TODAY |

America's Cup sailors among dozens of volunteers in Auckland bay clean up

Dozens of divers and beachcombers were joined by two America's Cup sailors to help rid Auckland's Okahu Bay of sea floor rubbish today.

Olympic and America's Cup champions Blair Tuke and Peter Burling grew up sailing on our coasts.

"It's a pretty special thing we have in New Zealand, our environment. And you know, we really need to look after it," Olympic Gold medallist Burling said.

Tuke said there should be sea life living on the bottom, "not just mud and sedimentation".

Rubbish on New Zealand beaches and in the oceans has enormous implications for the environment, from the increase in unwanted species, to the massive reduction in our natural sea life.

Sabela fan worms are said to be blanketing the ocean floor, a species that has no predators and pushes out native sea life.

Steve Armitage of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development said it was fantastic to see so many people down at the bay this morning. 

"The local iwi, children from local schools as well as families [are] here on Father's Day morning, to do their bit to help clean up."

Ghost Fishing New Zealand's Rob Wilson was among the many at Okahu Bay and his group discovered four porcelain toilets during one of their dives.

"You wouldn’t believe it," he said.

Those onshore also dragged in a variety of garbage, showing what gets carelessly thrown out can have damaging consequences for our oceans for decades.

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Among the dive volunteers were two well-known sportsmen who're more used to being on top of the water. Source: 1 NEWS