Category Archives: marine life

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

Poetry of the Sea

Summer is here and a cooling dip in the sea beckons!

Rarely can one enjoy a swim without bumping into bits of plastic bags and styrofoam. Not only does this make the experience unpleasant, but it becomes a very tangible reminder of the conditions suffered by the local marine life.

Strange yet wonderful things are happening to this life on Happybeach.
Over the past two weeks nest upon nest of Sea Turtle eggs have appeared in the sand. Subsequently the Cyprus Wildlife Society came by to document the nests.

sea turtle nest

They could report that last year the entire bay housed 43 nests – this year they already registered 160 nests. And the sea turtles have been laying one month earlier due to the mild winter. This is an intense increase in numbers and I can’t help wondering how much human interference plays a role. Are we experiencing the consequences of global warming?

aphrodite

Thankfully people all over the world are combating both global warming and ocean pollution. The wonderful 2 minute beach clean movement based in Cornwall managed to organise a national beach cleaning day all over the UK yesterday. As a tribute to this great event I was joined by sound artist Thomas Burø and we did an extra big cleanup, and created a Trash Poem for good measure.

Collection included:
* sheet of styrofoam
* 1 ghost net
* 3 glass bottles (1 broken)
* 1 rucksack
* 1 sheet of paracetamol
* 8 plastic bottles
* 2 shoes
* 1 water pistol
* one doll’s torso
* 6 plastic cups
* plastic bits
* 1 ice cream spoon
* 1 toy rake
* bottle tops
* wine cork
* string
* bubble wrap
* buckshot
* oil canister
* an onion
* an orange
* fishing line
* fishing hook

X.jpg

turtle beach life…

Am back on Happy Beach for a short spell, and summer has truly set in! Hot nights and hotter days, thankfully there is a constant breeze from the sea and plenty of rock pools to cool you down. The sea is so stormy that swims aren’t an option but the beach is relatively clean. Though there is always something to do. Yesterday a wonderful surprise appeared on our remote shore:

turtle tracks

Sea turtles have made their way to the edge of the beach to nests their eggs. We found three in total. One had sadly been dug out by a fox or dog. We marked the other two with sticks, and are looking into ways of protecting them. August Full Moon should see the hatching of baby turtles. Such joy!

nests

Collection of the day included:
* 5 straws
* 1 broken plastic sack
* 1 syringe
* 1 vodka bottle
* 7 plastic bottles
* 1 salt tub lid
* 2 aluminium cans
* 16 bottle tops
* a broken broom
* a pen lid
* 3 yoghurt pots
* sheets of plastic
* 1 juice cup (with lid and straw)
* 3 clothes pegs
* assorted plastic
* assorted styrofoam
* 2 broken balloons
* string
* 1 fishing float
* 1 cigaret end

broom