Braving the chilly conditions of Shelley Beach, New South Wales, Australia, 14 Project AWARE and PADI Asia Pacific staff completed a Dive Against Debris underwater survey.
PADI Course Director and Project AWARE Governor, Tony Fontes, led the dive and gave a stirring pre-dive brief telling everyone about the importance of battling marine debris issues locally and internationally. Shelley Beach is a popular dive location and no take reserve. Regardless, a variety of marine debris was recorded and removed underwater including many plastic bags, batteries, plastic bottles and fishing line. After the dive the team worked together to count the rubbish they removed and the information was reportedto Project AWARE.
David Roe, Marine Conservation Officer at Project AWARE Foundation said, “The data collected will be analyzed alongside data submitted by divers all around the world in order to paint a picture of the marine debris that is polluting our oceans. This data will help drive changes in policies and infrastructure at local, regional and international levels.”
As part Project AWARE’s new citizen science and year round data collection program – Dive Against Debris –the data collected will be used to support policies that result in a permanent, measurable reduction in marine debris entering the ocean.
Henrik Nimb, Director of Project AWARE Foundation added, “By supporting Project AWARE’s new Dive Against Debris program, divers of all levels can work together to battle marine debris by collecting data and debris underwater and reporting it online.”