Project AWARE’s flagship citizen-science program, Dive Against Debris®, empowers scuba divers to remove marine debris from the ocean and report data on the types, quantities and locations of materials collected.
Since the program’s launch in 2011, more than 25,000 divers have participated in Dive Against Debris in more than 50 countries around the world, reporting over 700,000 pieces of trash. As the only underwater debris data collection program of its kind, Dive Against Debris both improves the health of ocean ecosystems through localized volunteer efforts and provides valuable information about underwater debris to help inform policy change.
Eco Koh Tao is a proud supporter of this campaign to report and retrieve damaging materials that do not belong underwater. We have been an Adopt A Dive Site member since July 2016. Being an Adopt A Dive Site member, we are committed to collect data for Twin Peaks dive site. Along with our other beach and dive site clean ups, we collect and submit data for a global database for what trash that we find at Twins.
The day starts with meeting divemaster candidates and other volunteers and organising them into groups to clean up our beach area. This prevents any further rubbish from entering the ocean. Then in the afternoon we head out to the dive sites with bags in hand to collect any debris that we can find.
Once the dive has ended, we have to divide the trash collected into certain categories (wood, plastic, net etc) and then weigh them. Returning to the dive school we submit the data to Project Aware’s Dive Against Debris® map. After review, the data is then available for global use. Since its inception, over 3000 surveys have been completed globally, and the number of pieces of trash removed is expected to hit over 1 million in 2017.
This project is of great value, and very simply for volunteer divers to get involved. With a minimal briefing, they are able to help in the battle against ocean trash. Besides protecting the environment, it makes the dive site more attractive to divers, raises awareness of how to dispose of trash correctly, and educates people on the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling.
The video below shows a net removal from our Dive Site in 2011…. one of the largest nets we ever had to retrieve with a team of over 30 divers working over 4 dives in 2 days to remove the net from Chumphon Pinnacle.
For more information about our ongoing research. Please visit our projects page.