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.
Photo Gallery: Dive Fest Barbados
In our Gallery feature, we let the photos tell the story… Each Gallery showcases a selection of outstanding images on a chosen theme, taken by our Underwater Photography Editor Nick and Deputy Editor Caroline of Frogfish Photography. This time they reflect on their visits to the Caribbean Island of Barbados for the annual Dive Fest celebrations.
Dive Fest Barbados is a week of celebrating the marine life, diving and snorkeling this idyllic island has to offer. There are activities organised each day for all those that attend that include wreck diving, marine conservation, learning to dive, snorkeling and one an unusual dive for us – riding a submarine to the bottom of the Caribbean Sea! Dive Fest Barbados allows divers to get the very best out of a trip here, with plenty of diving, but also to sample the unique atmosphere, mouth-watering food and drink, stunning scenery and beautiful beaches.
For more images from Barbados and around the world, visit the Frogfish Photography website by clicking here.
Video Series: The CCMI Reef Lectures – Part 4 (Watch Video)
Introduced by Jeff Goodman
Never before since human beings have had major influence over our earths climate and environments, have we come to so close to the brink of global disaster for our seas and marine life. We need to act now if we are not going to crash headlong into irreversible scenarios.
A good start to this is understanding how the marine environment works and what it means to our own continued survival. We can only do this by listening and talking to those with the experience and knowledge to guide us in the right direction.
CCMI (Central Caribbean Marine Institute) are hosting an annual Reef Lecture series that is open to the general public and Scubaverse will be sharing those lectures over the coming months.
Part 4: Stop Whining! Life as an Ocean Ambassador; Ellen Cuylaerts
Ellen Cuylaerts shares her insights on how to act, practice what you preach and use your voice to contribute to constructive change. Ellen is a wildlife and underwater photographer and chooses to take images of subjects that are hard to encounter like harp seal pups, polar bears, orcas, beluga whales and sharks, to name a few. By telling the stories about their environment and the challenges they face, she raises awareness about the effect of climate change on arctic species, the cruel act of shark finning and keeping marine mammals in captivity.
During this seminar, Ellen will take you on a virtual trip and show you the stories behind the shots: how to get there, how to prepare, how to create the most chances to come home with a shot, and how to never give up!
Ellen Cuylaerts is an ocean advocate, underwater & wildlife photographer, explorer, and public speaker.
For more information about the CCMI click here.
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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.More Less
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