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Published: 7-Aug-12 15:31:00
Source: Diver Wire
Related: 10-Apr-10 23:11:09
Last month, over a hundred volunteers turned up for the quarterly clean up dive at Dive Friends Bonaire at Dive Inn. The group of volunteers included locals and visitors taking scuba diving holidays on the Caribbean island and the task in hand was to clean up underneath Bonaire's South Pier.
A large group of volunteer scuba divers joined forces last month to clean up underneath the South Pier in Bonaire to help remove items that are a threat to the island’s endangered sea turtle population.
Local divers and tourists taking scuba diving holidays turned up for the event on 21st July, 2012 at Dive Friends Bonaire at Dive Inn.
The group of 115 divers were briefed by Asko Zuidam from Dive Friends who explained what rubbish should be removed from the waters, what should be left behind, and how to avoid damaging any marine creatures.
Sue Will is from the Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire (STCB) programme and she explained the importance of safely removing fishing line as part of the new Fishing Line Project that will help protect Bonaire’s sea turtles. The project is underway and is being sponsored by the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) and is looking to reduce debris including fishing line, hooks, and nets from the island’s fragile reefs.
The volunteer divers entered the warm waters a Playa Cha Cha Cha and they swam over to South Pier where they started the process of removing the rubbish. Collection bags were brought to the surface and checked to make sure no marine creatures were captured by mistake and the debris was counted and tallied so the information could be submitted to the PADI Project AWARE Dive Against Debris programme.
While the volunteers were scuba diving in Bonaire, a group of children led by local volunteer Walt Bentsen, snorkelled along the shoreline picking up debris in the shallows waters.
Bonaire’s South Pier is a working pier and frequently used by fishermen. The area is usually off-limits to divers but the rising amount of debris was concerning Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire.
During the event, the team collected a total of 863 items including 101 fishing lines, 188 glass bottles, 187 pieces of random plastic, 79 glass fragments, 54 plastic cups, 41 pieces of rope, 43 beverage cans, 34 plastic caps, 2 CDs and many more items.
In the evening the divers, volunteers and families were treated to a Pot Luck BBQ and raffle at the Dive Friends Bonaire Hamlet Oasis.
The next Dive Friends Bonaire underwater cleanup is scheduled to take place on Saturday, 22nd September 2012.
Bonaire is a hotspot for scuba diving holidays thanks to its vibrant coral reef that surrounds the island and its collection of diving sites that are perfect for diving and snorkelling enthusiasts. The entire coastline has been declared as a marine sanctuary to preserve the marine species that include sea turtles, eagle rays, sea horses, whale sharks, dolphins and manta rays.
As one of the best scuba diving destinations in the Caribbean, divers can enjoy crystal clear, warm ocean waters and a total 86 diving sites including 1,000 Steps and La Dania’ Leap.
The tropical island was recently voted as the best destination for scuba diving holidays in the Readers’ Choice Awards for Scuba Diving magazine for the tenth year in a row.
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