Our dirty harbours

Wednesday May 13, 2020 Written by Published in Environment
Liliana Tierney, 14, one of the junior paddlers who volunteered to clean up Avarua harbour, with a bike found in the lagoon. MMR 20051201. Liliana Tierney, 14, one of the junior paddlers who volunteered to clean up Avarua harbour, with a bike found in the lagoon. MMR 20051201.

Volunteers have collected nearly a quarter-tonne of garbage from Avarua harbour.

 

The 237kg of rubbish was sorted and weighed by the Ministry of Marine Resources, which organised the clean-up. It included 47kg of glass, 18kg of plastic and 119kg of metal.

Pamela Maru, the Secretary of Marine, said the effects of pollution could be very damaging to marine environments.

“This can include the smothering and killing of coral; entanglement, ingestion and killing of marine life; reducing water quality; impacting food chains and contributing to algal blooms, to name a few. “

Divers, paddlers and other agencies assisted on the day – one of the biggest turn-outs for a harbour clean-up ever seen.

Much like the tutaka, a similar structured approach needs to be undertaken in clearing and cleaning our waterways and passages on an ongoing basis, Maru said.

“By working with community groups and organisations with a vested interest in ensuring our marine areas are kept clean and healthy, we will ensure that any programme we develop will work in the long term.”

Outreach plans include explaining how to better dispose of waste, and importantly, understanding the impacts of pollution on marine life.

There is the potential to expand coordinated clean-ups to the Pa Enua, said Maru, and noted the fisheries team in Ma‘uke, led by officer Tai George, had also conducted the exercise.

 

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