Archive for Sunday, 7 February 2016

10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet

Just like climbers and campers have an ethic or code to live by – so do scuba divers. Project AWARE’s 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet helps divers of all skill levels make a difference when they dive, travel, and more. Boost your eco. Pledge to follow 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet.

Source: 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet

10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet

Boost your eco. Pledge to follow 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet.

You can download and share the 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet and do your part to take this ocean ethic to heart.

  1. Be a Buoyancy Expert

Underwater plants and animals are more fragile than they appear. The swipe of a fin, bump of your camera or even a touch can destroy decades of coral growth, damage a plant or harm an animal. Streamline your scuba and photo gear, keep your dive skills sharp, perfect your underwater photo techniques and continue your dive training to fine-tune your skills. Always be aware of your body, dive gear and photo equipment to avoid contact with the natural environment.

  1. Be a Role Model

New scuba divers are being trained and certified every day. Regardless of your experience level, be sure to set a good example for others when interacting with the environment – while underwater and on land.

  1. Take Only Photos – Leave Only Bubbles

Nearly everything natural found underwater is alive or will be used by a living creature. If you take a coral, shell or animal, you can disturb the delicate balance and add to the depletion of dive sites for future generations.

  1. Protect Underwater Life

Choose not to touch, feed, handle, chase or ride anything underwater. Your actions may stress the animal, interrupt feeding and mating behavior or provoke aggressive behavior. Understand and respect underwater life and follow all local laws and regulations.

  1. Become a Debris Activist

An astonishing amount of waste makes its way underwater, reaching even the most remote ocean areas. Once there, it kills wildlife, destroys habitats and threatens our health and economy. Don’t let your dives go to waste. Remove and report what doesn’t belong underwater every time you dive. Make a conscious effort to buy green, buy local and, when possible, buy less.

  1. Make Responsible Seafood Choices

Overfishing leads to species declines while harmful fishing practices damage and pollute underwater ecosystems. You play a critical role as a consumer. If seafood is part of your meal selection, ensure you’re choosing sustainably sourced species and encourage others, including restaurants and shop owners, to do the same.

  1. Take Action

Scuba divers are some of the strongest ocean advocates on the planet. Now, more than ever, divers like you are taking a stand. Speak out for conservation, share your underwater images, report environmental damage to authorities and campaign for change.

  1. Be an Eco-tourist

Make informed decisions when choosing and visiting a destination. Choose facilities dedicated to responsible social and environmental business practices that include water conservation, energy reduction, proper waste disposal, use of mooring buoys and respect for local cultures, laws and regulations.

  1. Shrink Your Carbon Footprint

Global warming and ocean acidification are putting your favorite animals and the whole ocean planet at risk. Do your part by understanding and reducing your carbon footprint and look for ways to offset what you can’t reduce.

  1. Give Back

Ocean protection depends on all of our actions, large and small. Investing in the ocean protects our planet and lets the dive adventure live on. Donate or fundraise for ocean protection to fuel the grassroots action and policy change necessary to ensure a clean, healthy ocean planet.

Thank you for giving the ocean planet the protections it deserves!

Posted Sunday, 7 February 2016 by Culebra Snorkeling and Dive Center in Culebra Posts & Reviews

What if Plastic Never Became Waste?

If you’re trying to live a more sustainable life, there are probably some specific words that you look for when choosing the products you bring into your home, such as: recyclable, biodegradable, etc. Although these words have a sustainable connotation, they don’t always guarantee that you’re making a planet-friendly choice.

It is convenient to think that biodegradable plastic is the way out of the problem. Think again!

A common myth surrounding biodegradable plastics, for instance, is that they are a more environmentally friendly option since we assume it will just “return to nature” once disposed – in the landfill or elsewhere. The fact is, most plastic never goes away, but breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces – microplastics.

As people are becoming more aware of the Ugly Journey of our Trash and the immense threat that the production and disposal of plastic waste poses to the environment, it is convenient to think that biodegradable plastic is the way out of the problem. Think again!

A UNEP report published in late last year, entitled Biodegradable Plastics and Marine Litter – Misconceptions, Concerns and Impacts on Marine Environments, finds that complete biodegradation of plastics occurs in conditions that are rarely, if ever, met in marine environments and warns that widespread adoption of biodegradable plastics is likely to actually contribute to marine litter and consequent undesirable consequences for marine ecosystems.

It emphasizes that it should be assumed that microplastics created in the fragmentation process remain in the ocean where they transport harmful microbes, pathogens and algal species, and are consumed by a whole slew of marine organisms. The report also cites research that suggested some people are attracted by “technological solutions” as an alternative to changing behaviour. Labelling a product as biodegradable may be seen as a technical fix that removes responsibility from the individual, resulting in a reluctance to take action.

There’s growing concern about about the threats of microplastics. This is one of the many reasons why Project AWARE welcomes the report: The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the future of plastics and its vision of a global economy in which plastics never become waste. Through our Partnerships Against Trash, we’re working towards a much needed transition from a linear “take, make, dispose” model of economic growth to a circular economy where plastic products are designed to be reused and recycled continuously.

Applying circular economy principles to global plastic packaging flows could drastically reduce the amount of plastics that make its way into the ocean. Help us work towards long-term effective solutions to end the Ugly Journey of our Trash and join the fight against marine debris – Dive Against Debris™ – to contribute data critical to showing the type and quantity of debris, including plastics, which end up in our ocean every year. Remember there is no away when it comes to waste!

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Photo: Plastic bag courtesy of 100% AWARE partner Amarilla Divers

BYLINE: DOMINO ALBERT, PROJECT AWARE COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Posted Sunday, 7 February 2016 by Culebra Snorkeling and Dive Center in Culebra Posts & Reviews

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