Beach and Underwater Clean-up held at Gnejna Bay, Malta on the 21st September 2013

Clean-up event held at Gnejna Bay as part of international ‘Dive Against Debris’ initiative: 600Kg recovered from the seabed

Beach and Underwater Clean-up held at Gnejna Bay, Malta on the 21st September 2013

 

A clean-up event was held today the 21st September at Gnejna Bay as part of an international initiative titled Dive Against Debris. The event attracted various scuba divers, snorkelers and other volunteers all working together to make Gnejna Bay a cleaner and better beach for everyone to enjoy, and to help protect the seabed biodiversity.  A total of 600kilos of rubbish were recovered from the seabed. The cleanup led to the retrieval of a large quantity of small plastic, glass and metal objects.  A bed and a fridge were amongst the larger items that engaged the more experienced divers.

 

Dive Against Debris is a citizen science program that is organized worldwide by Project AWARE Foundation (www.projectaware.org). The non-profit organisation aims at mobilizing divers and enthusiasts from around the world to protect the sea.  Initiatives are undertaken throughout the year to tackle waste collecting from beneath the sea surface whilst also generating public awareness about the impact of rubbish on the underwater biodiversity.

 

The event was sponsored by Subway Dive Centre, M and A Malta and the General Soft Drinks.

 

Paul Vella, the Mgarr Mayor, welcomed the initiative stating “that such initiatives are very much needed in locations like Gnejna that are home to so much biodiversity both on land and at sea”.  He further expressed his dismay at people’s insensitivity adding that “we need to create more respect towards the environment”. He invited for more similar initiatives, adding that a holistic plan is needed to ensure the long term sustainability of the Gnejna coast and sea.

 

Sandra Agius Darmanin, a marine conversation biologist assisting the clean-up stated that  “unfortunately, many seem to think that once it sinks it disappears”. “Unfortunately, this is not the case as items like plastic take several years to degrade and may also pose a serious threat to marine life” she added.

 

All rubbish collected from the seabed has been documented and will now be included in the Dive Against Debris report that will join other results from across the globe.

 

Anyone wanting to take part in the next Dive Against Debris initiative is invited to contact Priscilla Madiona Fenech on pamadiona@gmail.com