September is Project AWARE’s Debris Month of Action – a time when thousands of volunteer divers will battle back against marine debris by removing and reporting the trash we find underwater.
Divers share a deep connection with the ocean but it also takes a community to make a difference. A big thanks to everyone who joined the Big Blue Vanuatu, Port Vila Dive Against Debris in August, including Ivan and Nancy from Numbawan Café, who did a fabulous job on shore helping weigh, sort and count the rubbish. 413kg in total.
Yes 413kg of rubbish collected during one 60 minute Dive Against Debris survey – and this data is featured on the Project AWARE Dive Against Debris Interactive map. Top items included food wrappers, plastic bags and beverage containers. A shout out to Justin at the boat yard who disposed of the rubbish collected.
Many people don’t think about where their rubbish goes.
Dive Against Debris isn’t just about removing the trash. It gives communities the opportunity to think about trash in a different way, make changes in their daily lives and stop using single use products.
“What started as an easy day out diving left us all in awe at the monumental task that faces us all to encourage members of the public to stop using the harbour as a dumping ground. To convince the corporate responsibilities of drink companies to recycle. And to urge local stores to stop using so much unnecessary plastic bags,” said diver Jan Bochenski.
Jan was one of eleven experienced divers who took part.
“Surprisingly many of us thought we would fill just a bag each, but once down and cleaning up our patch our bags were soon full and had to drag them ashore for more.
In such a small area our focus soon took on new dimensions and we could not believe in the multitude of plastics, glass, cans and general human waste that is commonly found in our daily garbage bins,” added Jan.
The good news is Project AWARE has global policy coverage on this issue as a founding member of the Trash Free Seas Alliance (USA), a member of the Boomerang Alliance (Australia), anda member of Seas At Risk (Europe).
The Dive Against Debris data collected is used in our policy efforts with government and industry to try to stop any more marine debris from entering our marine ecosystems which is the only long-term solution.
Thanks to Big Blue and their team of volunteers for providing the tanks and vessel and encourage positive social responsibility towards protecting the environment.
Organize a Dive Against Debris with a Buddy: Download tools and tips for a successful dive and find out how to report your data to make a difference.