Yesterday while Aurelie and the kids were at a picnic with our local association I headed off to La Port (the islands main port town) in the west of the island to go on a clean up dive with the good folks at Dodo Palme diving club.
The selected dive site was just off Cap la Houssaye south of La Port. The Cap la Houssaye is obviously popular with fisher folk as there was plenty of them lining the shore enjoying the beautiful day when we got there. The dive site consisted of coral at about 6 to 12 m with plentiful fish life close to the shore (hence the fisher folk!). The visibility was good and it looked like a lovely site for a pleasure dive however on getting down to the sea floor it was quickly obvious why Dodo Palme had selected here for a clean up, old fishing lines were everywhere tangled up in the coral. For the next hour and a quarter we kept busy cutting and untangling the lines with their weights and hooks as well as picking up any other rubbish that we came across (bits of random plastic, bottles etc.). It was shocking how much fishing debris had built up over the years and it not something that I had previously thought about as a non fishing person.
Fortunately its been my experience here that the waters around the island are generally very clean and the dive boats I've been on go out of their way to pick out any plastic that may be seen floating about the place.
Of course while it felt was good to help clean up the site its sobering to realise that it doesn't even begin to make a tiny dent in the approximately 5.25 TRILLION bits of plastic that are in the oceans!
Here's hoping that we can at least start to stop adding to the problem in the future by reducing, reusing and recycling!
|Emptying the dive bags|
|Sorting the rubbish into differing types|