Every year on April 22, over a billion people in 190 countries take action for Earth Day, and here at Two Fish Divers we decided to do have TRIPLE WHAMMY EARTH-DAY ACTIVITES! This meant collecting rubbish from the beaches and the sea around all three of our resorts across Indonesia at the same time, our small contribution to inspiring awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment.
BUNAKENOn Earth-Day we planned a clean up of the Crown of Thorns-Starfish at one dive site in Bunaken. The COTs feed on hard coral and their polyps and an adult sea star can destroy about 6 square meters of living reef per year.
Time and again there are booms of the sea stars and it creates an overpopulation that causes a lot of damage to the reef. The reasons for the overpopulation aren’t known yet, but overfishing and fertilisers which are flooded into the sea could be two reasons for the uninhibited increase of the Crown of Thorns. Last year’s
clean up was very successful and resulted in over 600 found and removed sea stars. Over the last weeks we could spot COTs at different dive sites.
We decided to start the clean up again at the same dive site as last year to check on the effectiveness of the clean ups. We started in the afternoon with a group of 10 divers and 12 snorkelers at Alung Banua.
Each team took crates and bamboo-tongs underwater and we checked the shallow parts of the reef. We couldn’t find a single Crown of Thorns-Starfish! The last clean up had been really thorough and they didn’t come back until now. So the effectiveness is really high. In the next weeks there are further clean ups at other dive sites planned, we’ll report again…
In Lembeh we have had very successful dive clean ups in the past at many different dive sites, but we consistently find the most debris at Kareko Pasir, so we decided to re-visit that site. This site is in front of Kareko Village on Lembeh and has lots of small fishing boats moored up at the beach. This particular village doesn’t have it’s rubbish collected as other villages on Lembeh do, so it’s no wonder we find so much every time we dive there!
On Earth Day 6 of our guests and 8 of our staff joined for a Dive Against Debris and we collected 65 kilos of trash! Mostly plastic items and clothing were found along with some unusual items like an umbrella and a thermos flask! We collected over 300 plastic wrappers, 12 shoes, over 300 drinks containers, 56 clothing items (including a lovely purple bra!) and a large piece of fishing net.
As always there were some entangled crustaceans amongst the debris, mostly small crabs and mantis shrimps, all of which were released unharmed as we sorted through the debris. But we got a very big surprise on the boat as the last of the rubbish bags were hauled up… A coconut octopus crawled out and started wriggling it’s way around the boat! We managed to lower it back into the sea using someone’s fin and it treated us to a fantastic colourful display of appreciation as it swam back to the sandy bottom.
In addition to cleaning up the dive site our divers also saw some fun critters (in addition to the Coconut Octopus on the boat)… Lots of beautiful nudibranchs, a Robust Ghost Pipefish, Peacock Mantis Shrimps and Juvenile Baramundi cod!
In Nusa Lembongan we organised a beach and village clean up with our ten staff members, cleaning the beach area in front of the dive centre and Jungu Batu village.
We collected around 30 kilos of rubbish in total, most of which was plastic items such as food wrappers, drinks straws, drinks cups, bottles as well as foam.