Understanding the Problem

Our ocean is under siege. From everyday trash like plastic bags, food wrappers and drink bottles, to larger items like car batteries, kitchen appliances and fishing nets, our debris is entering the sea at an alarming rate. Our ocean has become a dumping ground.

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We are emptying the ocean of sharks. Thankfully, divers are some of sharks’ closest and most influential allies. Together, we are creating a powerful, collective voice to lead global grassroots change. You’ve helped us secure a stronger EU finning ban and bring about safeguards for highly traded shark and ray species under CITES.

Here’s why your actions to protect sharks matter:

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They’re easy targets. Moving slowly through the ocean, often in predictable aggregations – these gentle, filter-feeding giants and their smaller cousins the devil rays - are being fished at an alarming rate.

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Just like climbers and campers have an ethic or code to live by – so do scuba divers. Project AWARE’s 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet helps divers of all skill levels make a difference when they dive, travel, and more.

Boost your eco. Pledge to follow 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet

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Marine debris is a complex problem – with both local and global affects. Large-scale change is necessary for a clean, healthy ocean planet. We must stop trash from entering the ocean, and that doesn’t just mean stop littering. It means redesigning our economy so that waste is minimized and products are designed to be reused and recycled. It means disrupting waste sources and redirecting the flow of litter so that debris is eliminated, recycled or responsibly disposed.

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Did you know that a staggering 250 million metric tons of plastic could make its way to the ocean in the next 10 years? And that as much as 70 percent of marine litter has been estimated to end up on the seabed.

Marine debris comes from many land and ocean sources. Yet few of us understand that our trash can travel over land, down streams, rivers and storm drains to the ocean. 

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