By The Nation
It noted a recent survey by Georgia University in the US and pointed out that sea trash not only endangers marine life but hampers the global economy, damages ships and fishing vessels and ruins beaches.
However, Citi Thailand said in a press release this week, young people are increasingly interested in “conservation tourism”, by which travellers can both enjoy their seaside holidays and engage in one or all of three recommended activities to help the environment.
First, they can volunteer to collect plastic trash on the beaches and in the sea. “This activity is popular among youths because it’s is easy and costs nothing,” said Wanvisa Komindr, a senior vice president at Citi Thailand.
“It can promote unity and can be extended to practices that reduce plastic use in favour of materials that are environment-friendly, such as fabric bags for shopping around the beaches and glasses, cups and use food containers that are reusable.”
They can also volunteer to care for aquatic creatures. Catching and even feeding marine animals at sea has to be discouraged because it alters the animals’ habits, Wanvisa noted. Predators have been known to lose their aggressiveness when food is artificially provided, upsetting the natural ecological balance.
Visitors to Thailand are being welcomed to help build nursing farms for marine animals, feeding them and otherwise engaging with them animals under expert supervision.
Divers are encouraged to gather up loose fishing nets. The Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Centre estimates that up to 40 per cent of sea creatures die because they get entangled with human debris in the water, such as fishing nets.
“The most important concern is to travel without causing impacts on the environment in the long run,” Wanvisa said. “Citi Thailand’s ‘Save the Ocean – Clean the Sea’ project recently let volunteers collect fishing nets and undersea trash that’s not naturally degradable.”