Environmental issues affecting the land and ocean and their inter-connectedness, will be the focus of some 250 delegates attending the Second Global Conference on Land-Ocean connections in Montego Bay, St. James.
Staged by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the conference is being held from October 2 to 4, at the Hilton Rose Hall Hotel, under the theme: ‘Building Bridges through Partnerships’. The delegates are representing approximately 70 different countries.
This September, volunteer scuba divers from every corner of the globe embarked on a mission to battle marine debris - the ocean's silent killer. Together, we removed and reported more than 20,000 trash items amounting to 17,000 lbs/7500 kgs of debris hauled up from beneath the surface.
A TOTAL of 1,609 kilograms or about 1.6 tons of garbage were picked Friday, September 20, from the Panagsama Beach in Moalboal, Cebu in what was considered the biggest coastal cleanup in town.
The cleanup, organized by Johan Blixt of Neptune Diving Adventure and as part of the activities lined up by Project AWARE Foundation, gathered around 116 people, excluding divers from different resorts in Moalboal, a southern town in Cebu.
Debris Month of Action has seen divers all around the world taking the plunge to fight back against trash in the ocean and Dive Against Debris. Last weekend Hannah Pragnell-Raasch, Program and Outreach Coordinator, Project AWARE Foundation was lucky enough to join Dive 2000 and Mosman Council in their Dive Against Debris in Sydney, Australia. “It was a perfect sunny day to get in the water. We collected a weird and wonderful mixture of items from action figures to cutlery to mobile phones and of course the usual culprits – plastic bags and bottles!
If you're enjoying a hot summer's day in California - it's a perfect day for a Finathon! "Thank you to Miranda and the team at Oceanside Scuba & Swim, California for their generosity in hosting me for their Project AWARE Finathon on August 31st. We swam in beautiful Southern California weather and raised awareness and funds for shark and ray protection," said Alex Earl, Executive Director, Project AWARE Foundation.
When faced with a 12 ton creature, entangled in fishing nets and fighting for survival, what would you do? It’s a challenging question that divers can face when encountering marine animals in distress.
In these situations, it’s always important to err on the side of extreme caution, prioritize safety at all times and contact professionals who are trained in wildlife rescue. But for some divers, in the moment, that’s easier said than done. Many divers share a compelling urge to act when they see an animal suffering.
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.