Being born and raised by the coast of Malacca Straits, the sound of the ocean is always my favorite thing to listen to. The sound of the ocean hasn’t been the same anymore because of the many floating debris that hits the rocks where I sit by. Green and healthy mangrove trees which were homes to crabs and fish have also recently been trashed by irresponsible individuals. It’s devastating to see the changes that have been happening to the sea and the aquatic animals living in it. We, earthlings, should take the blame and responsibility.

As human beings of the 21st century, we should start being conscious about the environment so that it can be preserved for the future. Our recklessness towards this matter will bring us only harm and no good. Sea pollution is not only solid based but it can also be chemically based. The chemicals used at home, in plantation sites and factory disposals are few of the reasons for animals to be killed in the sea. Everybody should start at home. We should start disposing the chemical and solid waste from home in a proper manner instead of the drain which could eventually pollute the sea. Factories and plantation sites should have filters for their drains before dumping the liquid-based waste into the sea.

On the other hand, fishermen should also play a role in saving the ocean. Ghost nets which are disposed of by them affect marine life because they get caught in it and end up getting to the shore. The floating debris will eventually get washed to the shore and get trapped to the roots of mangrove trees. Mangrove trees play a major role in this ecosystem by being the anchors of the sea bed and being breeding sites for sea creatures. Instead of cutting down these trees for man-made islands, we should start planting more of these trees.

Everyone loves a good beach vacation but we end up leaving something behind that pollutes the sea. Right from the sunscreens we use to “nasi lemak” wrappers we throw randomly, they eventually play a role in polluting. The trash bins which have been placed along the seashore sometimes serve no purpose due to our carefree minds. As beach lovers, we should start using organic based body products. Instead of using single used plastic bags, we should start using degradable bags or bring our own bags from home. The number of clothes, diapers and hygiene waste will accumulate on the seashore if we don’t start disposing of them in the garbage bins provided.

Finally, parents should start educating their children from a young age about pollution. They should start spending time together loving nature and keeping it clean. Our duty does not end by only spreading the message around instead we should also imply it in our daily lives - by picking up and throwing the rubbish we see while we are walking along the coast will make a big difference to us who are enjoying the breeze and to the creatures in the sea.

Organizations and individuals who have been cleaning these coastal areas deserve a big thank you from us. Lastly, we should always keep in mind that mother nature is for us but not ours, so join hands in keeping our sea clean and the sea creatures happy.

Tinesh Kumar Selvaraja