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"This Project is Rubbish!" Mandela Day Clean up


Mandela Day Clean up:

On Friday the 18th of July, in celebration of Mandela Day the South African Shark Conservancy (SASC) ran a clean-up of the Hermanus cliff path (approximately eleven kilometres in length extending from Grotto Beach to New Harbour). The aim was to encourage as many to people to volunteer to pick up as much rubbish as they could within 67 minutes (or else pick up at least 67 pieces of rubbish). This would form part of SASC’s marine debris monitoring project funded by Project Aware. Once all the rubbish had been collected it was brought to SASC where it was sorted, weighed and counted.

At the end of the day over 50 people had taken part in the clean-up. In total over 40 bags of rubbish were collected. The total weight for all collected debris was 79.5 kilograms, with the total count being 2661 rubbish items. The top 10 most abundant rubbish items in terms of count were food wrappers followed by cigarette butts, other plastic bags, bottle caps (plastic), beverage bottles (plastic), other plastic/foam packaging, beverage bottles (glass), paper bags, take out/away containers and finally straws. The strangest item found during the clean-up was a grenade projection adapter. Items of local concern included black mesh and piping (thought to be from the abalone farms) and also cigarette butts and food wrappers which occurred in very high numbers.

So what will be done with the data? The data will be analysed to determine abundance and composition of the collected rubbish as well as what items are of local concern (results mentioned above). The results will form part of SASC’s long term marine debris monitoring project which aims to understand and reduce marine debris through research and education. The results will also be shared with the community in order to raise awareness about marine debris. Bodies identified as contributing significantly to marine debris will be identified and encouraged to reduce their contribution to marine debris. The aim is to develop a community that considers the health of the environment and thereby reduces marine debris.

Community Awareness/education

Looking forward SASC is planning for International Coastal Clean-up Day on the 20th of September 2014. SASC aims to do a source to sea clean-up of the Klein River in Hermanus. SASC wants to get local schools, conservation organisations, clubs and businesses involved.

SASC continues to clean the fishing line bins every two weeks and we are closer to putting up more line bins in the Walker Bay area.

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