Oceana Belize - The sea’s deadliest predator is trash! - Every year, it’s estimated that more than three billion pounds of plastics, styrofoam and other pollutants end up in the world’s oceans. Marine debris poses deadly consequences to threatened species like turtles and is often mistaken for food by a wide variety of marine animals, which could pose health implications to humans.
Belize’s beaches, cayes and coastlines are not immune to this global problem. While a significant amount of the marine debris that washes ashore floats in from other countries, a disturbing amount of garbage generated here at home does end up in the Caribbean Sea.
To help deliver the messages of reducing the amount of garbage created every day and the importance of properly disposing trash, Oceana is using art to heighten awareness about the rising tide of pollutants washing ashore. Oceana wavemakers and allied organizations across the country collected everything from plastic bottles and bags to sytrofoam plates and cups to rope, wire and even discarded CDs. Those items were sorted, washed and then used to create an artistic piece. The free standing ‘fish’ will be a part of the Titans carnival group’s presentation in this year’s carnival road march on September 17th 2016.
According the David Matus, Titans Mas Band’s Creative Director, “We’re coming at our theme this year: Secrets of the Sea, from more than one angle. On one hand, there’s beauty and wonder but on the other, there are threats like ocean pollution. We want people to realize that dirty secrets like marine debris negatively impacts the Belize we all depend on.”
The joint hope of Oceana and Titans is that Belizeans will begin to think differently about the impact marine debris and trash is having on our country’s aesthetics, on our marine environment and on our own wellbeing. “We’re also giving Belizeans the opportunity to be a part of this exciting project”, shared Amelita Knowles, Oceana’s National Grassroots Coordinator. “We are still fishing for a name for the piece. The name can be fun but we also want it to be symbolic. If anyone has any ideas, please feel free to share them with us by contacting our offices via telephone or social media.”
Oceana also takes the opportunity to thank all the Belizean organizations and individuals who continue to participate in regular clean-ups to remove marine debris from the environment, and we encourage everyone to participate in the 25th annual River and Coastal Clean-up, scheduled for September 24th 2016.