By Madiba Singhateh
The second beach clean-up exercise for plastic and other waste matter, will kick off Saturday, December 8th 2018, at the Lemon Creek. The clean-up exercise is organized by ‘Gambia Ocean Heroes’, a project organized by GREAT Institute, a research center for marine science, environmental issues, and climate change.
This will be the second time Ocean Heroes will organize such a clean-up exercise in the country. The exercise will help marine creatures from the dangers of plastic waste, which mostly ends up in the oceans and rivers, across the world. According to their press release, Ocean Heroes indicate among other things, that marine organisms are most often victims of plastic waste; that turtles, dolphins, shrimp, fish, sharks, crabs, sea bird and crocodiles just to name a few, die from the menace of plastic waste, thrown in Gambian waters; that plastic and micro plastics, give these creatures persistent problems in their food web. The press release further stated that plastic ingested by fish, crabs and shrimp, end up in their bodies because they consume these foods. The release added that Oceans and rivers are polluted with a wide variety of plastic waste, thrown away during weekend beach parties. They said for every plastic discarded on land, eventually runs off into the ocean and river for potential consumption by marine creatures; that most plastic waste cannot be decomposed and remains afloat on water for years. The release said Marine life can become snagged on the plastic wastes by mistaking it for food; that this slowly kills them over a long period of time. The release indicate that plastics have a persistent problem to the food web of marine creatures.
The release conclude that plastics are man-made chemicals classified as endocrine (brain) disruptors; that they alter the function of the endocrine (brain), by mimicking the roles of the body’s natural hormones, testosterone and estrogen, and cause reproductive problems such as infertility, etc.