We love a challenge here at Downbelow, especially if that challenge is a threat to our environment and playground.
We're in the midst of an IDC at the moment, but during one of our dives, the candidates spotted a net entangled on reef and sandy patch at a depth of about 25m.
After a quick look, freeing some horse-shoe crabs as they went, they vowed to return and remove the net. Alerting our resident PADI Course Director Richard to the rubbish on our ocean floor, the plan was set in motion.
During September, dubbed Project AWARE's Debris Month of Action, removing this menace is doubly as rewarding.
Our oceans are buckeling under the burden of all the man-made waste is has to deal with and most of the rubbish, even this illegal fishing net, is the result of careless, unscrupulous human behaviour.
Cleaning up is necesary, but at the same time an endless task. Only awareness and education can change human behaviour and the tide of rubbish entering our oceans.
On the topic of fighting, our intrepid IDC candidates, Richard and a handful of staff from our dive centre on Gaya island, returned to the site of the net for exactly that - fighting.
Battleing with the net where it was wedged into the sandy bottom, Richard had determined that the least impact on the environment would be to carefully cut the net free and float the entire thing to the surface.
Through a tremendous team effort - the approach needed by all who wage war on rubbish during this Debris Month of Action - the reef was freed and the ocean rid of yet another piece of rubbish.
Downbelow's appreciates that little by little our efforts, when counted together, make a big difference to the health of our oceans, be it through education and awareness, or through getting stuck in and helping to clean up.
Do your part in September and actively participate in Project AWARE's Debris Month of Action.