Category Archives: Fishermen

Fishing for plastic

Spring must be my favourite season on the island. Everything is juicy-green from the rain, and fields and hills are dressed in coats of yellow flowers. Pink tinted almond blossoms make you sigh as you pass the delicate trees.

The sea is warming up too – still only 16 degrees C, but I venture a dip, when she permits.

learning

But my ambition is to get even more confident with local waters, so I decided to take a powerboat certificate to get started. It felt good to get to know my way round a small engine driven boat, and touch upon the basics of navigation, as I’ve never mastered anything more powerful than a bicycle!

blue-lagoon

My instructor took us out to the local nautical attraction: The Blue Lagoon – in the UNESCO protected Akamas area. The lagoon is truly blue, the nature undisturbed by human dwellings – but still we saw upsetting amounts of trash bobbing around in the water – from soft drink cans to plastic fuel canisters to florescent light strips. We salvaged some major sinners, allegedly dumped by local fishermen.

sea-trash

As there haven’t been any big storms for a long while the amounts of plastic drifting onto Happybeach are manageable – nevertheless it all adds up. And this little lull doesn’t trick me into thinking that things are getting better.

This very disturbing article in The Guardian explains some of the damage done by the 8.000.000 tons of plastic dumped in our seas: Plastic Seafood/ Guardian bad news for Moule Frites lovers and Fish ‘n’ Chips addicts. But worse news for marine life and the balance of the ecology…

Lastest collection includes:
* 22 fishing floats
* 1 toilet roll holder
* Plastic bag
* 18 plastic bottles
* A pink boat – broken
* 2 child shoes
* A broken deer (plastic)
* 4 lighters
* A carton of soggy cigarettes

nasty-cigarettes

* A small plastic bird
* A Styrofoam box
* Assorted plastic
* 2m black pipe
* Bits of Styrofoam
* 2 small medical bottles (glass)
* 8m sheet of plastic
* 3 raw plugs
* 3 straws
* Rope 2m black, 3m blue
* 2 blobs of engine oil
* A broken garden chair (white plastic)
* 1 filler foam tube

Total lifted off the beach: 12,3 kg

pink-boat

The fishermen’s plastic dinner

The news this summer has been filled with disturbing reports stemming from this region, only a couple of days ago 140 refugees stranded at the Akrotiri airbase, so of course looking out at the Mediterranean every morning evokes conflicted thoughts – also about the collected debris, some of which have Syrian labels.

Summer is slipping into Autumn on Happy Beach, the rains have arrived, and fishermen are reappearing on the rocks. Plastic washing up on the shore is still manageable, but it saddens me to consistently discover waste from the fishermen scatted carelessly about the area.
Obviously they have no clue that their remains go back in the sea, become eaten by the fish, and ultimately end up on their own dinner plates.

Bon appetit!
fishermens trash

Collection of the day includes:
6 cigaret butts
1 juice carton
Assorted plastic
3 pieces of rope
1 small ghost net
1 canister + plastic fishing line
2 can
8 bottle tops
2 paper bags
1 pillow

pillow

7 bits of plastic bags
10 plastic bottles
2 glass bottles
2 bits of broken glass
1 broken comb
1 plastic blob
1 plastic tub
1 plastic Frappe cup
Styrofoam
1 flip flop

flipflop

2 plastic bags
4 shoes (size child to male adult)
1 razor head
1 sun hat (child size)
1 green straw
2 milk bottles (plastic)
2 clothes pegs
1 baby bottle toy

bottle

Pretty in pink…

Some days are so perfect they are impossible to put into words. Sunkissed sky, soft, rolling sea, palm trees gently waving in the breeze and a long walk on the beach without a soul in sight is just a feeble description. Ohhh Happy Beach, you are wonderful! Only snake in Paradise are the relentless lost items. And the collection of the day focuses on stereotypes.

sea

Our walk took us further down the shore and we were greeted by such a depressing sight. Plastic debris strewn all over the beautiful shore. So much trash. A girly, pink theme appeared – including a pink lipstick – and a disturbing tube of “Fair & Lovely” face wash from India. I visited the amazing country a couple of years ago and saw many similar products. It infuriates me no end how people cash in on our disgusting favouritism of light skin.

fair and lovely

Collection count:
* 157 bottle tops
* 1 plastic bottle
* 1 tube of Fair & Lovely 😦
* 2 plastic fish
* 1 lighter (pink)
* 1 dummy (pink)
* 1 lipstick (pink/ plastic)
* 1 net
* 1 piece of purple rope

Furthermore it didn’t take long for Molly and Eddie to get entangled in a net. Of course they had me to help them out but I dread to think about the marine life that could have got into serious trouble.

net