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Surfers Against Sewage Unites Ocean Activists For Post-Lockdown Plastic Protest

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From the 5th September to the 18th October ‘The Generation Sea: Plastic Protest’ will see communities, coordinated by the ocean conservation charity, Surfers Against Sewage, take part in six grass-routes actions designed to challenge the manufacturers of unnecessary, single-use plastics, change public perception and demand stronger legislation from the government.

Since lockdown has been lifted there has been an explosion of plastic pollution on our beaches and in our rivers. Our streets have become littered with PPE and Big Business has seen the pandemic as a loophole to revert back to their old ways of pumping out single-use and unnecessary plastics. In France alone, authorities have ordered two billion disposable masks and reports have stated that the Mediterranean will soon contain more masks than jellyfish. Surfers Against Sewage and communities of ocean activists across the country are mobilising to fight this wave of plastic inundating our environment. The Generation Sea: Plastic Protest will see ocean activists everywhere stand up and fight for a better world free of avoidable, excessive and single use plastic.

Images of popular UK beauty spots devastated by plastic pollution have become the norm, and whilst many try to use disposal facilities responsibility, bins are bursting at the seams. This has highlighted the pressure that waste and recycling systems are under to cope with the sheer volume of material needing to be dealt with.

Amy Slack, Surfers Against Sewage’s Head of Campaigns and Policy comments: “As a society, we must learn to deal with multiple crises at any one time. Now is not the time to go back on the great strides we have made in reducing plastic production and consumption. It’s time to fight back and demand better policy, better business practices, and better systems that allow us to rid the ocean and natural environments of plastic pollution.”

Starting on the UK’s beaches, the protest will see groundswell actions all aimed at highlighting the irrefutable evidence of the plastic pollution crisis. The series of events will include:

  1. Big SAS Beach Clean: Summit To Sea: From mountain tops to beach fronts and busy streets to flowing rivers, in excess of 600 cleans will take place across the UK mobilising over 35,000 volunteers and removing over 40,000kg of plastic pollution.
  2. Brand Audit: Calling out big brands, over 250 vital datasets will be collected, recording the impacts industry has on the coastline and highlighting the top polluters.
  3. Return To Offender: Designed to directly challenge companies responsible for unnecessary, avoidable single-use packaging through social media, over 1,000 items of branded packaging pollution will be digitally returned to companies through social media.
  4. Less Plastic Please: From half cucumbers in bags to coconuts wrapped in clingfilm, the Less Plastic Please Survey will demand supermarkets take action of their customers plastic pet hates.
  5. Trash Talk: Supermarkets create an estimated 59 billion pieces of packaging totalling over 800,000 tonnes per year. That is simply not good enough. Ocean activists everywhere will be writing to their MP’s and local stores to demand reduction in plastic.
  6. Plastic Free Schools: Education is key to ending the cycle. With schools reopening, it’s time to bring the environment back into the classroom through the Plastic Free Schools programme.

Jack Middleton, Surfers Against Sewage’s Community and Events Manager comments: “The well-documented increase in plastic pollution following the easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions has seen an outpouring of support for environmental protection nationwide. We are issuing a rallying cry to these ocean activists to join us in targeting every element of the plastic pollution crisis and bringing about tangible change for our oceans.”

We have seen the Government roll back on the progress we have made in tackling the plastic pollution crisis. The 5p plastic bag change has be waived for food deliveries, the ban on straws, stirrers and cotton bud sticks, that was just weeks away from being introduced, has been postponed, and delays in the Environment Bill are likely to result in yet further delays to the introduction of deposit return systems and extended producer responsibility, both critical components of reducing the scourge of plastic pollution.

This cannot go on.

To take part register at www.sas.org.uk or email beachcleans@sas.org.uk

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

Gear News

Fourth Element announce Tech Fins inspired by whale tail

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A classic vented dive fin, engineered by nature and redesigned to maximise performance.

Fourth Element’s new Tech Fins have taken inspiration from nature and evolution to optimise efficiency. The turbulence disruptors on the top of the blade work in the same way as the nodules of the leading edge of a humpback whale fin, which disrupt the water as they move through it. The resulting turbulence enables the whale to swim with more efficiency. Fourth Element has adopted this evolutionary concept to improve the performance of this classic fin.

Utilising natural rubber in a unique density gradient, the dive fin delivers an ultra- comfortable foot pocket combined with optimised stiffness for finning performance.

The vented design allows water to flow along the blade reducing drag and fatigue, whilst the stiffening rails and ribs ensure that the blade of the fin is driven through the water to maximise the return on effort.

The Tech Fins, with a slightly negative buoyancy characteristic, were developed with technical divers in mind but are suitable for all levels of diver looking for a high-performance rubber fin. The wider blade gives manoeuvrability without compromising the power, while the shorter length improves agility and makes stowing the fins for transport more convenient. Spring straps with comfortable heel pads keep the feet securely held in place. These straps can be removed and changed easily with everyday tools if required.

The Tech Fins are supplied with a hanging/carrying strap and a marine quality bolt snap which may be used to attach them to a bcd or harness for carrying, leaving both hands free for climbing ladders or carrying other gear.

The natural rubber material of this fin is extremely durable, and all components are recyclable at end of life.

The Tech Fins are available in M, L, XL and XXL. These fins will fit sizes 4 (US5) to 14 (US15) and come in Black, Grey or Aqua.

Features

  • Natural rubber heel strap
  • Stainless steel spring strap
  • Soft foot pocket
  • Hydro-flow vents
  • Turbulence disruptors
  • Strengthening ribs
  • Stiffening lateral rails

Find out more here.

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Discover the Best of Belize with Dive Worldwide

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This June marks the 25th anniversary of the Belize Barrier Reef becoming a World Heritage Site! To celebrate, Dive Worldwide have rounded up their top trips to Belize which includes a resort-based stay, a liveaboard special and a twin-centre with neighbouring Guatemala – perfect for soaking up some culture. 

Reefs, Atolls & Mayan Ruins

The only English speaking country in Central America, Belize is warm, welcoming and offers unbelievable adventures. This gem has plenty for divers from incredible nature and topside activities to magical diving opportunities. Belize has the second longest barrier reef in the world and three of the four atolls in the western hemisphere making it a popular choice for divers.

If you missed the Dive Worldwide Belize talk in January you can catch up here.

Belize Discovered

Spend a week diving the remarkable barrier reef from Ambergris Caye before enjoying a few nights exploring the jungle with its Mayan ruins and caves.

Underwater there’s plenty on offer, with canyons, drop offs and swim throughs in addition to a unique topography and relatively easy conditions. You’ll be accompanied by a kaleidoscope of reef fish as you marvel at the array of sea fans and sponges adorning the seabed. Highlights include nurse shark, stingray, grouper, angelfish, turtle and dolphin. 

You then head off-the-beaten-track in land where you stay at an eco lodge in the heart of the Belizean jungle. Here there are a multitude of activities on offer including hiking and cave tours or you can immerse yourself in Mayan culture and visit a number of nearby ruins for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Departs: Jan-Dec

Duration: 13 days

Price from: £2,945 per person

Belize Liveaboard

Dive the Lighthouse and Turneffe Atolls from a liveaboard and experience the very best diving Belize has to offer. Located in the Lighthouse Reef there will be the opportunity to dive the Great Blue Hole. This atoll is full of marine life with angelfish, Creole wrasse, butterflyfish, barracuda and sponges found here.

Turneffe is the largest of the three atolls and offers a mixture of shallow reefs and sheer walls with a variety of reef fish and beautiful underwater scenery. Turtle, eagle ray, reef shark, snapper and jacks live on the healthy reefs. Dive sites of note include Half Moon Caye – another UNESCO World Heritage Site – and Painted Wall where you can find macro subjects such as ghostfish, crabs, blennies and invertebrates.

Departs: Jan-Dec

Duration: 10 days

Price from: £3,475 per person

Guatemala & Belize

Begin your holiday with some topside cultural discovery in Guatemala. This country packs a punch with its colonial architecture, Mayan ruins nestled in the verdant green jungle and stunning vistas. Don’t miss a visit to Lake Atilan, widely renowned for being one of the most beautiful lakes in the world with its volcanoes, thermal springs and incredible sunrises.

After a few days in Guatemala it’s time to go diving in Belize! Explore the barrier reef and spend time diving the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Blue Hole – the largest of its kind in the world and one of the top reasons to visit Belize. Here the waters are crystal clear, the topography is impressive with large coral and rock formations and the marine life is prolific with reef and black-tip shark in addition to large grouper.

Departs: Jan-Dec

Duration: 14 days

Price from: £3,495 per person


If you want to experience the world class diving and topside highlights of spectacular Belize, contact the Dive Worldwide Team.

All prices are per person and include flights from the UK, liveaboard or accommodation, diving, most meals and airport transfers.

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Competitions

A luxurious dive resort in the heart of Lembeh Strait. Enjoy refined services while exploring the rich waters of Indonesia.

The resort is nestled around an ocean front deck and swimming-pool (with pool-bar) which is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail at the end of a busy day of critter-diving.

All accommodation is full board and includes three sumptuous meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are buffet meals and in the evening dining is a la carte.

Book and stay before the end of June and benefit from no single supplements in all room types!

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – book and stay before end of June 2022

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

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