For any yacht charter whether in Phuket or elsewhere there is a lot you can do to make sure you are not contributing to the pollution of the sea.The oceans are a precious resource, and contain such a wealth and diversity of life – flora and fauna, that we must do everything we can to respect, protect, and resurrect our beautiful seas.
Firstly, make sure there is no spillage of oil or other liquids into the ocean. You should be particularly careful when the oil is changed, when you are filling up the vessel with fuel, and when doing general yacht maintenance when out on the water. Making sure your engine is well maintained helps to prevent leaks, but as a precaution you should also place an oil absorbent sheet under the engine and in the bilge.
Do not use soap for cleaning the yacht, or for any kind of maintenance. Soaps and other cleaners contain harmful chemicals and even microplastics which can be particularly harmful to marine life. There are some products on the market which are more eco-friendly, and this is an emerging market so make sure to do your research before purchasing such produce for your boat, and in life in general. You should use tarps, and vacuum sanders and any additional cleansing agents used should be water based and phosphate free.
As well as oils, and cleaning materials, you should be careful not to discharge any other forms of toxic or hazardous waste into the water. This may include paint, oil, antifreeze, batteries, etc. Humans do produce an inordinate amount of waste, and it is our job to make sure we do not violate the habitat of the ocean with it, but instead take it with us and dispose of it properly.
Sewage waste and greywater should be disposed of correctly. Untreated sewage should not be released into the water, and treated sewage should not even be discharged. These restricted areas are like marinas, swimming areas, reservoirs, lakes. There are various dump stations and mobile pump services available which means that you do not need to dump your waste into the ocean. It is also worth bearing in mind that whatever goes into the ocean, ends up in the food chain and back in our own bellies, not a pleasant thought. Greywater can be as problematic, from doing the dishes and showering – as here you also use soap. Again try to use phosphate and microplastic free body washes, and hand soaps. Every little helps to minimise the impact we have on the marine environment.
And last but by no means least, do not litter. There is already a huge amount of waste in the sea, whole plumes of plastic stretching as far as the eye can see in some places. It doesn’t matter if you think its biodegradable – it could still be ingested by some poor animal, and it doesn’t matter how small it is for the same reason. Polluting is polluting. This can include fishing lines and tackle, ear buds, corks from the wine, bottle caps, etc. The list is endless. If anything if you see any trash in the sea when you are sailing, you should do the honourable thing and hook it out. Travel with a small net or an extended litter picker.
It is also really important to remember to recycle. You can recycle oil, oil filters, and other materials, you just need to know how. So do your research and think twice before simply disposing of anything. Paints are also something you can change your shopping habits with, to have less of an impact on the environment around you. You can minimize the discharge of heavy metals in the paints you use, and get paints with reduced toxicity. It is also wise to use non-abrasive underwater hull cleaning techniques to prevent paint from flaking off and entering the marine environment. Dry storage also reduces the need for antifouling paints and it can also save money so it is wise to consider all of your options.
At the end of the day, we have to act a little greener, and a little more responsibly if we want to continue to enjoy the beautiful scenery and adventure that our oceans provide. There is nothing better than a yachting holiday over the crystal clear Thai waters– and so we need to keep those waters pristine for the benefit of future holiday makers, and generations to come.