Keeping New Zealand Beautiful National Clean Up Week was last month, but for New Zealand King Salmon crews cleaning up the Marlborough Sounds beaches around the farms they work on is all part of a day’s work.

Regional manager Tory Channel/Te Kura te Au, Salvador Delgado Oro Laprida, says each month three or four staff members from Clay Point, Ngamahau and Te Pangu salmon farms head to shore to pick up rubbish.

Quarterly beach clean ups are a criteria for NZKS’s Environmental Certification from the Marine Farming Association (MFA), but NZKS has been picking up trash from the beaches around its farms for many years on a more regular basis.

Karen Mant from the Nelson office helping out one of the farm teams with a clean up

Salvador says the monthly rubbish hauls have weighed up to 3kg. The type of rubbish found changes depending on the season, with more “general” trash washing up in summer when the Sounds are busy with visitors and tourism, while winter tides mainly wash up ropes from nearby mussel farms and fishing.

Interesting items reported include a large piece of timber from a building site – “like a house’s full wall” – and a dead goat which Salvador said the team buried.

Before the rubbish collected is disposed of properly in Picton, it is photographed, and the results sent to the MFA forms for records and analysis.

Salvador says staff doing the clean ups already appreciate doing something for the community but having their hard work analysed and recorded to generate useful information used by the industry and Government makes it even more satisfying.

“They understand that the MFA recognizes this work. It opens the mind and brings real engagement with the environment.”

“People do enjoy it because they feel they are doing something good. They think, ‘I found this amount of rubbish, and I’m going home having done a good action for the day’.”