MPA and Our Singapore Reefs Team Up for Marine Conservation

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(Image Courtesy: TODAYonline)

To commemorate World Oceans Day on 8 June, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and Our Singapore Reefs (OSR) have embarked on a three-year collaboration to promote the importance of Singapore’s marine biodiversity. As part of this partnership, underwater clean-up activities and public outreach events will be organised annually.

To kick off the partnership, an underwater clean-up exercise involving 20 volunteer divers, was organised in the waters around Lazarus Island earlier this morning. About 140 pieces of marine debris weighing around 75 kg were retrieved and sorted for proper disposal. The data gathered on the types, sources and location of marine debris collected will be compiled and reported to Project AWARE’s global database under its flagship Dive Against Debris® programme, to support the development and implementation of policies to improve solid waste management around the world.

Commenting on the maritime environmental partnership, Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of MPA, said, “We are happy to work with the OSR team to engage the wider community in efforts to keep our waters clean. Marine debris not only has a detrimental impact on our marine ecosystem and life, it is also potentially hazardous to navigational safety in our busy port waters. I am heartened that through our collective efforts, more will embrace this shared responsibility to keep Singapore’s port waters clean and safe.”

Toh Tai Chong, co-founder of OSR, said, “World Oceans Day is a reminder of how valuable nature is and how much more we can do to protect it. Combating marine debris is no easy feat but with the undying support from our passionate volunteers and benevolent partners, we can make our ocean a cleaner place for everyone to enjoy.”

To raise awareness of the adverse impact of marine debris on our environment and encourage members of the public to play a part in protecting it, the OSR team organised a talk about marine conservation for about 80 participants at the Singapore Maritime Gallery in the afternoon. Photographs taken during the underwater clean-up exercise were also shared with the audience to shed light on the existence of marine pollution in Singapore’s waters.

The joint underwater clean-up exercise complements MPA’s existing efforts to protect the marine environment and promote safe navigation in our port waters. These include MPA’s Clean-Up on Kayak, where young Singaporean volunteers meet every quarter to help remove and sort marine debris from our waters.

Sea News, June 10