During our stay we were told that there was to be a “Dive against Debris” in Marsalfon bay. Project Aware is the organisation behind this global effort. We met up with Dave and Donna from Bubbles Dive Centre who were organising this, a second effort to raise awareness of the effect dumping rubbish has on the marine environment. It involved an hour or so of diving around Marsalfon Bay looking for and retrieving dumped rubbish. My husband volunteered to snorkel as he hadn’t been diving in years. Our friend had his own diving gear and joined in. There were several others who came along. The partnered up under the instructions of Dave Hayler-Montague and the watchful eye of Donna and set off.
Our friend’s partner donned the Marigolds and helped collect the found rubbish in a bucket and I brought my camera along to record the event. One of the most serious dangers for marine life is the humble plastic bag. Turtles eat jellyfish and in the water a plastic bag can look just like a jellyfish, but can suffocate and kill a turtle.
The depth of the water at the periphery isn’t all that deep and it is very clear. Debris lodged in amongst the rocks was a main focus in this area. I took these photos from the edge of the promenade overlooking the bay.
The first Dive Against Debris collected 25kg of rubbish, and this second Dive Against Debris collected a huge 60kg. Some debris included beer bottles, broken wine glasses, the occasional piece of crockery, not unexpected given the number of waterside bars and restaurants.
In addition, there as an amount of abandoned rope, plastic containers, even a pair of swimming trunks (the mind boggles).
The biggest find was some metal sheeting just dumped in the bay. It took at least two divers to collect this and heave it out of the water.
The information about the amount, type and location of the debris was recorded into a global project. Donna and Dave from Bubbles Dive Centre publicized the event in the local press, and my photos appeared in the Malta Times, The Malta Independent as well as the Project Aware website.
Considering that Bubbles Dive Centre is a relative newcomer to Marsalfon, they were over the moon to learn that Project Aware, the international non-profit organisation mobilising divers to protect the ocean, awarded Bubbles Dive Centre of Marsalforn third place in its Global Dive Against Debris campaign. You can have fun and protect the environment at the same time.
The adventure continues..