Here at Joe’s Gone Diving in Bali we are passionate about the health of our reefs and our oceans and we do what we can to help keep our seas safe. In the rainy season large quantities of rubbish is often washed down from the mountains into the sea where it accumulates into large floating masses in our local bays and channels where many of our dive sites are located. While it is upsetting that there is so much debris the advantage is that it tends to collect in a few specific locations and so makes it easier to remove and dispose of safely.
As a result we decided to organise a snorkel clean up. As most of the debris tends to float on the surface it made more sense to collect it snorkelling than rather than diving. A snorkelling event also allows a wider variety of people to actively participate, including non-divers and younger children, and so raises awareness amongst a larger group.
Our first event was a trial run consisting mostly of the staff at our dive centre. We had a lot of fun collecting floating rubbish and enjoying the marine life at Sanur Channel, a lovely shallow little dive site with a sandy bottom, small house reef and a disproportionately large amount of fish that call it their home!
We were able to collect a large amount of debris, mostly consisting of plastics such as carrier bags and food wrappers. Our buddy teams had to return to the boat several times to empty their mesh bags!
We collected as much as we could find and on our return to the shore decided to make the most of our time by doing a quick beach clean-up to prevent the beach debris from being blown out or washed down into the sea. We were able to collect and remove large quantities of rubbish from the beach, including clothing, lighters, lots and lots of plastic carrier bags and the occasional flip-flop. We found four flip-flops, two lefts and two rights but unfortunately they were of different sizes so we were unable to make matching pairs!
All in all our event was a success and we will be running it again soon and making a regular occurrence of it. We plan to include divers as well next time as there is a small amount of debris on the bottom of the site as that is often entangled in the delicate corals and so is difficult to safely remove on a single breath. Keep an eye on our website for more information on our next snorkel clean up and our other activities: http://www.joesgonediving.com/
Many thanks to Project Aware for the many tools and resources it provided to help make this snorkel clean up easy and efficient!