Following months of careful planning and coordination, the Malaysia Day Dive 2013 (MDD) concluded on a high note with a total of 64.5kg of marine debris successfully collected from in and around the WWII shipwreck of the Hiyoshi Maru, about 30km off the Santubong coast.
A stinking mess of abandoned fishing nets piled high on the boat ramp may not be anyone’s idea of the catch of the day but for the 15 volunteer divers taking part, it was a beautiful sight because it meant these nets would no longer pose a danger to ocean life.
PADI and Project AWARE Asia Pacific staff, friends and family took to the chilly ocean waters in Manly, Sydney Australia on Sunday 22nd September to Get Swimming to End Finning. Eighteen swimmers enjoyed picture perfect conditions for their 1km ocean challenge, clocking another 18km in the water the event takes the global collective distance scuba divers have swum in the name of sharks to an amazing 800km.
Congratulations to PADI Vice President, Jeremy Coleman and his daughter Georgia, 11 who finished in the top five.
There is no easy way to tackle the issue of marine litter: it is complicated and has many causes, impacts and inputs. As a high percentage of marine litter comes from land based sources, EU legislation is possibly the best way to address the problem and look for solutions.
When most people think of debris in our ocean they imagine piles of garbage, floating plastic bottles, broken glass and rusting metal. All of those things, and more, are certainly part of the problem but one issue less often considered by the general public is how debris causes entanglement, injury, or death of many marine animals.
Fishing lines, nets and hooks are all serious concerns for many larger marine animals such as rays, seals, sea lions, dolphins, sharks, turtles and whales. Mantas are particularly vulnerable due to their large wingspan.
Twelve months before the entry into force of CITES regulations on shark and rays, the European Union approves a 1.2 million euro project to ensure their effective implementation. Brazil, China, Germany, Japan and the United States have also offered support and technical assistance.
The 178 Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) are preparing for the implementation of the shark and ray listings that they adopted at the 16th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP16) in March 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand.
Debris Month of Action is in full swing and as always, you are going above and beyond to help remove trash to keep our ocean environment clean and healthy. Samy Gheraz and the crew at Infinity Ocean Diving in Phuket, Thailand have kickstarted their Dive Against Debris Hero actions, organising monthly Dive Against Debris surveys – the first one of which took place with great success on 9th September.
Increasing amounts of litter are ending up in the world’s oceans and harming the health of ecosystems, killing animals when they become trapped or swallow the litter. Human health is also at risk, as plastics may break down into smaller pieces that may subsequently end up in our food. These are just a few of the problems emerging from the waste collecting in our seas.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock , Aquaculture and Fisheries (MAGAP) has ordered the implementation of management and ordering measures of the incidental catches of hammerhead shark in Ecuadorian waters.
The species covered by the Ministerial Agreement N° 116 are two: scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini) and smooth hammerhead (Sphyrna zygaena).
Marine debris is choking marine life. Every year tens of thousands of marine animals and seabirds are killed and injured from eating or getting tangled up in our rubbish. Trash in the ocean threatens the survival of some of our most iconic marine animals.
Divers on the Solmar V liveaboard were visiting an isolated dive site some 300 miles south west of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico when they discovered an injured whale shark.
Thank you Exmouth and Coral Bay, Western Australia for hosting the first Manta Ray Black Tie Ball in support of Project AWARE. Congratulations and countless thanks to Diana Belton and Alice Martino for organising this amazing event. This incredible duo went above and beyond to create a truly memorable evening for everyone to enjoy. It’s the magic of swimming with manta rays that inspired Diana and Alice to organise the event which raised an amazing AUD $16,000.
Here at Project AWARE, we like to call marine debris the “silent killer” – the trash from our everday lives that smothers ocean environments, ensnares and chokes marine species. Les Stroud, or the godfather of survival TV, is used to the silence and the sight of of debris from his professional career as the TV hit series Survivorman.
As divers we see the direct damage that marine debris, and in particular plastic, is causing our environment and the life in it. Every year tens of thousands of marine animals and seabirds die from eating or getting tangled in our trash that ends up in the ocean.
Green turtles are swallowing plastic at twice the rate they did 25 years ago, according to a University of Queensland study.
Researchers from the School of Biological Sciences and CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans Flagship who analysed global research data from the past 25 years have found green and leatherback turtles are eating more plastic than ever before.
Study leader and PhD candidate Qamar Schuyler said turtles ate more plastic than any other form of debris.
Each June and July near the full moon, the northern Gulf of Mexico hosts a mysterious gathering of whale sharks.
Dozens of the hulking black sharks with white spots glide about with mouths agape as they skim the water’s surface during a 12-hour tuna egg buffet of sorts.
A decade ago, records of these unusual gatherings existed only in fishermen’s tales.
Scientists have spent the past decade piecing together an understanding of the fish’s existence in the northern Gulf and tracking these gatherings that have also been reported in other parts of the world.