On Saturday, September 16, 2017, a group of local tour operators, residents and international students came together to clean up the coast around Tromsø hosted by Pukka Travels. The goal was to clean as much shoreline as possible to reduce the trash north of Kvaløyvågen, where the whales migrate and feed during the winter. The outcome was incredible.
The group of 50 volunteers collected 1400kg of trash from the coast with the help of the boats from Arctic Cruise in Norway, Polar Adventures, Arctic Adventure Tours and Pukka Travels. That’s over a ton and a half of trash!
September 16th is International Coastal cleanup day run by the Ocean Conservancy. Over 12 million people have taken part in this event to fight for trash free seas, and have collected over 103,836,278 kilograms of trash collected since 1985.
Tromsø was the only city registered in Scandinavia to participate in the International Ocean clean up event, “We hope to lead the International ecotourism revolution by connecting tourism operators, students, locals and the city to make big changes in reducing plastic from the shoreline and set examples for cities worldwide” – Perri Rothenberg, Digital Strategy at Pukka Travels .
“The day would not have been possible without the help of the local community, and of course the tour operators and Tromsø Kommune. Polar Adventures, Arctic Cruise in Norway, Arctic Adventure Tours took a Saturday off to take nearly 50 volunteers including other tourism operators and local businesses like the restaurant Hildr, Tromsø Camping, Tromsø Safari, Wild Seas, Tromsø Undervannsklubb and Smart Hotel Tromsø out and provide a place to make new friends and clean shorelines, the energy was really incredible” – Anton Heijbel, Daglig leder Pukka Travels.
Most of the trash collected was plastic, rope, and fishing supplies that can easily harm wildlife in the area. 3 Divers from the diving community went into the sea to collect any netting or lines that could harm the whales or other wildlife, fortunately there was very little trash found underwater in this area. The group hopes to make this an annual tradition with more operators and the city of Tromsø getting involved. There was nearly 50 people on the waiting list to join this event, and have received many requests asking when our next cleanup event will be.
You can read more about the event, sponsors and the itinerary here.
The event was made Carbon Positive thanks to Chooose, by deleting permissions to pollute 2 tons of C02, for the boats and personal emissions involved for the event. That is equivalent to nearly 9 flights from Oslo to London.