• Question: Do you see much pollution when you are diving?

    Asked by lamchuiling to Sean, Glo, Dave on 23 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Sean Clement

      Sean Clement answered on 22 Jun 2011:

      Hmm, at first, I thought there wasn’t that much to see until, for Ocean Clean Up day last year, we did a dive on a coral reef with the specific task of cleaning up all the rubbish we saw on a reef (old fishing nets and other bits of rubbish that shouldn’t be there). We managed to fill 15 sacks! Rubbish problsms depend on where you dive. For instance, if you’re diving in a remote part of the world, you’re unlikely to find much but if you dive somewhere where lots of people do like Thailand, then you might find quite a bit…

    • Photo: Dave Sproson

      Dave Sproson answered on 22 Jun 2011:

      I never really noticed much pollution while diving – but then I’ve never really been looking for it. As Sean says, though, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t there!

    • Photo: Gloeta Massie

      Gloeta Massie answered on 23 Jun 2011:

      Unfortunately, yes. There was one particular spot I was diving on in Hawaii that really sticks out in my mind. There are these really cool sea urchins that liked to decorate themselves. (Pretty common sea urchin behavior, actually.) (When I worked for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we would put different colored knickknacks in the sea urchin tanks around the holidays, so they could decorate themselves to match the festivities.) Anyway – one time I was diving and I looked around, and every single one of the urchins had decorated themselves with plastic bottle caps. It made me want to laugh and cry at the same time. Our output of plastics into the oceans is simply astounding, and washing up and impacting places, far, far away from people. As an example, Midway Island. Midway Island is really in the middle of nowhere – 1200 miles NW of Hawaii. See what is happening to the birds on that island because of plastic though… http://www.shiftingbaselines.org/news/news_plastics_albatross.htm