Some 80 volunteers made their way to Aberdeen Harbour on Saturday to support a clean up of the waters and surroundings, removing more than a tonne of rubbish. Many volunteers, local and expat alike, including families with young kids, fished trash out of the water with nets, whilst others explored the harbour edges for debris left behind by the tide.
Together the volunteers collected and separated hundreds of individual pieces of mostly plastic and styrofoam that would otherwise have been washed out to sea or on to one of Hong Kong’s long suffering beaches.
Having the benefit of a small boston whaler, I was joined by the Kirk family – Mum Claire, Dad Ezra and their three boys, George (9), Harry (7) and Lois (3). Together, with nets at the ready, we circled the harbour moving from one spot to another fishing out whatever we could. Unfortunately, such is the abundance of rubbish in Aberdeen’s waters, that we never paddled more than a few metres before a net was needed. Bits of plastic floating both on and below the surface of the water were the most prevalent, whilst we also removed rope and large chunks of wood, the former being predominantly synthetic and therefore non-biodegradable, and both being a hazard to boats as I have found to my detriment on more than one occasion.
unfortunately, such in the abundance of rubbish in Aberdeen’s waters, that we never paddled more than a few metres before a net was needed
Our efforts on the whaler were but a drop in the ocean but during an hour in the sun and more than 30 oC heat, we pulled out three bin bags worth of rubbish including more than a dozen plastic drinks bottles, several bits of styrofoam and endless amounts of plastic and plastic bags. Our fishing rods were too big for the boys – next time we agreed we’d bring some smaller ones, but they did well – Louie our spotter, George, Mum and Dad netting rubbish and Harry emptying full nets into the bin bags. Here’s a video clip of some of the day’s action. I think as well as a load of plastic, George also caught the orange!
Here’s a list of some of the day’s collection by the 80 or so volunteers:
- 1.2 tonnes
- 1,100 bottles
- 1,600 polystyrene mealboxes and fragments
- 11,000 plastic food wrappers
- 8,200 plastic cutlery
The Save Aberdeen Harbour Alliance “Fish for Trash” day in Aberdeen was the second such event in the last month. Intended not only to clean the Harbour, but in the hope of spurring Government action, the day was also a valuable education experience for many, especially the younger participants. We’ll keep you posted on any outcomes that may arise from the efforts.