"Every dive is a dive against debris" is the mantra of Bubbles Dive Centre in Marsalforn on the island of Gozo. We had dived in various places but it wasn't until Booming Cave that the extent of the debris problem in the Mediterranean Sea became apparent.
Rather than small pieces of plastic - a cup here, a bottle wrapper there, the cove that contains the entrance to Booming Cave was full of debris.
Bottles, wrappers, coffee pods everything was there. In the 10 minutes of pottering along the reef on our deco safety stop and surfacing we managed to collect enough plastic to fill a net bag. This was just the tip of the problem. We could have spent the entire dive picking up debris and there would still be more.
I think until this point I hadn't realised the extent of the problem. Most dives take place in flowing water where plastic debris does not stay. It passes by but isn't there for most of the dive. Even a pristine looking sea has a dark secret below the surface. Most of the debris has travelled the seas ending up in still water and beaches, far from where it was used or entered the water.
This sheltered cove was a collecting point for debris and made me realise what a massive task Project AWARE and Dive Against Debris really is.
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