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Dive Against Debris, the first and only marine debris survey of its kind

Dive Against Debris, the first and only marine debris survey of its kind

Did you know that marine debris can be found 10 years later more than 10.000 km away from its country of origin? And that millions of marine animals each year are trapped, killed or injured because of marine debris? In 2017 we adopted the dive site Meno Slope as part of our marine conservation program around the Gili Islands. Meno Slope might not be as popular as Sunset Point or Shark Point but it is our adopted dive site simply because we love it!

Adopting a dive site is a part of a program that Project Aware created called, you guessed it, Adopt a Dive Site. Since the program’s launch in 2012, more than 26,000 divers have participated in Dive Against Debris reporting over 500,000 pieces of trash in more than 52 countries around the world.

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Teamwork makes the dreamwork

Every Friday we go out to Meno Slope to do a dive against debris. It’s great to see that the Divemasters of our partner Oceans5 love to join us. Because the more people join, the more we can archive! And we are not the only ones on the island that do a weekly dive against debris. 7SEAS and Oceans5 are offering a free weekly clean-up dive to all certified divers for more than a year now. We are so happy and proud to see that the dive centers on Gili Air work hard, in their own and unique way, to protect our beautiful reefs.

When we do a dive against debris we bring mash bags to collect the trash, gloves to protect our hands from sharp objects and scissors to cut discarded fishing gear. During our dive we focus on removing as much debris as possible. We work in buddy teams, one person collects the debris while the other one holds the mesh bag. The maximum depth is 25 meters and the average dive time is around 45 minutes.

Big surprises and small surprises

After the dive, we gathered all the debris in the dive shop to be classified and tallied. We sort all the debris and report the data in the Project Aware Database. From nine completed surveys, 205 items have been removed from Meno Slope with estimated 18 kg of weight. Guess what is the most precious debris so far? A dive computer! It might not come as a surprise that 85% of the debris we’ve collected so far is plastic, including food wrapper, plastic bottles, laundry liquid wrapper, diapers, and plastic fragments.

By doing a dive against debris every week at Meno Slope we hope to maintain the beauty of this magical dive site. Would you like to join next Friday? Just send us an email at sharks@gilisharkconservation.com.

Are you interested in joining our research team? We still have a few spots available! You can apply directly through our website. 

 

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