Our thanks to guest author Torben Lonne, Co-Founder & Chief Editor @ DIVE.in, an online scuba diving magazine, for reaching out to contribute this blog.
Scuba diving in an incredible pastime. If you haven’t tried scuba diving, make sure you do, as it will change your life forever. Some people who dive become addicted to the incredible feeling of dipping under the surface and being able to visit a world like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
However, over the last decade, divers and other ocean lovers have noticed a huge change in the ocean. Divers and water sports enthusiasts could previously travel to pretty much any destination around the world and be met with beautifully clear waters and stunningly beautiful marine life. Sadly, nowadays, pollution has bought the ocean to a critical state.
When I Realised There’s A Problem
Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean lies a tiny, tiny island known as the Midway Atoll. This small island is about as remote as small islands can get. A group of friends and I spent 3 weeks diving around this island to see the beauty the ocean has to offer.
As soon as we got there, we geared up and jumped in for our first dive. As we descended I was surprised and pleased with how clean the water was. The visibility was excellent, we could see out as far as the eye can see. As we got closer to the ocean floor, we began to approach a reef; this reef was nothing short of epic. The colours were bright and everything appeared to be healthy with marine life flourishing... that was until the current changed.
Within seconds, this heaving reef became surrounded with plastic and rubbish. Out of nowhere tons of trash began washing over the reef and into the surrounding ocean. Fish were darting in and out of plastic bottles and crustaceans were hiding amongst the plastic straws and bags. It was truly a devastating sight to see.
Diving Deeper Into Ocean Pollution
Ocean pollution is wreaking havoc on the ocean and the marine life within it. Did you know that 8 million tons of rubbish gets dumped in offshore garbage sites every year? This huge amount of rubbish is placed hundreds of miles off coastal areas and beaches, however, the ocean has a funny way of spitting it back out again. As this rubbish passes through the ocean, it causes destruction to everything that comes in its path.
If you would like to learn more about how ocean pollution is destroying the ocean and the marine life within, take a look at the in-depth infographic below…
Ways You Can Make A Difference
Whether you’re an ocean lover or someone who just wants to protect our oceans for the benefit of our generation as well as the generations yet to come, there are many ways in which you can adapt your lifestyles and make a difference…
Become an ocean advocate
After observing the sheer destruction of plastic pollution, I decided to become an ocean advocate and work towards a plastic-free, sustainable future and you can too. You can start by learning about ocean pollution and reading this article is the perfect place to start. Once you know the facts, you can then go out and tell your friends and family about it.
Seeing as our world is made from plastic, sometimes purchasing plastic just can’t be helped. If you do have to buy plastic, then make sure you recycle it properly in order to prevent it from ending up in the ocean.
Be conscious of the seafood you consume
Sadly, due to overfishing, there are many marine animals that are now classed as endangered or angling towards the endangered list. Make sure when you go out to restaurants that you make conscious seafood choices.
Buy a 4ocean bracelet
With every bracelet that is purchased, 4ocean will remove 1 pound of rubbish from the ocean and around the coastline. A pound of rubbish makes a huge difference and it only costs $20. That’s a small price to pay for such a monumental outcome. Your money has already gone towards cleaning the ocean and coastlines in 27 countries so far. Be the next one to pull the next pound.
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Our latest shoreline cleanup at Matheson Hammock proved just how much trash can become trapped in mangroves habitats. With hundreds of participants at the cleanup, it is no wonder we collected over 5,000 pounds of trash and recyclables!