The Jakarta Post
Polluted: Plastic trash and non-organic waste cover corals in Nusa Dua waters, Bali, threatening the marine ecosystem in the area. (Courtesy of Nusa Dua Reef Foundation/File)
Three tons of garbage have reportedly been removed from Bunaken Island since January this year, thanks to a collaboration between Bunaken National Park (BTNB) and the regional administration.
In the latest cleaning operation, conducted on Monday, 1 ton of garbage is said to have been collected. According to kompas.com the team removed up to 200 bags of rubbish weighing between 4 and 5 kilograms each.
BTNB public relations head Eko Wahyu Handoyo said around 1 ton of garbage was found within a month at the national park.
"We have seen an increase in the amount of trash [collected compared to last year], [probably] because the weather was not very good this year," Eko told kompas.com on Thursday.
The huge quantity of garbage, which was mostly household plastics and came not from Bunaken Island itself, but from the Sulawesi mainland and even from Kalimantan, has rather spoiled the national park's beauty.
Particularly during extreme weather, the marine tourist area around the island becomes polluted. The collected trash was delivered by boat to the Manado garbage dump (TPA).
BTNB Bunaken Resort coordinator Frans Motto said the park agency in collaboration with the Manado city administration had made efforts to clean the beach regularly alongside several dive centers.
"As we know, Bunaken is the marine tourist icon in North Sulawesi, the center of biodiversity in the pacific lip, which we should preserve by removing the rubbish that enters the area," said Frans. (kes)