Mon | May 27, 2019

Fishing for trash - Businessman urges marine lovers to join fun Labour Day event to rid Kingston Harbour of filth

Published:Friday | May 17, 2019 | 12:29 AMChristopher Serju/Gleaner Writer
With husband Brandon steering, Tara McKoy was kept busy packaging the marine litter for disposal on land as soon as it was fished from the sea by a friend using a net.
With husband Brandon steering, Tara McKoy was kept busy packaging the marine litter for disposal on land as soon as it was fished from the sea by a friend using a net.

Brandon McKoy has plans to set sail from the Kingston Harbour on Labour Day, May 23, and when The Gleaner asked him about fishing expedition, the young businessman just wouldn’t stop talking trash – volumes of it.

In fact, McKoy is so hooked on marine garbage that he has, to date, confirmed nine boats to participate in the inaugural Kingston Harbour Trash Collection Tournament, which gets under way with nets in the water at 9 a.m.

A lifelong sports fishing enthusiast, the 30-year-old’s rescue mission is a follow-up to a trip to the mangroves he made with wife Tara and a friend last Labour Day. While he steered, the friend manipulated the net to collect floating marine litter, while Tara, armed with gloves, was kept busy packaging it for disposal.

Frustrated by the endless supply of garbage which caressed their boat throughout many trips across the habour, the McKoys got angry and then channelled their anger into action.

Soon after posting pictures of the marine litter online, they got serious enquiries as to where this was happening. Stunned by the revelation that this was just one facet of the pollution that affects the seventh deepest natural harbour in the world, friends, relatives and business associates have committed to supporting this latest clean-up effort.

McKoy made an impassioned plea to other boat owners to join the effort to help rid the harbour of filth.

“Get your crew together, grab some gloves and nets and join us in helping to restore the beauty of our harbour. Have some fun with family and friends, protect our environment and do something new and different with your boat that may just save it from catastrophic damage one day,” he said.

All nets must be out of the water by 2 p.m. and the vessel with the heaviest overall weight in garbage will win bragging rights and exciting prizes.

There is no entry fee and no boundaries to where the boats can go in their search for marine litter and all plastic bottles collected will be recycled. Anything that floats or is suspended in the water counts as game.

A Yamaha 1-kilowatt generator is just one of the many prizes the first-place crew will win.

All participants will receive Neutrogena sunblock; one case of water, Gatorade and Pepsi for each boat.

The first 10 entrants will each receive gift baskets, with a host of incentives, including gift certificates for goods and services.

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com