Is­land ecosys­tem

Holiday with Kids - - Malaysia -

My fam­ily joins a vol­un­teer beach clean up on the far side of the is­land. Kids ini­tially re­luc­tant are soon tri­umphantly bag­ging up bot­tles, fish­ing line and old ropes. The longevity of plas­tic is a source of amaze­ment, with bot­tles from Viet­nam, China and Tai­wan all be­ing found. The vol­ume of rub­bish is stag­ger­ing. Heather tells me that the staff cleaned up a beach af­ter the last wet sea­son: “In one hour, we re­moved 80 garbage bags of rub­bish.” Con­sid­er­ing the ocean-borne rub­bish world­wide, it’s not sur­pris­ing that float­ing plas­tic, which looks like food to a turtle, is a ma­jor threat.

Batu Batu cares for the un­der­wa­ter en­vi­ron­ment, too. Re­cently the re­sort com­menced a coral reef en­hance­ment project, util­is­ing frag­ments of coral and re­cy­cled glass bot­tles. Snorkellers and divers are ed­u­cated on pro­tect­ing corals and there are no-fish-feed­ing dis­plays. The ab­sence of smoth­er­ing al­gae and dead corals in­di­cate that the reef ecosys­tem is in healthy bal­ance.

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