SCUBA divers are cleaning the depths of Gold Coast waterways as part of a new environmental initiative to tackle marine debris.
The 365 Diveable Days project will be the longest continual marine debris data survey ever attempted and Environmental Divers will be assisted by a number of organisations including The Sea World Research & Rescue Foundation.
Completed over 365 diveable days, this initiative will be the longest continual marine debris data survey ever attempted, with Environmental Divers targeting the North Wall, eastern end of South Wall of The Spit, Wavebreak Island and South West Wall of South Stradbroke Island.
Kelly Fletcher from Environmental Divers said marine debris was a growing issue globally as it was very much a case of out of sight out of mind.
“What we are aiming to do with 365 Diveable Days of Debris is bring the issue of marine debris to the surface and allow people to see what is happening in our waterways and oceans,” she said.
“As a heavily used waterway, the Gold Coast Broadwater and Seaway are the perfect place to undergo this challenge. By documenting 365 days of debris data this will assist planning for local, state and federal governments with planning moving forward and finding ways to combat and prevent the debris and rubbish from entering the waterways in the first place.”
Sea World’s Director of Marine Sciences Trevor Long said this was a great initiative by the Environmental Divers group as marine debris was a major issue in local waterways.
“We are proud to assist Environment Divers on their mission to reduce marine debris with the Sea World Research & Rescue Foundation providing vessels and divers to join their team on their clean ups on selected days in the seaway,” he said.
“Today the Sea World divers joined the Environmental Divers to conduct a mock clean-up at Shark Bay’s Tropical Reef Pool where both teams honed their skills in debris collecting, sorting and data entry updates.
“At Sea World we see first-hand the effects of marine debris are having on marine wildlife with many injured birds, turtles and dolphins coming into our care with injuries due to human interaction such as fishing line and netting entanglements, swallowing plastic bags or being hooked.”
Source: Gold Coast Bulletin
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All data reported by Environmental Divers is shared with Project AWARE as part of Dive Against Debris. You can see the amount of rubbish the team are removing from the ocean by looking at the Dive Against Debris map.