Marine Debris Cleanup Dive


Marine Debris Cleanup Dive
October 2019

The International SeaKeepers Society partnered with Sea Experience in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, October 5th, 2019 to host their first-ever marine debris cleanup dive. Nine certified scuba divers participated in the underwater cleanup, which entailed diving a 72-foot deep wreck and a shallow coral reef to remove any trash or marine debris found. The first dive site was Hog Heaven Wreck, a 180-foot Western Barge that was intentionally sunk on in 1986 to become an artificial reef. Many monofilament fishing lines and rigs were wrapped around the wreck, which were cut and removed. At the second dive spot, The Caves, a drift dive allowed for the divers to collect trash along a long transect of coral reef. Along the reef, they collected aluminum cans, parts of broken traps, monofilament fishing line, polyester boat ropes, and plastic bottles. Of all the items collected, the monofilament fishing line was the most prevalent.

Monofilament fishing line is the most popular kind of fishing line, however it is also the most deadly to marine life because it is clear and can entangle them or be ingested. Countless sea turtles and marine mammals are injured or killed each year as the result of becoming tangled in fishing line and its associated hooks and tackle that have been improperly disposed of along beaches or thrown over from boats into the water. It’s important to properly dispose of monofilament fishing line, whether it be recycled, or disposed of in a way to ensure it will not make it’s way out into the ocean. The best alternative is to use biodegradable fishing line that will not have an indefinite lifespan in the environment. Overall, we were very excited to contribute to cleaning our seas, and cannot wait until the next dive!

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