Dive Against Debris in Marsalforn collects 25kg of waste

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Dive Against Debris in Marsalforn collects 25kg of wasteOn Saturday the Bubbles Dive Centre team and local scuba divers completed a Dive Against Debris underwater survey in Marsalforn Bay. The event, which is part of an International Project AWARE campaign, involved trained divers not only removing underwater debris such as plastic bottles and fishing lines, but also the identification and documentation of everything collected underwater in a larger effort to prevent marine debris.

Dive Against Debris in Marsalforn collects 25kg of wasteDirector of Diving at Bubbles Dive Centre, David Hayler-Montague, led the dive and gave a very informative pre-dive briefing telling everyone about the importance of battling marine debris issues locally and internationally. Armed with mesh collecting bags the 8 strong team spent an hour collecting rubbish from the sea bed. The result was an estimated 25 kilos of a variety of marine debris including plastics, 20 metres of discarded rope, glass bottles, batteries, cigarette lighters, clothing, scrap metal, a boat throttle and what appeared to be the top of roof water tank.

“We had many spectators watching the divers in the shallow waters and curious passers-by looking at the debris as it was sorted out on the surface. If our Dive Against Debris has changed just one person’s attitude to throwing rubbish into the sea, then we will be delighted,” said David Hayler-Montague. “We believe most people really want to see an improvement in the marine environment and we’d like to thank the local businesses who sponsored the event by paying for air fills and mesh bags and providing cold drinks after the dive, as well as our volunteers who dived with us yesterday afternoon.”

Details of the debris have been recorded and sent to Project AWARE for analysis alongside data from similar events held around the World. This data will help drive changes in policies and infrastructure at local, regional and international levels.

“This dive is just the start of our efforts,” commented Donna Hayler-Montague from Bubbles Dive Centre, “In fact, following yesterday’s dive several divers have asked if they can volunteer for the next one and we have had more interest from other local businesses in sponsoring the event so we will be organising another dive very soon. We care passionately about the marine environment and everyone at Bubbles will be working hard on several projects this summer to raise awareness of the importance of conservation.”

If you would like more information on the event yesterday or would like to participate in the next Dive Against Debris visit the Bubbles Dive Centre facebook page onhttp://www.facebook.com/BubblesDiveCentre or contact Donna Hayler-Montague on 2702 8299 or email donna@diving-gozo.com.

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    6 Responses

    1. Dietmar Treptow says:

      Nice action to promote the new dive center!

      We did this all the years before – so not a really special idea.
      Problem – the people will NEVER learn!

      So you can do this on the end of the season again with us – together.


    2. Donna says:

      Didi – yes we are a new dive centre and we do want to promote marine conservation through our centre and will continue to do so. I definitely do not share your opinion that people never change. Perhaps holding a clean-up just once at the end the season is not enough to raise awareness? This event was not a one- off in fact we are holding another in a couple of weeks and as we publicised before EVERYONE is welcome! Please free feel to come and see me anytime and let me know what contribution you and your dive centre would like make to the next one. At the end of the day the more people involved the better and my priority is conservation and not confrontation.

    3. mickh911 says:

      You are flogging a dead horse with the clean up effort, in the years I have lived here most of the dive centres have a clean up campaign, once maybe two days a year.

      I recently reported the pollution at Raz il-hobz [ http://gozonews.com/17166/contamintated-seas-around-gozos-coastline-readers-letter/ ] and asked for regular feedback from dive centres/divers who dive the site on a regular basis, let me think, how many reports have I had, ah yes, zero, a couple of centres said, “yes we will support you” but nothing has been heard from them, it’s as if their afraid to get involved in these projects in a serious way or afraid of upsetting someone in a position of power! And yet the amount of times I have overheard divers on exiting dive sites saying things like, “did you see the shotgun cartridges, soft drink cans, bottles, and just laugh it off and do nothing about it.”

      I don’t know what to suggest, one person cannot do this alone, although every effort helps.

    4. Donna says:

      Hello mickh911. I have just read your article dated 6 April (we didn’t see it at the time as we only arrived in Gozo in May). I can assure you that we are not afraid of being involved in these projects and are very committed to improving marine conservation which is why we have set up the Dive Centre here. We know this is going to be a long journey but we are here to stay. Next time you are in Marsalforn come to Bubbles Dive Centre and let’s have a chat as we obviously share the same concerns. We can also talk about what feedback you want from Raz il-hobz (specific details, things to look out for) as we dive there often. Hopefully we can meet up soon.

    5. Alyson says:

      Just on a snorkle trip at Anchor Bay last weekend I saw the smallest of flat fish nestled inside an ice-cream tub (the ones the vans use instead of the cornets). You know what, I know tourists can be litter-louts but it’s also local people who cause a lot of the mess, for instance at Anchor Bay on the run down to the jetty – the litter is scattered around an full bin – WHY not take your rubbish home with you – WHY leave it behind, you wouldn’t leave your phone, coolbox, wife and kids… take a bag for your rubbish and TAKE IT HOME WITH YOU – lazy lazy lazy inconsiderate, couldn’t care less, selfish people.
      BTW it does not matter if you are 1 or 100 EVERY effort makes a difference

    6. Kaiser Vorte says:

      As well as certain individuals who just don’t seem to care, a lot of the rubbish blowing around Gozo is from household rubbish placed outside for collection and not being tied up properly in secure bags. I often see people who just dump overfilled card board boxes with the contents spewing out onto the street.
      On a windy day the unsecured rubbish is blown around everywhere (along with the dust from the endless construction projects) and eventually unless picked up by someone else ends up under a bush or blown into the sea.

      As the simplest of things can make a big difference people should be educated on how to place rubbish outside and be more responsible for the environment. After all Gozo has a great waste disposal collection system with hard working individuals running down the road alongside the wagon collecting rubbish on a daily basis. Why not help them out and put your rubbish in secure bags.

      Kaiser Vorte

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