Fogo Island will be the first town in the province to adopt this important conservation initiative to benefit the marine environment, the creatures that live in and around the ocean as well as the general human environment.
The announcement follows a successful pilot project launched in 2014 by Dawe’s Store in Seldom. It is estimated that some 30,000 plastic bags each year will no longer find their way into the ocean or landfills or pollute communities on Fogo Island because of this effort.
“Plastic bags pose a serious threat to the animals and seabirds that depend on the ocean for their food,” says Gordon Slade, chair of the Shorefast Foundation and its ocean advisor. “To a sea turtle such as the leatherback, a plastic shopping bag looks like a jellyfish - their primary source of food. Plastic pellets from which plastic is made look like fish eggs to seabirds. Scientists tell us there could be hundreds of leatherback turtles migrating to our shores in the summer and early autumn each year.”
The archipelago of islands around Fogo Island, including Change Islands, Little Fogo Islands, Funk Island, Wadham Islands and Indian Islands, are the nesting grounds for hundreds of thousands of seabirds. “We congratulate the grocery stores on Fogo Island for their support and cooperation,” said Slade.