Reef-World Launches New Guidelines for Environmentally Friendly Cleanups
The new publication is designed to give dive professionals a step-by-step guide to organising beach and underwater cleanups, including advice on choosing a suitable location, promoting the event, best practice for collect trash, and how to collate and report data that might be used to help develop environmental policies.
'Trash in our oceans is a serious problem that threatens the marine environment and dependent livelihoods,' said Samantha Craven, Programmes Manager at Reef-World. 'Around 80 per cent of marine trash comes from land-based sources and, although it is an entirely man-made problem, it is also entirely preventable. As well as refusing single-use items, reducing your waste, reusing items and recycling trash, you can become part of the solution by taking part in, or running, beach and underwater cleanup events and recording your data to influence long-term solutions and decision making.'
The guidelines include pointers on concerns that need to be addressed before organising a cleanup – such as how the collected trash will be disposed of or how it will be recycled – what equipment should be used during the cleanup, and advice on deciding whether or not an object that has been incorporated into the reef and becomes a home for animals should be removed from the water.
Further guidelines include best scuba diving practices for cleanup operations, such as good buoyancy control and awareness of fin positioning.
'Our new guidelines have been created to help marine tourism operators who are conducting beach and underwater cleanups do so in an environmentally friendly way while providing education on marine debris issues during the event. This guidance – which includes key things to consider before, during and after the cleanup – will help ensure no further damage is caused to marine ecosystems while teams are removing marine debris.”
The Green Fins cleanup guidelines are available for download from this link free of charge for both Green Fins members and non-members alike. For more information, visit www.reef-world.org or www.greenfins.net. Dive and snorkel operators interested in signing up to Green Fins can find the membership application form at https://www.greenfins.net/how-to-join.