September 24-26 Reef Check Malaysia and our Marine Park organized a weekend clean up. They asked for support of all operators on the islands. I signed up Watercolours with the PADI clean up day as well. As it is normal for a first time event not many operators attended, but we got around 40 volunteers together.
The weekend started with an information lesson how to collect „Crown-of-Thorn“ as they are poisonous. As the human being is overfishing Napoleon wrasses and collecting Triton shells (both eat COTs) none is stopping the overpopulation off COT’s. They are destroying our coral reef as the algue and poly living inside the coral is their main food. So it was up to us to get a natural level again.
The marine park arrange a deep whole to burry them as they have a disgusting smell. We did collect 739 COT’s and could give the Coral Reef a little relive as it is stressed out after El Nino anyway. Now our coral gardens are recovering from bleaching and will be back to good when we are back next February.
For the afternoon beach clean ups at different beaches took place. We found diapers, cigarette butts, beer cans, plastic and glass bottles and much more. We filled so many bags with trash and litter. It is really sad that tourists and local leave trash wherever they want to. There are enough places here where you can dump your waste.
The next day everybody went diving to collect debris our off our reefs. Nadine did this very carefully as she collected a paper bag some days ago. She shook it because there are sometimes fishes inside the bags. When she got this out in the dive center something slimy touched her hand. And there it was – a blue ringed octopus.
Holy cow – I could not believe it. Luckily it was dead already. A bite of it may bring death within minutes. It is one of the most poisonous animals on this planet. It is only 7 small and shows flashing blue rings if it feels endangered.
This time we were lucky, we collected trash only. Our customers had loads of fun and enjoyed doing something good for our little paradise here. Next year we will do it again, hopefully with even more people?