Friday, September 9, 2011

05/09/11 Dive for Debris

There was a lot to clear up, and on Tuesday we did just that. GVI Seychelles Cap Ternay participated in PADI Project Aware Dive for Debris Day, a worldwide effort to clear litter from marine environments.

We covered the entirety of Bay Ternay Marine National Park with each of three dives going to a different part. As suspected there was not much debris to be found in the pristine waters, although there were several glass bottles in front of Anse du Riz (Secret Beach) which is a popular beach BBQ spot. We left 6 glass bottles as part of the environment since they already had encrusting coral growth on them. In all, we collected two big pieces of glass, a rope, a water bottle, two glass bottles, and a snorkel.

Despite the lack of debris in the Marine Park, there was a lot to clear up. A lot of confusion. Tuesday was a beautiful day and looking longingly into Bay Ternay Marine Park I wished I had my “raft” which I had to translate to “lilo” to Maddy from the UK who was picturing a wooden craft with a sail... and of course this started the debate as we handed out “trash bags” to the Brits who took the “bin liners” to collect their “rubbish,” not “trash,” and a series of poor accent attempts ensued as we walked down to Anse Souillac (Back Beach) for a beach clean in the mangroves. And so it began: “gar-AGE” no it’s pronounced “GAR-age”, “sidewalk” or “pavement”, “sneakers” or “trainers”, “soccer” or “football”. Even the name of the day was in hot debate, was debris pronounced “da-BREE” or “DEB-bri”.

The conversation kept us going during our beach clean. In the fragile and extremely important mangroves system at the edge of the bay, there was a huge amount of trash. Thirty of us picked up an assortment of plastic bottles, snack wrappers, flip-flops, plastic cups, and much more. Mangroves are natural filter systems which filter run-off and stop debris from the land entering the marine environment, but they are not meant to handle these unnatural items.

We walked back to base with fresh mossie bites and four big trash bags worth of debris taken out of the mangroves.

Dive for Debris day was a success.