The resort was abandoned which means the road to the beach is no longer maintained making it impossible to get taxis and bikes there, but still makes a great walk if you want to explore another part of the island. The snorkeling and diving around the bay is great as well.
In the past visitors to Laem Thain have been a bit absent minded and left their rubbish there instead of taking it with them, also due to it’s location this bay also gets a lot of rubbish brought in on the current and tides. A few months ago we took some rubbish bins around there for people to use and put up signs asking people to take their rubbish with them or use the bins provided and give us a ring if they become full.
For the most part it’s working, the bins were full and this time the beach was looking great. The rubbish we collected from it greatly reduced since the first time we went there. In the past we counted bags and bottles and the numbers reduced every time which was great. In the past we never had a way of using the data we collected until now .
Project AWARE used to have an annual beach and underwater clean up , getting all the PADI affiliated schools to take part. Over the last year they have shifted their efforts to deal with the issue of marine debris and have taken a different approach. Instead of one clean up a year they created a campaign called Dive Against Debris for the month of September.
Once the rubbish is collected we count each piece to find out exactly what it is and how much of it there is but also where is it coming from, us or someone else. We log and weigh it all and then send all this information into Project AWARE. They can then take this information to large companies, governments and communities as evidence of the problems they are creating. This adds pressure which can change their habits. So now our efforts are going to actually tackling the problem head.
We got a group together from guest divers and staff at the shop and had a briefing on the clean up. We formed teams to cover beach, bay and water and headed out on Captain P’Dong’s boat to Laem Thian. It was a perfect tropical sunny day with little wind or waves.Once moored up the dive teams set off in different directions and the beach teams swam over to the beach to get started.
The beach itself was quite clean and didn’t take too long getting it looking nice again. The big job of the day was just off the beach in the shallow where we found over twenty kilograms of old knotted rope and fishing net. There were a few fish caught in it but we had brought a knife so managed to save a beautiful Parrot fish and cut away the rope from the coral it hard tangled on.
By the time we got the rope and nets up the divers had finished their dives with rubbish in hand and a job well done. We headed back to start weighing, counting and logging all the data on the forms and then entered all our findings on the Project AWARE web site. We then ensured everything that could be recycled ended up in the right place.
Well done and thank you to everyone who helped out – if you want to find out how you can get involved – read more below. Don’t forget to hit the Facebook or Twitter buttons to the left and share this to spread the word!