16 Feb 200 Kilograms of Ghost Nets Removed in Nusa Penida Underwater Cleanup
The month of February, known as the month of love in celebration of Valentine’s Day, is used for momentum to raise a sense of care and love for the island of Nusa Penida, especially its Marine Protected Area (MPA). On 16 February 2019, there was a Nusa Penida Beach Cleanup implemented with the theme “Show Your Concern to Nusa Penida Islands” at four locations: Temeling Beach, Gamat Bay, Crystal Bay, and Banjar Nyuh Harbor. The Government of Klungkung Regency with an activity coordinator from the Nusa Penida District and Nusa Penida MPA Management Unit carried out this beach activity.
The purpose of the beach cleanups were to: 1) Increase the care for the island of Nusa Penida; 2) clean the beach from all plastic waste; and 3) raise awareness from all parties. Participants were divided into three groups for the beach activities in Crystal Bay, Gamat Bay, and Banjar Nyuh Harbor. Cleaning equipment, such as gloves, brooms, and bags, were used to clean up the trash. Participants focused on collecting plastic waste, so that it does not drift into the ocean and degrade into microplastics. The activity was successful with various kinds of garbage removed from the beach. The collected garbage was taken to the sanitation department and then taken to a landfill for further management.
In addition to the beach cleanups, there was also an underwater cleanup that was carried out in response to a report from a diver (Rich Horner), who found fishing nets caught on the coral reefs around the waters between Toya Pakeh and Gamat Bay (core zone of the Nusa Penida MPA). The underwater cleanup was carried out together with the Nusa Penida MPA Management Unit and CTC. Bali Diving Academy was the coordinator for the underwater cleanup and was supported by Scuba Junkies Nusa Penida, Big Fish Lembongan, World Diving Lembongan, Blue Corner Lembongan, and volunteers. The challenge with this activity was that the currents are very strong in the Ceningan strait and the size of the nets were very large and heavy. It was important to remove the nets as soon as possible in order to reduce the damage on the coral reef. The total weight of the nets recovered were around 200 kg and they were successfully removed from the ocean and taken to the landfill.
The beach and ocean cleanup activities will be routinely carried out to increase the awareness of all sectors and contributions from all parties for improved management of the Nusa Penida Island. All parties involved in the cleanups appreciated the activities and are committed to caring for the Nusa Penida Island. Nusa Penida MPA Management Unit team plans to do a socialization for local fishermen in order to educate them about not throwing used nets into the sea due to coral reef damage and endangerment of marine animals.