As any diver knows, the ocean isn’t the cleanest place. The amount of plastic floating in our oceans is estimated to be about 268,000 tonnes. Some of this debris ends up killing marine animals, some finds its way to our food, and some just floats around for many many years.
URG was recently awarded a Habitat Action Grant to perform ten cleanup dives. The goal of these dives is to remove damaging debris, categorise it, and raise public awareness of the pollution in our local waters. Most of these dives will be done as shore dives, and the grant money will be used to pay for air fills and boat use.
An important aspect of this project is that it is performed in association with the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) of NSW. Each dive will also be advertised to RFA clubs, with fishers helping with the cleanups from the shore or by snorkelling and wading. We hope that this kind of collaboration would lead to a better relationship between fishers and divers, as we do need to work together to ensure that the resources we share are maintained sustainably to the benefit of all users.
The first cleanup event was done on Cleanup Australia Day (March 1) and the next one is going to be held on 18 April at Camp Cove. After that, we’re planning on running a cleanup every month. Watch the club calendar, Facebook and your mailbox for announcements. Please contact Yanir Seroussi if you have any questions or suggestions.