Black Immigrant Daily News
#JamaicaISee was designed to highlight the beauty of the island, recorded by Jamaicans. But, if some Jamaicans only see grime, what else would they highlight other than grime?
Loop Lifestyle thought it necessary to shed some light on the working conditions of this fisherman, Densel “Trevor” Edwards, who goes out daily to catch fish, but ends up catching trash and plastic bottles, more often than not.
Edwards was discovered by the ESIROM Foundation, which recently kicked off a new phase of its plastic-free educational campaign. They have created a four-part series recently that has been wading through the social media spheres.
The first episode, which was recorded on Kingston Harbour, focuses on highlighting the effects of trash disposal during the December to January entertainment season.
In other videos, Edwards, a fisherman and environmentalist, parted piles of garbage in his path as he steered through and highlighted some contributing factors of the problem.
Lost flags, plastic bottles, Styrofoam containers or utensils, are but a few of the noticeable items in the pile.
Wrapping paper, bales – you heard right – bales of fabric used to decorate parties and events that are, according to Edwards – is “stifling the mangrove”, as he put it; the issue is primarily derived from human disposal.
The trash issue also affects the time for travelling the seas as the average trip takes between two and four hours.
And, the issue is not just a floating mass of garbage in the ocean, but, according to a statement from ESIROM, the garbage also affects the ecosystem, something that Edwards addresses in an upcoming fourth episode.
The interest in exploring Kingston Harbour began when members of the ESIROM Foundation noticed a layer of debris and plastic bottles floating on the harbour.
It spread far and wide, further than our eyes could see. We decided from then that this was an issue we had to tackle through the ESIROM Foundation.
This took place in September 2022. A couple of weeks later, the ESIROM team returned to find “Trevor”, who offered to take them out to sea for a closer look at the polluted areas.
Edwards, who also paints and builds boats, invited the team of three onto his boat for a four-hour tour around the harbour, where they saw discarded refrigerators, car seats, mattresses, fabrics, the plastic of every form (snack wrappers, plastic bottles, pieces of equipment etc.)
The pollution is not only affecting the ecosystem and all the life it holds, but also the livelihood of the fishermen in the area, and as a small island developing state (SIDS), Jamaica is vulnerable to the long-or-short-term effects of climate change.
Cleaning up the harbour is not tackling the problem at the root, unfortunately. There have been countless reports from other organisations that immediately after clean-ups, the area returns to a polluted state.
The ESIROM team are making plans to address the issue upstream. The team is conducting meetings with “Trevor” to fund and execute a project this year that would support regular cleaning of the harbour.
To find out more about ESIROM Foundation’s Coastline Clean-up initiative and to track Trevor’s progress, check out their Instagram page.