Phang Nga Bay clean up operation

24 Oct 2011

Three boatloads of volunteers set sail on a rubbish collection operation in Phang Nga Bay last weekend. The group totalling more than 100 volunteers collected almost 1,000kgs of debris and trash from around the spectacular limestone karst islands that dot the bay between Krabi and Phuket.

The clean up was organised by the Phang Nga Bay Conservancy Group. Several members of the organisation, pupils from a Phuket international school, marine scientist Petch Manopawitr and Sea Canoe proprietor John Gray all joined the expedition. 

After a spate of rainy weather, the day of the clean up expedition dawned bright and sunny. Calm seas ensured that the sea crossing was smooth and that the flotsam amassed on the island beaches and mangrove forests was not washed out again and could be easily collected.

Local villagers helped the clean up by paddling canoes and transporting the litter pickers to shallow and hard-to-get-to spots. By day’s end the group had collected 150 black bin bags full of discarded plastic, glass, Styrofoam and other non-biodegradable rubbish.

Mr Gray said that over the years he had seen the adverse effects of rubbish dumped at sea and on the marine life in it. He added that when he was running kayak tours he often picked up litter himself.

There have been several recent instances of sea turtles dying after swallowing sea detritus. In March this year, the post-mortem of a 196kg leatherback turtle washed ashore on Phuket revealed it had choked on an old biscuit wrapper. The turtle’s stomach also contained various other pieces of human rubbish. 

Tags: Phang Nga clean up

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