Article by Anabella & Annereena Ravi, 26 Aug 2022.
Sitting on the boat on the way to the dive site, you look left and right expecting to see blue clear waters BUT all you see are rubbish floating on the surface instead. Plastic bags, cigarette buds, bottles, straws, styrofoam and the list goes on. It’s sad to see how badly polluted our oceans are today. Did you know, there are 5 garbage patches all over the world – with the biggest being twice the size of Texas?
Photo from Newsroom Tomra
Malaysia is ranked 28th in the world in terms of plastic pollution and 30-45% of the rubbish collected on the beaches of Malaysia is mainly made up of plastic. Beach clean ups are often organised but ocean clean ups on the other hand more complex to organise hence it’s rarely carried out. Rubbish is something you can see and fix but what about the things that you can’t see like chemicals? Chemicals are another source of ocean pollution, the increased concentration of chemicals promotes the growth of algal blooms which clogs up the waterway causing meadows of seagrass, kelp beds and the entire ecosystems to die.
The worst thing about these floating debris is the duration it takes for it to decompose naturally. Check out how long it takes! Some would still be floating in the ocean while your great great grandchildren scuba dives!
To combat the growing issue of ocean pollution, PADI has introduced a specialty course – PADI Dive against Debris specialty.
So what’s this specialty course about? You’ll be trained on how to conduct an ocean clean up, why it is important to keep a clean ocean and how it contributes to a healthier ecosystem as well as a systematic way of monitoring dive sites and contributing to a global database that documents our planet’s marine debris problem. You will be trained on how to remove rubbish without causing any harm unintentionally to marine life.
At Flow Dive Center we try to play our part in making a difference. Despite us being small, we believe in the power of a ripple caused by just one person. Want to know more about this course? Click here for the course info or you can reach out to us for more information. We will carry out this activity periodically.
Also check out our other conservation efforts. We will organise other Project Aware activities as well as coral conservation and planting workshops. We also actively collaborate with local retailers such as Watakala who donates 5% of their revenue for every mask strap sold to Reef Check Malaysia, Bungkus who repurpose recycled materials into new items as well as reef safe sunscreens – One & All.
Of course a mere collaboration with retailers who are trying to make a difference isn’t enough. It’s often easy to dismiss the issue simply because we don’t see rubbish floating in the ocean everyday – but out of sight, out of mind should not be a practice amongst divers. Come join us in making a difference by joining us on our next clean up!