So What is a Dive Against Debris?
We often post about our Dive Against Debris but what are we actually doing?
Each month Project Azraq organises a Project Aware – Dive Against Debris in order to contribute to the global initiative for change. These dives improve the health of our ocean ecosystems through localized volunteer efforts and provide valuable information about underwater debris to help inform policy change.
“Divers have a proud history of removing rubbish from the ocean but despite our best efforts the trash keeps piling up. In response Project AWARE created Dive Against Debris®, a global survey of underwater rubbish in our ocean. Created by divers for divers, Dive Against Debris® turns your underwater cleanup into a marine debris survey. The great thing about Dive Against Debris® is the rubbish you remove can no longer harm marine life and marine environments. In addition, the data you report will help drive real change. By working together, Project AWARE divers are playing a major role in keeping our ocean clean and healthy.” (Project Aware, 2019)
We start our dive like any other but armed with a few extra mesh bags and a team of volunteers. During the dive we focus on a smaller area then on a normal dive, this is to ensure we are collecting all the debris including the small fragments. You can sometimes spend the whole dive covering only a few square meters due to all the cigarette ends and microplastics buried in the sand.
After collecting the debris we group the trash together in categories such as plastic, metal, cloth. Each category has subcategories. The number of debris in each of these is then counted and entered into a global database on the Project Aware website and onto our Project Azraq database.
For us, the community of local volunteers that join is the best part of doing these dives. It is always uplifting to be joined by a group of fellow divers who care about taking steps to protect our oceans. We exchange ideas of how we can all do more and encourage each other to continue on our daily fight for change.
We hope you can join us for our next Dive Against Debris.