Happy New Year! With another 365 days of Dive Against Debris on the books, we’re taking a look at our Dive Against Debris map to see what volunteer divers around the world have discovered during their underwater marine debris surveys.
Each year since Dive Against Debris’ launch in 2011, marine debris survey data has revealed that plastics are the most prominent and pervasive material found in underwater environments. This past year was no different: 97,898 pieces of plastic debris were reported in Dive Against Debris surveys in 2016. Yuck!
With more than 250 million tons of plastic estimated to make its way to our ocean by 2025, it’s become urgent, now more than ever, that we take collective action against this Ugly Journey of Our Trash. Passionate and dedicated ocean activists around the world are stepping up to the challenge, whether through Dive Against Debris surveys, local advocacy efforts, community education or awareness campaigns.
“Blind Spots” by performance artist and documentary filmmaker Christine Ren, uses stunning images and video to highlight the realities of consumer choices on the health of marine ecosystems. Her underwater-themed dance photoshoot produced in collaboration with Brett Stanley Photography is both breathtaking and alarming. Plastic food containers, bags, bottles and debris swirl through the water surrounding the subject as she blindly pushes a shopping cart, suggesting that plastic has become so ubiquitous in our everyday lives that we hardly notice it.
Ren’s use of a blindfold personifies society’s apathy toward the impacts of plastic consumption. Out of sight, out of mind – right? Not so fast. By exposing the connection between our consumer choices and the deteriorating health of our ocean environments, the piece urges us to think twice before we carelessly reach for another plastic bag, utensil or container in a store.