Steven Turnbull, Blue Marlin Dive's newest Divemaster took the initiative today for his last day here on the island, and organised a Beach Clean-Up and A Dive against Marine Debris right on our house reef, the BioRocks in Gili Trawangan. Steven, a self confessed eco-warrrior recruited several environmentally minded visitors to the island, to help him on his quest, and with the help of some of our instructors, it turned out to be a very successful event. Steve and his team of volunteers spent three hours cleaning the beach from our dive centre right round to the viewing point for sunset on the island, an area of about 3km. Together, they collected 28 bags of trash, which totalled more than 60kg in weight, making the beach a cleaner place for all tourists coming to the island. Among the trash collected, plastic was the biggest problem followed by polystrene and glass bottles.
The team then followed with an underwater dive against debris on our local shore dive the Biorocks, where there is already a project in place to help reef restoration. It is a combination of both natural and artifical reefs powered, funded and looked after by various businesses on the island including Blue Marlin Dive, and the idea is to encourage the corals to grow faster, thus maintaining a healthy living environment for the surrounding fish life. The team were pleased to report underwater the trash situation was somewhat more positive, collecting 6 kg from rubbish from underwater after a 53 minute dive. Again, plastic was the biggest issue, and this is 6kg's too much as far as we are concerned.
We are proud of Steve's achievements today, and hope that he will inspire the rest of the team here at Blue Marlin Dive to be more pro-active in palying a positive role in environmental issues here on Gili Trawangan. We will also look forward to his return next year to complete his PADI instructor course and get further involved in environmental projects on the island.