On September 28th, for the first time ever, all three of our resorts combined to do a simultaneous Dive Against Debris in support of Project Aware’s Debris Month of Action. This is what we are calling our Dive Against Debris – Triple whammy clean-up!
All of our joint efforts managed to bring in an amazing 677 kilos of marine debris, collected from sites in Bunaken, Lembeh and Nusa Lembongan.
In Bunaken we held a village beach clean in the morning co-ordinated by Dion, one of our local instructors, which involved the village head, our diving and resort staff and locals from the village and other resorts – 18 people in total collected 18 bags of marine debris weighing 194kg!
In the afternoon we had a diving and snorkel boat head out to the village pier for 2 hours. Led by Liz & Brendon, our instructors, the group of 20 people collected yet more marine debris; 362 kilos worth to be exact! Our main finds were nappies / diapers (135), pieces of clothes (341 pieces), plastic aqua cups (102), linoleum floor covering (98 pieces) and shoes (34).
In Lembeh we sent a boat to dive in front of the village pier at Kareko Village, on Lembeh island itself. The group (led by our instructor Dani) consisted of 11 divers, snorkelers and surface scoopers (plus a bit of help from the village kids) and collected 8 bags and 81 kilos of marine debris in just one hour! Our main find was plastic items; plastic aqua cups (150), plastic wrappers (340), plastic bags (300) plus 29 shoes and 70 items of clothing! Not only did we clean-up the dive site but we also saw some pretty cool critters! We saw a Coconut Octopus, a Long Armed Octopus and an all-orange Mantis Shrimp!
In Lembongan our dive took place at the house reef, 13 guests and staff (lead by our instructor Jason) took part in all and braved the 18 degree water and collected 40 kilos or marine debris. Our most random find was bag of stones weighing 20 kilos (which is now being used in our resort garden!), and our most numerous find was cigarette filters in addition to plastic bags, plastic bottles and caps and metal fragments. One of our lucky guests even saw a Stargazer whilst he was helping to pick up marine debris!
Our most unusual finds were: A TV set in Bunaken, a diesel filter in Lembeh and a bag of rocks in Lembongan!
We have found it interesting to sort our data into categories as we submitted it to Project Aware – They ask us to do this so that they can see patterns in the marine debris which helps them to target local governments and to find longer term solutions to the problem of marine debris. In Bunaken we notice that we were getting a large amount of nappies / diapers and plastic debris, along with household waste and furnishings. In Lembeh the most numerous pieces of debris were plastic items in small packages, these far outweighed any other kind of rubbish. In Lembongan our clean-up efforts yielded mostly clothes and metal fragments. We hope that our combined efforts and data submission help Project Aware identify problem areas, we are happy to be part of the solution!
This concludes our month of support of this important project, but our efforts will not stop, we will continue to dive and snorkel against debris and do beach cleans in our local villages. We offer free mesh bags for our divers to use so that we can dive against debris every day, plus we have regular beach cleans and collect marine debris from the surface of the ocean every time our dive boats go out!
Find out more about our conservation activities through our website and our Facebook page. Please come and join us next time to take part in a Dive Against Debris, not only does this help the marine environment but they are a lot of fun!
Huge thanks go out to all of our staff and guests who took part in our Triple Whammy Clean-up!