Here at Creta Maris Dive Center, located in Hersonissos Crete, we have chosen to join in on Project AWARE's September month of action to remove nasty trash from the local waters. Despite the Greek Municipality being very good and keeping the local harbour and beaches clean, the ever rising amounts of tourism plays a significant role in the amount to trash entering from the shores and into the sea. This problem of irresponsible behaviour and especially late night party tourism seems to be common problem in the majority of warmer climate European holiday destinations around the Mediterranean.
The dive sites here are typical Mediterranean rocky-sandy reefs with sea grasses from a depth range of 2 to 30 meters, but the majority end with a bottom dept of 14 meters so it is perfect for all levels of certified divers. Other very popular dive sites include the MesserSchmitt World War 2 German fighter plane resting at 24 meters and Amphora Reef that has numerous pottery remains from Ancient Greek thousands of year’s pre BC. So it is easy to understand how the 21st century rubbish can impose a very bad image let alone being awful for the underwater flora and fauna.
Plastics and glass appear to be the most common abusers. However, we do see beach chairs, umbrella poles, flip flops, clothing and many other random items in our House Reef that is directly off from the beach outside the Creta Maris Dive Center, which we dive every afternoon. Not all bad news ... also you can occasionally find yourself a new second hand snorkel lost from an unfortunate snorkeler the previous day! This House Reef dive site will clearly be our biggest task for this month, but it will be worth every dive to complete.
It is just the two of us staff here, so with every agreeing customer we plan to clean bit by bit together during every dive this month. So as of tomorrow we will be donning the dive gloves and clipping on the mesh bags to get our hands dirty to help clean up this underwater mess!