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Brenda du Toit - Dyer Island Conservation Trust
CLEAN MARINE is our attempt at minimizing marine pollution. Whilst we may not be able to solve all the problems surrounding plastic pollution, our main goal is to minimize ocean-bound trash from reaching our seas and harming marine life. We see firsthand the impact on sharks, penguins, other seabirds, whales, dolphins, and seals. We do this in 3 ways:
1) Fishing line bin project - The Dyer Island Conservation Trust established the Fishing Line Recovery and Recycling Programme in Gansbaai in 2010 and since then it has expanded along the South African coastline and been met with overwhelming support by anglers, boaters and local communities. The PVC pipe receptacles stand 60 cm high and are erected at beaches around the country as repositories for used, discarded monofilament fishing line. The programme increases public awareness of the negative impacts of fishing line debris and encourages correct disposal by placing a network of the fishing line bins strategically along the coastline. These are mapped on our website: https://dict.org.za/dict-projects/clean-marine/
The GPS position of each bin is entered into a database to allow for the creation of a map to indicate where fishing lines bins are available and which organisation is responsible for the maintenance and emptying of the bins.The DICT assembles and distributes the bins through a partnership with the Marine Dynamics Academy. The material for the bins is sponsored by MacNeil as arranged by Plastics SA. (Video link included)
2) Project Storm - To prevent plastic from entering the ocean the Trust, inspired by a project in Australia, recently positioned a unique net system over two storm water drain outlets in the Gansbaai harbour. The net is designed to prevent plastic pollutants, carried by storm water from the local road network, from flowing into the marine environment. The net is being monitored by the Dyer Island Conservation Trust team to assess & record the ‘catch’. With 63 storm water outlets in Gansbaai alone, this project will be a long-term collaborative effort with the Overstrand Municipality, with an initial focus on the most problematic areas. (No video available as yet - stats uploaded)
3) Beach clean ups - We have done this for almost two decades and record all stats for Ocean Conservancy. We engage in many beach clean ups with local school groups and volunteers. Data about the amount and type of trash collected, is logged to affect changes where problems are identified. We teach the message of where trash originates from and spread the message of reduce, reuse and recycle. We encourage others to reduce, reuse and recycle ultimately reducing their ecological footprint. We recycle our own waste and encourage suppliers to use less plastic. All aspects of the Trust and the associated eco-tourism business place a high priority of minimizing waste.