During  ocean clean-ups people work together to remove rubbish from the ocean to help protect the marine environment. If you don’t dispose of your rubbish in the right way on land, it’ll end up in our oceans. It all starts with something simple - a ripped rubbish bag outside your house, or a coffee cup blowing out of an overflowing bin. All the rubbish gathers in the gutter, is carried through the drains and into the harbour.

Why we have ocean clean ups
Ocean rubbish harms our fish and other marine life, who may eat it because they think it’s food. Plastic is one of the most common things found in the harbour. It doesn’t degrade and instead breaks down into tiny pieces, making it easier for fish to eat. Even the smaller pieces of rubbish, like cigarette butts, are harmful because they’re full of dangerous toxins.

What happens at a clean up
People from all different clubs and organisations get together and spend a few hours pulling out as much rubbish from the ocean as they can, eg: cans and bottles, road cones, cigarette butts, tyres, shopping trolleys... whatever is found  that doesn't belong to the ocean.

Once we bring the rubbish to the surface, we go through a process called de-crittering. Every piece of rubbish is catalogued and checked for sea creatures, eg: octopus, starfish, etc. Experts from the Island Bay Marine Education Centre often help removing the creatures safely to return them to the sea and entertain and educate the shore-crew and bystanders with their knowledge about the little critters.

Get involved in a clean up
We organise ocean clean ups every year and you don’t have to be a club member or even a diver to participate. If you want to be involved in one, contact us.


Wellington Underwater Club and Ghostfishing NZ are running the annual ‘Wellington Harbour Spring Clean Up’ on Saturday 19 November.

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