Local Heroes: The Man From Kerala Single-Handedly Cleaning the Oceans of Plastic

Driven by fear about the future for marine life, Fisherman Priyesh KV has cleared almost four tonnes of plastic from the ocean in a matter of months and delivered it to recycling plants.

24.06.2019 | by Christy Romer
Photo by theminutenow.com
Photo by theminutenow.com

If it sometimes feels as if the scale of the climate crisis is so large that it’s impossible to make a difference, it’s worth remembering the work of regular, people who, without specialised education or training, have had great success confronting everyday ecological problems.

30-year-old Keralan fisherman Priyesh KV is such a person. After realising that his fishing nets were catching increasing amounts of plastic, and decreasing amounts of fish, he decided to dedicate time to removing as much waste from the seas as possible.

He tells thenewsminute.com that he would collect ocean plastic every day, sometimes for as long as four or five hours after finishing fishing. And in doing so, he’s managed to remove 3.5 tonnes of plastic from the sea in just two months. That’s 3,500 kg of discarded water bottles, bags, wrappers and packets. He said that he was concerned that if he did nothing, there would soon be “no fish around and our nets would be so full of plastic”.

Once back on land, KV partners with officials to help dispose of and recycle the plastic. Whilst he will be taking time off during the monsoon season, a period in which the ocean is especially turbulent and fishing activities are limited, KV said he would return to the task in the autumn.

He also tells the newspaper that he has a desire to learn more and share knowledge with school children. “Because people never really forget what they are taught while they are small, they bring that knowledge along with them as they grow,” he says. “So it is important for us to teach children the effects of plastic pollution.”

There are thousands of others, all across the world, leading similarly powerful environmental initiatives. People participating in beach cleanups and joining viral cleanup movements, such as the #trashtag trend that encouraged social medias to clear entire stretches of public space. 

At Global Shakers we always want to hear about and celebrate these people. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. If you know anyone fighting to make the world a better place, who you think should be part of our Upcoming Local Heroes series, get in touch info@globalshakers.com.

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