Project Aware 2018
We believe in diving to make a difference! That is why we dive differently…
Raja Ampat is the epicentre of marine biodiversity and attracts dive enthusiasts, snorkelers and adventurists all over the world. However, the island’s location and currents make Raja Ampat a trap for man-made waste caused by the increasing population internally and in neighbouring countries, as well as poor waste management/treatment practices.
Ever since our inception in 2017, we have been taking plastic, debris and the education of conservation in the Raja Ampat area very seriously.
One such a simple example is the continued clean-up of the mangroves that surround the resort. Below you will see a picture of the current condition of the mangroves. We couldn’t be happier with the results, and the mangroves are starting to host more and more juvenile species on a weekly basis.
PADI’s 2018 Project Aware in Waisai
This year we rallied over 23 people from the local government alongside our Meridian Adventure Dive (MAD) family to combine conservation and adventure with this year’s Project Aware cleanup in Waisai.
In the spirit of doing things differently, we committed to submitting monthly data to Padi’s Diving Against Debris database, in order to enhance the underwater insights to a problem that remains out of sight for most of the public. This data will help identify target areas where waste prevention efforts are needed most.
By looking at the Project Aware map, you will be able to see the number of pieces collected, the type of the debris as well as where entangled animals were spotted across the world.
Beach Clean-Up and Diving Against Debris in Waisai
On Saturday 22 September 2018 for our Project Aware Dive Against Debris and Beach Clean-up excursion, we visited Saonek Island (an island nearby that sees a lot of debris washing onto its shores). Hopping onto the speedboats ensured we were there in no time and after a quick welcome from the Transport Head Department of Raja Ampat, the teams got busy on the beach as well as the surrounding waters.
Over 270kg of debris were collected on the day within a mere 3-hour time-span and the two biggest bags came from our local governmental friends:
- The Transportation Office of Raja Ampat (49,13kg) and
- The Sanitary Office of Raja Ampat (36,52kg).
The biggest number of debris types were water bottles, straws (the silent killer), broken pieces polystyrene, plastic bags, plastic lids; flip-flops and broken shoes.
Plastic pollution and the ocean
Plastic doesn’t break down; it doesn’t degrade and become part of the natural system again. In fact, plastic breaks up. It breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces until it becomes small enough, not only for small fish to mistake it for food, but research has found that even plankton is now mistaking this ‘forever material’ for food and consuming it, introducing it into the food chain at the lowest level.
So why not get down and dirty and help keep our oceans free of debris? Keep an eye out for upcoming conservation efforts on our website.