CAPE TOWN: New netting technology adopted by Sea Harvest Corporation (Pty) Ltd. in collaboration with the Dyer Island Conservation Trust should reduce the amount of pollution flowing into Saldanha Bay from a storm water drain in Hoedtjiesbaai. The initiative forms part of Sea Harvest’s endeavours to adopt and promote sustainable practices and an ecosystems approach to protecting the environment and comes ahead of World Fisheries Day on 21 November 2019.
Sea Harvest Board Chairman, Fred Robertson, says, “In July 2019, Sea Harvest partnered with Non-Profit Organization (NPO), Dyer Island Conservation Trust, in securing the netting technology to trap storm water overflow in the Hoedjies Baai area in Saldanha Bay. The founder of the Trust, Wilfred Chivell, was inspired when he saw the technology implemented successfully in Australia. He then launched a pilot project in Gansbaai and shared the results with Sea Harvest. Given our commitment to sustainability and as members of the Saldanha Bay Water Quality Forum Trust (SBWQFT), we were excited by the results and, together with Mr Chivell, we consulted with officials from the Saldanha Bay Municipality (SBM) to gauge their support for a similar project. The outcome was positive given the SBM’s continuous focus on ensuring that the pristine beaches on the West Coast retain their rich biodiversity and sustain the ever-growing ecotourism industry.”
Illegal dumping, sewerage overflows, blockages, night soil, grey water and windblown solid waste are some factors that impede the management of a storm water drain system and the litter traps are geared towards preventing solid waste, such as plastics, from entering the ocean and negatively impacting marine life. The durability of the trap was tested with the heavy rains experienced towards the end of October and the design and actual device proved to be an absolute success.
In addition to protecting the ocean and marine life from plastics and other pollution, the litter trap netting project also lends support to the SBM Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), as the litter traps will be monitored and regularly cleaned by the EPWP employees, who are employed by the SBM on a contractual basis whenever employment opportunities arise.
Funding for the project was made available via the Sea Harvest Foundation (NPC), which has supported various community empowerment projects in and around Saldanha Bay and elsewhere in South Africa since 1998. Sea Harvest’s Fleet Management staff, meanwhile, constructed and installed the litter trap device.
Sea Harvest aims to continue supporting the installation of similar litter traps in collaboration with SBM and other local stakeholders.
For more information about the initial litter trap in Australia, visit: https://www.boredpanda.com/drainage-nets-catching-trash-kwinana-city/.