Cape RADD students and volunteers always love to get involved in our regular harbor cleans right on our doorstep here in Simon’s Town.
Simon’s Town harbor is actually a very pleasant and relatively clean harbor compared to many. There is something very mysterious about gliding under the jetty structure in the gloomy waters, where there’s a surprising amount of life and activity.
As we cruise through the harbor structure cleaning old cans, plastic wrappers and fishing gear, we are surrounded by zebra fish, crabs and lobster as well as beautiful sea fans and soft corals, every now and again a shy shark will pass by on its own little mission. Its hard to believe that we are in a man made harbor with all this life and clean water.
As well as enjoying a fun dive and the wildlife, there is a greater purpose behind these cleans. The idea behind these dives are to firstly clean the litter that blows into the water from the local restaurants and bars right on the waterfront, to prevent it getting into the environment and damaging the biodiversity, but also to raise awareness and educate passers by and local businesses about the effect and damage that is done by single use plastics and litter from their business on the local environment and wildlife. Hopefully these dive cleans will promote more careful and thoughtful business approaches and create more responsibility on the owners and guests in our town.
After the dive we don’t just throw the litter away, but take it back the The Ocean Hub to analyze where the litter is from, weigh it and record the types of litter to build a dataset to help understand how we might prevent littering and pollution further.
Check out the video of what its like to do a Cape RADD harbor clean program.