Saturday, November 27, 2010

Stop Throwing Plastic Wastes Into the Sea!

The sea occupies two thirds of our earth's surface. It is a home to tens of thousands of marine animals. It is also the source of food for millions of people. In recent months, I have been traveling by boats and ships to the islands in the Cendrawasih bay. Formerly this bay was called Geelvink baai during the Dutch colonial period. I go to the nearby Mansinam, Lemon, Raimuti and Kaki islands of Manokwari regency by outrigger canoes that are usually powered by Yamaha outboards. Sometimes, I go to Numfor island by ferry boat which is much bigger than the outrigger canoes.
One thing that really attracts my concerns is the marine pollution. As a nature lover, I am really sad when I see people throw garbage into the sea especially the plastic wastes. Plastic cannot be decomposed in a few days by marine bacteria. This material needs hundreds of years to be decomposed. Sometimes fish eat the wastes because they think that these plastic materials are their foods. I know that we cannot change people's behavior in one day. But continuous efforts in informing the people around us about the importance of keeping the sea clean must be done to fight marine pollution. When our sea has been badly polluted by industrial and domestic wastes, it will not be able to produce good food for us. Coral reef will die and the fish will go away.
A few days ago, I was traveling with two Dutch girls (Jettie and Monique) to Numfor island. We went there by Motor Vessel Kasuari Pasifik IV. It was a RoRo (Roll On/ Roll Off) boat that regularly visits the island from Manokwari city twice a week. When the boat was entering the harbor, a crew of the boat, pick up the bins full of plastic and organic rubbish and threw them into the sea. We were really shocked by that because we had been informing the children not to throw the plastic wrappings of their biscuits to the sea. Instead, they had to throw them into the bins.
The crews of the ferry boat really know that it is not allowed to throw plastic rubbish into the sea. But they keep on doing it. They violate the regulation of the state which has been printed and attached on the walls of the boat. Jettie told the crew of the boat not to throw the wastes into the sea but he did not care. He threw all of the wastes from the bins onto the sea. All of the wastes which the passengers had put into the bins were now scattered on the surface of the beautiful blue sea water near Numfor island of West Papua. What a stupid idea!
Also read:
Preserving the coral reef in Indonesia
What city dwellers can do to protect coral reef
Environmental impact of marine tourism