Another J’can uncovers deplorable trash conditions at Kingston Harbour
#JamaicaISee was designed to highlight the island’s beauty as captured by Jamaicans. But if some Jamaicans only see dirt, what would they emphasize but dirt?
Loop Lifestyle felt it needed to shed some light on the working conditions of this fisherman, Densel “Trevor” Edwards, who goes out to catch fish every day but mostly ends up catching trash and plastic bottles.
Edwards was discovered by the ESIROM Foundation, which recently launched a new phase of its plastic-free education campaign. They recently created a four part series that has waded through the social media spheres.
The first episode, taped at Port of Kingston, focuses on highlighting the impact of waste disposal during the December-January entertainment season.
In other videos, Edwards, a fisherman and environmentalist, shared mounds of trash on his way while driving through and highlighted some factors that contributed to the problem.
Lost flags, plastic bottles, styrofoam containers, or paraphernalia are just a few of the conspicuous items in the heap.
Wrapping paper, bolts — you heard that right — bolts of fabric used to decorate parties and events that Edwards said “smother the mangrove,” as he put it; The problem is mainly due to human disposal.
The litter problem is also affecting travel time on the seas, with the average trip taking between two and four hours.
And the problem isn’t just a floating mass of garbage in the ocean, but according to a statement from ESIROM, the garbage is also affecting the ecosystem, something Edwards addresses in an upcoming fourth episode.
Interest in exploring Kingston Harbor began when members of the ESIROM Foundation noticed a layer of debris and plastic bottles floating on the harbor.
It spread far and wide, further than our eyes could see. From then on we decided this was an issue that we needed to address through the ESIROM Foundation.
This happened in September 2022. A few weeks later, the ESIROM team returned and found “Trevor” who offered to take them out to sea to take a closer look at the polluted areas.
Edwards, who also paints and builds boats, took the three-person team on his boat for a four-hour harbor tour, where they saw discarded refrigerators, car seats, mattresses, fabrics, plastic in every form (snack wrappers, plastic bottles, equipment, etc.)
Pollution not only affects the ecosystem and all life within it, but also the livelihoods of fishermen in the area, and as a Small Island Development State (SIDS), Jamaica is vulnerable to the long- or short-term effects of climate change.
Unfortunately, cleaning the harbor does not get to the root of the problem. There have been countless reports from other organizations that the area is returning to a polluted state immediately after the cleanup.
The ESIROM team plans to address the issue beforehand. The team is holding meetings with “Trevor” to fund and run a project this year that would help clean up the port on a regular basis.
To learn more about the ESIROM Foundation’s Coastline Clean-up Initiative and follow Trevor’s progress, visit their Instagram page.