Anticipating Fish with Plastic Consumption, Sorong City Stops Plastic

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Once in Sorong Mayoralty was found fish which was contaminated by microplastic. It was based on laboratory observation conducted by the relevant authority.

The statement was addressed by Julian Kelly Kambu, the Sorong Mayoralty’s Environment Office Head, in the commemoration of the World Environment Day with EcoDefender on Saturday 4 June 2022. 

In his speech, Julian said the importance of nurturing the environment in Sorong Mayoralty. The community living on the coastal areas could serve as examples to urban people to reduce plastic waste and plant mangrove.

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“If we fail to anticipate the condition, in the next one or two years or even five to ten years ahead, all people in Sorong Raya will eat microplastic-contaminated fish, which will affect our body such as lungs disruption and cancer,” said Julian.

As to him, fish could be contaminated by microplastic because public throw their waste to the sea and small fish eat the waste. Then larger fish eat the smaller one, and the fishers catch the larger fish for sale at Puri Bridge, Sorong City, West Papua.

Starting from such concern on plastic waste and public habit on dropping litter, Julian proclaimed Sorong City to Stop Plastic Bag. 

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“I have told all shops in Sorong City not to use plastic bag. Instead, please use noken (wood fiber-made traditional bag) made by women,” said Julian.

The event organized by EcoDefender Sorong here was attended by 150 participants from 15 communities. Some of them were Komunitas Manbri Bahari (Komanba), Kelas Victory, FK Unipa, GMKI, Bank Sampah Pam Jerli, Komahi Unimuda, Perpusling Agape, Patriot Sorong Raya, Maganaan Misool, Kebun Kompipa, Sorong Peduli Sampah. EcoDefender Sorong jointly with the community networks provided education on tree planting and waste impact at Rufei Sub-district, West Sorong District, Sorong Mayoralty.

Responding to Julian’s statement, the Executive Students Council (BEM) of Papua University (Unipa)’s School of Medicine provided educations on the hazard impact of waste to human health. “The waste volume in Sorong City continues to increase, so it should be immediately anticipated as otherwise, it will grow larger,” said Yusuf Hermawan, the Unipa BEM coordinator.

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With the escalating amount of waste in Sorong City, one of the communities, Komanba, performed beach cleanup every Saturday and Sunday. Komanba pioneer, Matheos Rayar, said that Komanba was inspired by the parents professions who commonly work as fishers living on the coastal areas.

“As our parents work on the sea, so we are as their children should know how to protect sea,” said Matheos who is also EcoNusa staffer at Sorong office.

Meanwhile, children often swim at the beach during low tide while seeking crabs. When high tide, they catch fish. “We care about their activities to ensure the sea is clean and has fish,” he said, hoping that mangrove planting could reduce sea wave and abrasion. 

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Komanba was attended by elderly people, youngsters, and children. The group here is run independently by gathering at one of the residents’ houses with all the drinks. This becomes the spirit for Komanba community. 

Julian addressed his message to care for the environment for the future generation. “Never wait until the air, water, sea is polluted with flooding and waste everywhere, then we came to realize the condition and we blame each other. Let’s not leave tears to our future generation,” said Julian.

The education activity through tree planting and waste impact will go on and serve as the start of community’s care for Sorong City. “We will keep moving and defending the environment of Sorong City,” said Hilda Patihani, a senior member of EcoDefender Sorong. 

Editor: Leo Wahyudi & Nur Alfiyah

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