Ocean Pollution

We’re drowning marine ecosystems in trash, noise, oil, and carbon emissions.

 
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Working Together
TIC organises regular beach and underwater clean up together with Batu Batu staff and guests. Raising awareness of the ocean pollution crisis.

 
 

Malaysia is one of the top producers of plastic waste among Asian countries with an approximate 4,000 metric tons of plastic waste generated every day, and a total of 0.199 trillion micro plastics released annually to the marine environment (Praveena et al., 2018).

From February to November 2018, TIC team together with volunteers and resort guests collected an astounding total of 9358 kg of marine debris from the beaches of Pulau Tengah, Pulau Besar and Pulau Mensirip. Plastic bottles accounted for 68% of the number of items collected (n=19,042), followed by straws/lollypop sticks (13%; n=3,744) and shoes (11%; n=3,163).

A total of 3,285 kg of fishing gear was retrieved from the beaches and surrounding waters. From the 5,186 kg of plastics collected, only 34% were recyclable, and only 24% of the total kilograms of debris collected didn’t present plastics on its internal composition.

Six oil spills occurred in the area near Pulau Tengah since March 2018. The oil washed up in our beaches in the form of tar balls, accounting for 2,047 kg of contaminated sand collected by the conservation team. Several ships transporting tar balls which were completely exposed and unprotected were spotted by the staff, and this is almost certainly the cause of the oil spills.

 
 
 
A photo shows before and after ghost gear removal from a coral near Pulau Tengah in 2019.

A photo shows before and after ghost gear removal from a coral near Pulau Tengah in 2019.

Number of Marine Debris Items Found in 2018 in and around Pulau Tengah
 

World Ocean Day 2019 Community Beach Clean

 
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A Community Effort

Tengah Island Conservation together with Majlis Daerah Mersing organised a beach clean-up on June 15, 2019 to commemorate World Oceans Day at Pulau Besar in the Sultan Iskandar Marine Park.

 
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Tengah Island Conservation together with Majlis Daerah Mersing organised a beach clean-up on June 15, 2019 to commemorate World Oceans Day. The Rapang Beach Clean-up at Pulau Besar in the Sultan Iskandar Marine Park was held to raise awareness of the issues of marine debris and to protect our fragile marine ecosystem from pollution.

The event was extremely successful, with over 90 volunteers from all walks of life and various parts of the local community working together to clean the beach. On just that one hot, sunny morning, almost two tonnes of trash was collected, separated, sorted and weighed before being loaded onto the cargo boat, which then brought the trash back onto the mainland for sorting and recycling.

The most common items found, and the most challenging to remove, were lost and abandoned fishing nets and ropes, otherwise known as “ghost gear”. Ghost gear is widely recognised as the most deadly form of marine plastic (World Animal Protection). Other items included over 1,300 shoes and slippers and almost 4,500 plastic bottles! The volunteers left the beautifully cleaned beach feeling tired but satisfied with a job well done and a great sense of team spirit.

The event was supported and sponsored by members of the the community such as Batu Batu Resort, Besar Bagus Place, Clean and Happy Recycling Mersing, D’Coconut Resort, Dive Asia, Eng Teck, Let’s Go Island, Mersing Riders Cycling Team, Mirage Resort, Pejabat Tanah Mersing, Pejabat Taman Negara Johor, Trash Hero Mersing and Victory Trading.