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Earth Day Clean Up

Friday April 4, 2008

April has all been about the environment. To mark “Earth Day”, Dive Tropex Tokoriki staff, along with 12 Yanuya School children (aged between 10-12), spent a morning cleaning along the shoreline of one of the most beautiful beaches in Fiji – Monuriki Island beach (made famous by the Tom Hank’s movie “Cast Away”).

Last year we did two clean ups – and due to the popularity of the event (yes – cleaning can be fun!) we had school kids excited about the event weeks beforehand.

The day itself couldn’t have been more idyllic. Part of the thrill for the youngsters is a ride on “Black Jack” our 450hp dive boat, then after a brief discussion on “The Environment” and “Why we were cleaning the beach?”, we all got to work. Two hours and fifteen rubbish bags later our job was done.

The rubbish, which consisted of plastic bottles, plastic bags, glass bottles, polystyrene and flip flops (!), gets washed ashore by ocean currents. This not just looks ugly, but can also become a health hazard for marine life and seabirds, who mistake certain items of rubbish as food. Plastic lighters for example look like squid – a favourite food of seabirds, and plastic bags look like jelly fish – a favourite food of Turtles and Whales.

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Illustration of Red tooth triggerfish