Garbage blights dive sites in Thailand
A few days ago there was a disturbing article in the Bangkok Post about the amount of garbage found in Thai waters. A staggering 22 tonnes of garbage have been found, including the hotly discussed mysterious containers in the Samaesarn area of Sattahip district.
Here’s the full article;
Garbage blights dive sites
By: APINYA WIPATAYOTIN
Published: 26/05/2009 at 12:00 AM
“Marine officials found more than 22 tonnes of garbage dumped into the sea last year, most of it at famous dive spots. Koh Samaesarn in Chon Buri province was the site of the biggest undersea garbage dump, Department of Marine and Coastal Resources chief Samran Rakchart said yesterday.
The Samaesarn area of Sattahip district is where the mysterious containers that have been in the news lately are located. An investigation team is trying to find out what is inside the containers.
Half of the garbage found at Samaesan is plastic and beer bottles.
Koh Kra in Nakhon Si Thammarat province contains another large mound of garbage. Most of it is fishing equipment.
Mr Samran said his department had been collecting records of sunken garbage in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand.
The trash causes the death of many marine animals every year, he said. Autopsies conducted on dead dolphins and sea turtles had found all manner of junk in their stomachs.
It is estimated that 6.4 million tonnes of garbage a year, or 1,800 tonnes a day, is being dumped into the sea globally. Almost 90% of the garbage is plastic waste.”
A disturbing article and you can only hope that the amount of garbage that’s being dumped in the world oceans will reduce.
Over the years I’ve been picking up trash during lots of dive, but especially during the Project Aware Beach Clean Up Days, always in September each year and during the Search & Recovery that I teach at Instructor level, my students and myself take kilos of garbage mainly out of Chaweng Beach. Car tyres, plastic beach chairs, plastic baskets, empty beer bottles, tons of sunglasses and beach wear, dive and snorkel masks and general rubbish has been brought out of the water by me over the years. Maybe a drop on a hot plate but it definitely makes me feel better that I start and act small in my own ‘backyard’ if I read an article like this, since you have to start somewhere and your ‘own’ place is as good as any.
If you’re a diver, I can only urge you to join Project Aware and/or similar organisations and be a responsible and ecological aware diver.