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Dive vacations combined with garbage cleanup?

Discussion in 'General Travel and Vacation Discussions' started by fluff_astrid, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. fluff_astrid

    fluff_astrid Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    OK, so if you look at my [small] post history, you'll see that I've been looking at a Raja Ampat liveaboard as a solo traveler. Although I have some good options, something has been holding me back from pulling the trigger on booking things. After a bit of soul-searching, I realize that part of it is because I feel a bit odd plunking down that much $$$ just to dive for personal pleasure, and I would interested in doing some good alongside it. Partly because in reading up reviews about liveaboards in the IndoPacific region, there's a hell of a lot of comments about trash in the sea and people trying to avoid sites with it. I figure, why not do something about it if I run into it, instead of trying to plan a holiday around avoiding it?

    So my question is: Is there any resort or liveaboard operator out there that will combine a Dive against Debris activity with their daily dives? I do want a holiday that's somewhat diving-focused, but I'm not against spending the time collecting garbage (I've done a few local debris dives here in Sydney and I find it like a treasure hunt). I was poking around dive ops in Bali since it's known for plastic runoff in December, but no dice yet.

    I figure this is a long shot because no other tourists want to travel to a destination and then clean up trash, but I gotta hope someone would at least support divers who want to do it whilst they're diving other sites?

    FWIW, I'm in Sydney and looking for a trip in the Australia-Pacific or Indonesia regions.

    Wingy, kablooey and Esprise Me like this.
  2. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    It's a noble thought, but keep in mind that you will be contributing to the local economy and helping to pay the salaries of service providers, and I am sure that tips will also be appreciated.

    In regards to your question, I am not familiar with the IndoPacific region but whenever we come across some fishing line or other debris on the reef, we pick it up and dispose of it properly later, but we don't go looking for trash.
    chillyinCanada likes this.
  3. Mr. Sunday

    Mr. Sunday Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Seattle-WA-USA
    My last liveaboard in Komodo we had the skiff take us to shore in between dives and spent some time cleaning Pink Beach. Took lbs and lbs of debris away with us. It was not a formal operation but I felt good about spending the effort to do it. If I see garbage in that environment I can't help but want to dispose of it if possible.
    Lorenzoid, RyanT, KathyV and 2 others like this.
  4. Esprise Me

    Esprise Me Kelp forest dweller ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Los Angeles, CA
    Does it have to be a formal activity? I've done (and enjoyed) organized cleanup dives, but I also just pick up trash underwater when I see it. I believe there are hashtags and databases where you can log your collections to help the organizations like Dive Against Debris make their case to local retailers, manufacturers, and governments about the environmental impact of their practices.

    ETA: I found my notes on the hashtags:
    #diveagainstdebris #projectaware #everydiveasurveydive
    DBPacific likes this.
  5. caydiver

    caydiver Manta Ray

    Have you looked at some of the Plastic Free sites on FB. They and similar are popping up all over and you may at least be able to combine a trip with one of their events. Plastic Free Cayman does regular beach cleanups. Have to say but that was about 7 years ago northern Whitsundays around Lizard Island was amazing. I don’t think we saw any washed up trash!!!
    Esprise Me likes this.
  6. SomeGuy509

    SomeGuy509 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Connecticut
    I've never seen anything specific but did this while I was in Miyako-jima with a buddy back in April. He was friends with the DM there and so it was more like just hanging out for us.

    That's about 15 garbage bags or so of expanded polystyrene and plastic bottles.

    Attached Files:

    caydiver likes this.
  7. caydiver

    caydiver Manta Ray

    That’s so awesome and actually your comment about local DMs is so in target. Much better source of what’s actually happening than a yearly visitor who doesn’t get the same exposure to local events.
    Wingy likes this.
  8. PDT

    PDT Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Australia
    Hi Fluff_astrid

    Great to see you're interested in helping marine environments.

    PDT works with several partners one of which is the Coral Sea Foundation. This foundation is a not for profit which looks to empower local indigenous women to be custodians of their local reefs.

    They offer a program why it teaches the women to look at their marine environments, how to make it sustainable and ways to protect it. Education for sustainability in remote areas will help the marine environments in the long run.

    There is a program running on the 30 August in Papua New Guinea. It’s not a liveaboard but a private resort based in the Conflict Islands. They have their own Conservation Initiative as well and are co-hosting the course.

    Here is the link to the program – Sea Women of Melanesia

    If you have any questions, feel free to message

  9. fluff_astrid

    fluff_astrid Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Sydney, Australia
    Thank you everyone! Some great ideas in here and I love them. I think at the bare minimum I'll buy a sturdy set of mesh bags and do my own "dive against debris" on whatever dives I do during the holidays.

    And thank you Terry! That stuff is really great to see. I'm out of town on the 30th but this is totally something I'd love to support, so I'll reach out to them for future initiatives!
    Esprise Me likes this.
  10. outofofficebrb

    outofofficebrb HARRO HUNNAYYY

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco, California
    @fluff_astrid I love your efforts and thought process.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve been to Raja Ampat twice, and I don’t remember seeing any trash in the water anywhere. I also pick up garbage on dives or at the surface when I see it but I haven’t seen any. It isn’t a huge sample set or representative of the trash situation, but I was there a total of 18 days.
    Esprise Me likes this.

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