MPA, conservation group team up to promote marine biodiversity

A volunteer diver with the marine debris collected underwater. Yesterday, 20 volunteer divers completed a clean-up exercise in the southern waters around Lazarus Island. PHOTO: MARITIME AND PORT AUTHORITY
A volunteer diver with the marine debris collected underwater. Yesterday, 20 volunteer divers completed a clean-up exercise in the southern waters around Lazarus Island. PHOTO: MARITIME AND PORT AUTHORITY

The Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) and local marine conservation group Our Singapore Reefs have teamed up to promote the importance of Singapore's marine biodiversity.

They will organise underwater clean-up activities and public outreach events each year as part of a three-year collaboration.

Kicking off the partnership as part of efforts to commemorate World Oceans Day last Saturday, 20 volunteer divers completed an underwater clean-up exercise in the southern waters around Lazarus Island yesterday.

About 140 pieces of marine debris, weighing around 75kg, were retrieved and sorted for proper disposal, said a joint statement by MPA and Our Singapore Reefs.

Our Singapore Reefs also spoke about marine conservation at the Singapore Maritime Gallery yesterday to raise awareness of the adverse impact of marine debris on the environment and encourage the public to play a part in protecting it.

MPA chief executive Quah Ley Hoon said marine debris not only has a detrimental impact on marine life, but it is also potentially hazardous to navigation safety in Singapore's port waters.

Mr Toh Tai Chong, co-founder of Our Singapore Reefs, said: "World Oceans Day is a reminder of how valuable nature is and how much more we can do to protect it."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 10, 2019, with the headline 'MPA, conservation group team up to promote marine biodiversity'. Print Edition | Subscribe