Our ocean is under siege. Every day trash is entering the sea at an alarming rate. More than 250 million tons of plastic is estimated to make its way into our oceans by 2025.
The Curaçao Hospitality & Tourism Association’s (CHATA) Dive Task Force is taking action against Marine Debris and Taking Ocean Stewardship to a whole new level. As members of the greater world community committed to the oceans, divers have the power and responsibility to act.
Marine debris is not only unsightly, it’s dangerous to sea life, hazardous to human health, and costly to our economies. Marine animals become entangled in debris, and mistake it for food – often with fatal results. Divers, swimmers and beach-goers can be directly harmed by encounters with marine debris or its toxins. The environmental damage caused by plastic debris alone is estimated at US$13 billion a year.
That’s why four of CHATA’s Dive Task Force members have committed to the Adopt a Dive Site™ initiative and adopted their house reefs, pledging to conduct monthly Dive Against Debris beach & dive site clean ups. Additionally, eight more Curaçao Dive Task Force Operators will be joining the movement soon.
Data about the debris collected during the monthly clean ups is submitted to the online Project AWARE crisis as well as improvements to create public awareness.
As part of Curaçao’s commitment to Project AWARE’s flagship citizen-science program, Dive Against Debris™, CHATA’s Dive Task Force is helping bridge the gap in knowledge through the Dive Against Debris™ Specialty Course and public outreach for a sustainable and a responsible Curaçao that will help inform and drive policy change. Additionally, by harnessing the unique underwater skill set of the scuba diving community, Adopt a Dive Site™ empowers the dive leaders around the globe to engage in ongoing, local protection of our underwater playgrounds.
According to CHATA CEO, Miles Mercera, “Our ocean and dive sites are an important component of our Tourism Product. It is a shared responsibility of the whole community to conserve and positively contribute to our natural resources, such as our ocean and dive sites for the benefit of our future generations. The commitment of the Dive Task Force to the Dive Against Debris and Adopt a Dive Site Initiatives is an important step towards the creation of awareness regarding the negative effects of marine debris on the island and ultimately the conservation of our ocean. However, to create sustainable change, we need the commitment of the entire community; government, private sector and citizens alike to come together and support this great initiative by the CHATA Dive Task Force.”
If you’re a certified diver, join one of the CHATA Dive Task Force members for a free monthly Dive Against Debris™ clean-up on Curaçao to collect/remove marine debris and report important data. Together, we can make a difference one dive at a time.