Volunteers to clean remote island beaches
Rubbish is piling up on many of Stewart Island's remote beaches and $100,000 is being spent so eager garbage collectors can clean it up.
Thirty-two volunteers have jumped at the chance to spend four days getting their hands dirty in the name of conservation.
Following the collection of nearly 100 cubic metres of rubbish along the coast of southern Fiordland last year, the organisers of the Fiordland coastal cleanup have turned their attention to cleaning up the western coast of Stewart Island.
Joyce Kolk, one of the cleanup organisers, said Stewart Island had been targeted after it was noticed there was rubbish piling up on many of its remote beaches.
"These are places only accessed by boat or plane but rubbish is finding a way to these spots," she said. Volunteers will be based in Mason Bay for the cleanup.
The most common items collected along the coast of Fiordland last year were rope, netting, buoys and bait pots. It was expected it would be more of the same on Stewart Island, Ms Kolk said.
"We expect to collect about 120 cubic metres this time. It appears there is more rubbish in a smaller area," she said.
There would also be a prize donated by The Helicopter Line Queenstown for the "most unusual" piece of rubbish found.
The cleanup has gained the support of many southern businesses including southern fisheries, tourism operators, local government bodies and the Department of Conservation.
Some of the biggest operators in the New Zealand fishing industry have also got on board.
The Deepwater Group - who represent the great majority of quota-owners in New Zealand's major deepwater fisheries including Ngai Tahu Seafood Resources, Sanford Ltd and Talley's Group Ltd - has provided significant funding to help cover the $100,000 cost of the cleanup, Ms Kolk said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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