Eighteen divers representing various institutions and organization across Bali joined forces in a day of underwater cleaning during their Dive Against Debris event held in Sanur at the end of November last year.
This Project AWARE supported campaign is a bi-monthly regular program held at several dive sites across Sanur and the surrounding areas. Among the participants are those from neighboring dive operators, students of Udayana State University, representatives from Bali Archeological office and media persons. Over 20 kilograms of plastic rubbish was collected.
In the past, before regular clean ups were held, over 100 kilograms plastic rubbish was collected at every clean up. The Dive Against Debris program has been held across Sanur since as early as 2002, along with the establishment of the artificial coral propagation project.
Plastic rubbish is among the biggest challenge the paradise island of Bali has been seriously exposed to in the past couple of decades. Such less well-managed debris are thrown away by generally less educated locals and visitors alike to road sides, valleys, rivers, waterways, ending up in clogged water channels and bridges. This has been the major cause of flood in rainy season, between November to April each year.
As this rubbish is carried down from the high land to nearby beach, it is the seawaters which receive the accumulation of the problems. These plastic fragments are found among the colorful tropical fish and coral, stranded amidst branches of green mangrove, denting the island’s popular pseudonym as the last paradise.
It is the main reason Ena Dive, one among the pioneering dive operators in Sanur area, holds regular underwater clean ups.
“According to many scientific researchers, plastic won’t degrade naturally for hundreds of years, thus it is a very serious challenge to our underwater environment,” said Ketut Ena Partha, founding director of Ena Dive. “It is the core reason we regularly hold clean ups, mainly under water, but also along the beach and mangrove areas,” he said.
Mr Ena Partha said in 2014 the clean up will be held every two months. Also, to prevent rubbish from entering the sea, his organization is starting to promote a clean and green lifestyle movement among locals in the villages, cities as well as those those living in mountains.