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How Scuba Divers can act for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

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As the Global Week to act for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) comes to an end, Project AWARE launches a new interactive infographic to illustrate and map how conservation goals for a clean and healthy ocean, including underwater citizen science action, support the implementation of the SDGs.

In 2016, the 17 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development officially came into force.  With these interconnected Goals, the 193 Member States of the United Nations are mobilizing efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities, tackle environmental issues and address many other key sustainability objectives including protecting life below water. The 17 SDGs call for urgent action across all countries, both developing and developed, for a sustainable future for people and the planet.

“Project AWARE’s new interactive infographic – Achieving a Sustainable Future highlights our commitment as an international non-profit and global movement to supporting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” says Ian Campbell, Project AWARE Associate Director Policy and Campaigns. “Our global community can meaningfully contribute to global conservation targets and accelerating action for the implementation of the UN Global Goals through participation in underwater citizen actions for a clean and healthy ocean”.

The SDGs build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals and call for action by all countries to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They serve as a compass for aligning countries’ plans with their global commitments. The 17 SDGs outline priority areas to achieve sustainability under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – 169 targets devised within the 17 goals defining exactly what member countries are expected to achieve and by when. Project AWARE®’s conservation strategy for a return to a Clean and Healthy Ocean, including underwater citizen science programs like Dive Against Debris®, is in alignment with the SDGs in a number of these target areas.

As marine debris not only impacts the underwater world but also our health, the economy, natural resources and food security, the data collected through Dive Against Debris®, Project AWARE’s flagship citizen science program, provides essential quantitative and qualitative information that countries can use to show progress towards achieving the SDGs.

Project AWARE’s new infographic clearly maps the 17 SDGs and identifies which targets are relevant to Project AWARE’s Clean and Healthy Ocean Strategy to increase collaboration with country leaders and support their nations’ tracking and implementation of the 17 SDGs.

“Being a scientifically grounded citizen science survey of seafloor marine debris, Dive Against Debris® provides a sound metric through which nations can track their progress towards achieving a number of different targets across the SDGs including but not limited to SDG14 – Life Below Water,” comments Hannah Pragnell-Raasch, Project AWARE Policy Specialist.

Project AWARE is prioritizing engagement with governments from some of the top 5 plastic leakage countries as defined in the research completed by Jambeck et al., 2015 as well as Thailand where sound data has already been reported through Dive Against Debris®. Having a standardized survey protocol and streamlined data reporting through the Dive Against Debris app, nations can implement regular marine debris surveys to monitor their marine environment.

The New Infographic also illustrates and highlights how we can all be part of the solution and together achieve a sustainable future for people and our blue planet.

Dive into Project AWARE’s new Achieving a Sustainable Future Infographic and if you’re a scuba diver, make #EveryDiveASurveyDive to positively support your country or countries you’re visiting in achieving the 169 targets set by the United Nations for a more sustainable future.

Visit www.projectaware.org/unsdgs for more.

News

Jeff chats to… Underwater Photographer Ellen Cuylaerts (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Ellen Cuylaerts about her diving and underwater photographic career.

As an underwater and wildlife photographer, Fellow of The Explorers Club and having a front seat in exploration being part of the Flag and Honours Committee, Ellen is also a Member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame. She travels the world and tries to make the most of every destination and the path that leads her there. Ellen acts as an ocean citizen and believes as divers we should all be ocean ambassadors and lead by example. She is now based in the UK after many years in Grand Cayman.

Find out more about Ellen and her work at www.ellencuylaerts.com


Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Huge thresher shark is the latest of six murals to be painted around the Solent this summer

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The murals celebrate the Solent’s extraordinary marine life – marking National Marine Week.

Secrets of the Solent have commissioned street artist ATM to paint a series of marine-themed artworks at various locations around the Solent this summer. The latest mural to be finished shows a thresher shark on the Langstone Harbour Office. Langstone Harbour is an important area for wildlife as well as a bustling seaside destination for sailing and water sports.

Artist ATM, who is painting all six murals, is well-known for his iconic wildlife street art. This, his second artwork of the series, took three days to paint freehand, from a scaffolding platform. The thresher shark was chosen out of six marine species to be the subject of the artwork by the local community, who were asked to vote via an online form or in person on the Hayling Ferry.

Secrets of the Solent hope the mural will become a landmark in Langstone Harbour and inspire visitors to learn more about this enigmatic oceanic shark. The project, which is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, works to celebrate and raise awareness of Solent’s diverse marine environment.

Aiming to highlight the exotic and unusual creatures found close to our coasts, artist ATM says: “I really enjoyed painting the thresher shark because it’s such an amazing looking animal, with a tail as long as its body. I hope when people see the murals, they will become more aware of what lives under the waves and the importance of protecting the vital habitats within the Solent.”

Dr Tim Ferrero, Senior Marine Biologist at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust says: “The thresher shark is a wonderful animal that visits our waters every summer. It comes to an area to the east of the Isle of Wight, and this appears to be where the sharks breed and have their young. Not many people know that we have thresher sharks in our region, and so having our mural here on the side of the Langstone Harbour Office building is a fantastic way of raising awareness of this mysterious ocean wanderer. I really hope that people will come away with the knowledge that the Solent, our harbours and our seas are incredibly important for wildlife.”

Rachel Bryan, Project Manager for Secrets of the Solent at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust comments: “We are really excited to have street artist ATM painting a thresher shark on the side of the Langstone Harbour Office building. We chose this building because of its prominent location right on the entrance to Langstone Harbour so that anyone who’s visiting, whether that’s walkers, cyclists or people coming in and out of the harbour on their jet-skis or sailing boats, will all be able to see our thresher shark. People on the Portsmouth side of the harbour will also be able to see the mural from across the water.”

The thresher shark is a mysterious predator which spends most of its time in oceanic waters. It uses its huge whip-like tail as an incredibly effective tool for hunting its prey. Herding small fish into tight shoals, the shark will lash at them with its tail, stunning several in one hit and making them easier to catch.

Secrets of the Solent hope to work with the species this summer to discover more about its behaviour.

Dr Tim Ferrero explains: “Nobody really knows where thresher sharks go in the ocean. Later this summer we are hoping that we are going to be able to attach a satellite tag to a thresher shark and monitor its progress for an entire year. This will provide really important information that will help us learn so much more about the shark’s annual life cycle.”

The new thresher shark mural is a fantastic start to National Marine Week (24th July – 8th August), which celebrates the unique marine wildlife and habitats we have here in the UK. Over the two weeks, Wildlife Trusts around the country will be running a series of exciting events to celebrate the marine environment. We really hope people will be inspired by our murals and want to learn more about each chosen species.

Events in the Solent include the launch of a new Solent marine film on the 29th July, installation of a new Seabin on the 4th August to reduce marine litter, and citizen science surveys throughout summer.

For more information click here.

Header image: Bret Charman

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Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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