One Day, One Island Clean Up
Armed on the morning of World Ocean Day 2020 with this knowledge and determination, we handed out our hip Trshbgs, scissors and knives. Our team of 11 divers split into two dedicated groups: one collecting fishing lines, nets and discarded mooring ropes, and another collecting plastics, glass and other marine debris. We marched to the house reef to scour the slope for ropes, damaged moorings, and as much line as we could manage.
Trshbgs are ideal for focusing on fishing line recovery. The stuff-hole has a sleeve where you can carefully push in lines and sharp hooks, specially designed so that when you remove your hand, everything stays in place. Focusing on fishing lines, it was hard to go over the recommended limit of collecting 3KG in each bag, but divers had additional bags and equipment on hand for heavier debris.
What’s more is that these bags are made almost entirely of recycled materials! Using a bag made from rubbish to clean up more rubbish is one of the best examples of a circular economy we have seen within environmental cleanup actions! Vinyl banners in Indonesia are incredibly cheap and therefore common. We find them all the time discarded on the beach and in the water. Being so durable, it’s a great material to make the Trshbg from: once a hook is in, it can’t pierce you or snag like a regular mesh bag.
With the efforts of five dive shops on Gili Trawangan, more than 116kg of marine debris, ropes and fishing lines were recovered from the reef. It was a huge success! But I never know whether to be proud or disheartened when we remove lots of debris. It’s great that it is out of the water, but why should it even be there in the first place? And how can we make sure that it never reaches there again?