On 10th October 2017 during a massive storm in Durban a container ship in the harbour lost its mooring. As a consequence one of its damaged containers fell into the harbour and 100’s of millions of ‘nurdles’, which are very small plastic pellets were washed into the harbour and out to sea. Nurdles are a raw plastic material which get re-melted and moulded in factories to make plastic products. They are not biodegradable and marine species will think they are a food source. The South African Association for Marine Biological Research (SAAMBR) based at uShaka Marine World sent out an urgent appeal to the public to collect the nurdles and deliver them to various places in KZN. They should not be thrown into our rubbish bins.
Dylan Bailey Curator of Marine Living Collections: Exhibits, Research and Conservation Programmes at Bayworld (inc. Port Elizabeth Museum, Snake Park and Oceanarium) says that when he surveyed Sardinia Bay and Cape Recife beaches two weeks ago the nurdles are spread thinly over the entire stretch of beach, rather than in easy to gather clumps. It also appears that as soon as the nurdles land on the beaches, the winds sweep them up into the sand dunes. He believes that one of the animals that will be impacted the most are seabirds foraging along the surf lines.
Thank you Dylan for the update and photos
We remind members that if you find nurdles please take them to Kenton Tourism.