Dive Against Debris is a year-round underwater survey for scuba divers. Surveys can take place anytime, anywhere. Our trash does not belong underwater however more than six million tons of it enters the ocean each year entangling and injuring marine life and damaging critical habitats. Together, we’re working toward solutions. As more volunteer divers get involved with Dive Against Debris, Project AWARE can add the underwater view to a problem that remains out of sight for most of the public and help identify target areas where waste prevention efforts are needed most.
Scuba Informatics Training Centre, Hong Kong is keen to raise the environmental awareness of their divers and encourage stewardship of the ocean. In doing so they’ve joined up with Project AWARE and here we shine the spotlight on PADI Dive Instructor and AWARE volunteer Alan Chan about being an AWARE diver.
1) AWARE: When did you become an AWARE diver?
My first experience with Project AWARE was the Dive Against Debris Event we organised in October 2013. We raised $580 and removed rubbish from below the surface.
2) AWARE: What words of advice and encouragement would you give to divers who are passionate about underwater conservation but don’t know where to start.
Divers who are passionate about underwater conservation but don’t know where to start should check out projectaware.org. Divers in Hong Kong are welcome to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org – more people become more power.
3) AWARE: What’s your top tip for being an AWARE diver?
My top tip for being an eco-friendly diver is please always take only photos and leave only bubbles during each dive. This is also the tip from 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet.
4) AWARE: How many times have you organised a Dive Against Debris?
Our plan is to Dive Against Debris twice a year in Hong Kong. Our event took place this July and the next event will be in October / November.
5) AWARE: How do you raise funds for conservation at your dive centre?
Our funds are mainly raised by the donations from our divers. This year we raised $600 and received a Certificate of Thanks from Project AWARE to recognize our efforts. We are proud to be involved.
6) AWARE: Why is it important to you to protect our marine environment?
The importance is that if we do not start to protect our marine environment now, there will be no more enjoyment for diving in the future, and ultimately, our earth will be dead.
7) AWARE: What’s the biggest conservation issue that concerns you locally or internationally?
The biggest conservation issue that I am concerned about is the shark fins problem, please stop eating – if there’s no consumer demand, no shark will be killed.
8) AWARE: Name one thing in your daily life you’d like to improve on to protect the environment.
I’d like to see everyone perfect neutral buoyancy please! It is so sad to see divers kick up the coral during a dive, especially for those who are passionate about marine protection.
Thank you to Alan and his team of AWARE divers for their latest Dive Against Debris and fundraising efforts. Debris Month of Action is this September – take action to protect the ocean planet and help fight against marine debris projectaware.org