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Beach cleanup proclaimed by Indonesian Marine Fisheries Minister Mrs. Susi Pujiastuti officially included Gorontalo.
Nationwide Beach Cleanup Announced
Indonesia enjoys an extremely popular Mminister of Marine Fisheries. Her colorful past and forthright attitude speak to the hearts of many Indonesian citizens. She is most famous for her by-line “Sink it!” During almost four years as minister, she has sunk over 360 foreign vessels caught illegally fishing in Indonesian waters.
With her usual personal charisma, Ibu Susi announced plans for a nation-wide beach cleanup. She calls her organizational teams Pandu Laut Nasional.
“As proof of loyalty and love for the Republic of Indonesia, Pandu Laut Nasional will do beach cleanup in 73 beaches from Sabang to Merauke, Miangas to Rote.” She also added, “If we don’t begin now, when will we? So, our plea is that all Indonesian citizens, including the youth, will form a marine alliance along with Pandu Laut and go to the ocean on 19 August.” Indonesia’s Independence Day falls on 17 August.
With the help of her provincial partners, her ministry identified the 73 locations and designated them for beach cleanup. If no beach is handy, she urged residents to clean up nearby rivers and lakes. Ibu Susi herself will help with the beach clean in Bitung, North Sulawesi, after she sinks some more ships.
With an eye for simultaneous broadcasts, Pandu Laut Nasional coordinated the times. The hope is for one million people to get involved. In a nation as large as Indonesia, a giant beach cleanup like that is certainly possible. In Gorontalo, the beach cleanup started around 1400 hours.
Beach Cleanup in Gorontalo
The organizing committee in Gorontalo included Provincial Marine Fisheries, Environmental Research and Tourism departments along with local universities and police. Local dive entities like POSSI and Miguel’s Diving also participated. About twenty scuba divers participated. They selected Tamboo village for beach cleanup. It is in the Leato Selatan neighborhood of Dumbo Raya sub regency. It is at the edge of Gorontalo City.
Miguel’s Diving staff considered this a great choice since the area is the worst for trash. Three of our dive masters worked as a team. They carried a large plastic dive gear box. They dove to 18 meters and worked their way back up the sandy slope. It took less than 20 minutes to fill their box. Before surfacing, the team clocked the appropriate three-minute safety stop. They surfaced just in time to join others on the beach to sing “Indonesia Raya.” That is the national anthem. A drone captured the event for live broadcast. Various print and online media also covered the event.
Organizers of Pandu Laut Nusantara also used the beach cleanup to educate the villagers on cleanliness. Mr. Anis Naki, Gorontalo Provincial Secretary gave a challenge. “We in Gorontalo wish that this kind of activity would happen not on this day only. But, this should be carried out routinely, at least once a month.” He added, “We in Gorontalo need to care together, since our cleanliness is less than desired.”
Trash in the Ocean
According to a study released by the University of Georgia, Indonesia is among the top ten nations contributing plastic waste into the oceans. The nation puts an estimated 0.48 to 1,29 million metric tons annually in its seas. Ibu Susi has a goal of 70% reduction in this plastic waste by 2025.
When interviewed by Kompas online media, Mr. Rantje of Miguel’s Diving explained what trash was retrieved from the ocean in front of Tamboo village. Almost all was single use wrapping, like energy drink mix, shampoo, diapers, plastic bags and beer cans.
When guests of Miguel’s Diving dive the reefs of Gorontalo, rarely will they see trash like that. One reason is that our staff do not wait for a beach cleanup day. We pick up trash daily during the course of a dive. To express your appreciation to an environmentally active dive center, please book your dive trip with us.