty at 8.30am and got the members to signed for the petition to "Help Give Sharks a Fighting Chance" and pledge not to comsume Shark Fin Soup.
We arrived at Pulau Undan at about 09:50 hrs, after a 20-minute speed boat ride. The island is small and it looked inviting and clean from afar. We were divided into three groups and from 10:15 to 11:30 we started scouting and collecting for the marine debris both on land and underwater. Surprisingly, there were lots of rubbish and we managed to fill ….sacks of rubbish, mostly with plastic from nets, plastic bags, polystyrene food containers, water bottles, and metal from canisters, gas cookers, cigarette packs and butts. All together we collected 173kgs of rubbish!
After the rubbish collecting we ate food that we brought in reusable containers and banana leaves and after some recreation we left the island feeling very contented that we had contributed to reduce the rubbish on the island, even though we were RM50 poorer each because we had to fork out our own money for the boat trips. The camaraderie and co-operation we had together between young and old members in doing our part in this project AWARE made it a priceless and worthwhile experience.
The huge volume of rubbish collected from a tiny island highlights the continued need for awareness of the problem of waste on our beautiful shoreline