Tonga, Vava’u: Yachties Involved in Beach Clean-Up

More than 40 cruisers visiting Tonga joined up with the Vava’u Environmental Protection Association and locals to help in a massive beach clean up at Neiafu on the island of Vava’u.

Published 2 months ago

Vava’u is one of the northern groups of Tonga’s islands, approximately 130 miles north of the main island of Tongatapu.

The Vava’u Environment Protection Association (VEPA) designs, co-ordinates and implements programs to ensure ownership by the communities of their environment and ecosystems. They engage with all social groups within communities in Vava’u and Tonga through media and education, hands on projects, as well as collaboration with National Government programs, local and regional NGOs, and funding partners.

Image courtesy Island Cruising NZ.

Helping in the beach clean up day at Neiafu Tahi were cruisers from the Island Cruising (NZ) Pacific Rally, Ocean Cruising Club Members, others cruising in the area along with the local islanders.

“We encourage rally participants to think carefully about caring for the people, places and culture and minimizing our impact wherever we can,” said Island Cruising Rally Director Viki Moore.

Image courtesy Island Cruising NZ.

“Cruisers love to be able to do their bit to help protect the environment and give back to the communities we visit. Beach cleans are just one small way we can help.

“We do all we can to inform and educate sailors about the fishing reserves, taking care when anchoring, careful disposal of rubbish and connecting with the communities we visit.” Moore said.

VEPA said more than 40 bags of rubbish were collected including clothing, glass, plastic bottles, food wrappers, a bike, metal and more.

Image courtesy Island Cruising NZ.

VEPA said all the rubbish that was collected would be counted and then disposed of or recycled where possible.

The beach clean up was followed by a social evening at the Kraken in Vava’u to try some Tongan kava and talk about environmental issues in Tonga.

Image courtesy Island Cruising NZ.

“We’ve had a wonderful day and really enjoyed connecting with some of the locals” Moore said.

Image courtesy Island Cruising NZ

“Some of our rally participants were out at other islands, but didn’t want to miss out on the Vava’u Beach Clean today, so they did their own beach clean where they were.”

Image courtesy Island Cruising NZ


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