An island home to more than 165 abandoned cats will benefit from a clean-up operation to highlight growing concerns about ocean plastic. Animal welfare volunteers enlisted the help of ambassadors from Canada, New Zealand and Australia, as well as UAE government officials to clean up beaches on Lulu Island on Friday.
Currents regularly wash plastic and other rubbish onto the island’s beaches, while visitors and tourists are also guilty of dumping their waste. When island cats began picking up injuries from discarded fishing lines and hooks, vets who run a trap, neuter and release programme alongside a feeding station on Lulu Island decided to take action. “Although there is no ferry service to Lulu Island, it still has regular visitors," said Dr Susan Aylott, a volunteer at Animal Welfare Abu Dhabi.
"The internal island is closed to the public, but there is access to outside beaches and there has been a gradual build-up of rubbish over the years. We’ve been trying to encourage people to take their litter with them after a visit, as most people are not aware of the damage they’re doing.”
Vets also visited the island to treat some of the cats living on Lulu Island that have not yet been treated. Collected waste will be taken to recycling centres with Tadweer, the Abu Dhabi waste management centre, to reduce the need for landfill.