Fishing is an important part of Jamaican life and culture. The fishermen (they are mostly men) go out to sea, and their catch is fried near the beach or sold to households and retailers. Fishing provides income for the community and food for residents and businesses.
Unfortunately, many of the fishermen discard their old and damaged fishing nets in the sea. Abandoned fishing nets, called ghost gear, then drift in the currents, trapping and killing fish and other forms of marine life. .The Ghost Gear Initiative is designed to educate the fishing communities on the harm caused to the environment and to their own livelihoods by ghost gear. It aims to provide collection points for the discarded nets, so that they can be removed from the environment. The ghost gear will be weighed and measured in order to provide a better estimate of the size of the problem. This data will then be used to inform decision-making at both local and national levels.
Students at the Harbour View Primary will become our first Junior Ambassadeurs through their recycling efforts. The school is located in the Harbour View community, adjacent to the Kinston Harbour. Students get to see first hand the impact plastic pollution causes both aesthetically and when flooding occurs.
Through the Ambassadeur programme students learn about the history of plastic, what is meant by the word plastic, the impact of plastic and what happens to plastic after use.
They actively collect, count and weigh the plastic bottles that are used daily at the school in order to answer the questions, How do we use less plastic? What are the available alternatives? What policies can the school community introduce to reduce the amount of plastic it allows on campus? What is the business case for plastic alternatives? and most importantly, How can I do this at home?
The plastic bottles collected at the school are then sent off to be properly recycled.