Kerala’s Marine Cemetery is Memorial for Aquatic Life Killed by Plastic Pollution
The times are critical as plastic pollution is threatening all the species that reside on the planet. Although the versatile characteristics of plastic have made it useful in every aspect of human life, it is dangerous to every living being. Much of the plastic waste ends up in either landfills or the oceans. In fact, over the past few years, thousands of carcasses of marine mammals are found dead along the Indian coastline.
So, it’s only fitting that on World Wildlife Conservation Day on December 4, the world’s first Marine Cemetery built entirely out of single-use plastic bottles at Beypore Beach, Kozhikode was opened for public. It embodies the near future of aquatic life indicating the noxious effects of plastic choking our oceans.
The installation was built using waste collected by a team of over 200 volunteers. This memorial for the endangered marine life aims to sensitize people about the effects of single-use plastic and water pollution. The Marine Cemetery consists of nine gravestones made of iron frames and plastic bottles. The gravestones bear names of eight critically endangered aquatic species on them.
For the past three months, Kerala-based Jellyfish Watersport has been working with the climate activist Aakash Ranison, to build this installation in order to spread awareness about the effects of plastic and water pollution.
Million tons of marine litter is disposed in the oceans each year and 50 percent beach litter is plastic waste threatening our marine life. 15 marine species have already gone extinct owing to water and plastic pollution and many are on the brink of it.
The structure took Ranison and the team working with him over 24 days to build, and he had to come up with new modifications each day to deal with the plastic staying there despite the harsh sun, strong winds and close proximity to water.
The conservationist effort is not limited to the Marine Cemetery which will raise awareness, and Jellyfish has also succeeded in bringing together paddlers to clean the Chaliyar River. In addition, locals from the area were also mobilized in a large scale effort to clean up Beypore beach.
The campaign, #OnePlasticLess by Jellyfish Watersport encourages people to realise that rejecting plastic means eliminating millions of kilos of plastic waste from the environment and protecting it from its harmful effects.
The ocean plastic ends up trapping the innocent aquatic animals and sometimes inside their digestive system causing casualties. If such incidents keep occurring, more species will be wiped off the face of the planet. The elimination of plastic, especially single-use plastic is very crucial to preserve the wildlife and marine species.