The Tuvalu Fisheries Department (TFD) took awareness on a healthy ocean and the issue of plastic pollution to the islets of Funafuti last week on a field trip as part of the Environment Week celebrations. This year, international Environment Week was themed as “25 years of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) safe-guarding Life on Earth” and “Beat plastic pollution”.
TFD’s main focus was ‘Save our ocean and living creatures, and beat plastic pollution’ which targeted Form 2 students from Nauti Primary School and the Seventh Day Adventist Primary School.
The field trip took place at Fualopa islet, one of the islets within the Funafuti Conservation Area (FCA), and participants were transported to the islet on the RV Tala Moana.
A hundred and twenty four people participated, including Form 2 students, teachers, officers of the Ridge to Reef Rroject (R2R0, staff from the departments of Agriculture, Waste, and Environment, the NAPA II Project, a member of the Funafuti Kaupule (Island Council), fisheries officers and a member from the Flower Power group.
At the islet, Form 2 students were divided into three groups, namely: Marine, Terrestrial and Beach, for an educational activity facilitated by Mr. Teleke Peleti, Mr. Tito Isala, Ms Miriama Taukiei and Ms Lilly Nafatali.
The main idea of these educational activities is for our children and especially the public to know how dangerous plastic pollution is to every living thing around us, especially in the sea, where fish is our daily source of intake.
During these activities, Ms Taukiei said that “The sea is not a dumping site for plastics and we should all work together to stop littering plastics on land, on the beach and in the sea”.
One student compared Funafuti to Fualopa islet. She said that “Fualopa is much cleaner than the main land especially the water and the fresh air”.
After all the activities, lunch was served prepared by the Fisheries Department. Participants ended the day’s activities with collecting rubbish on the islet before heading back to the mainland.
This field trip was fully funded by the Fisheries Department.