This week in Lembeh, the dive shop we stayed in organized a clean-up dive. 10 volunteers, 45mn in the water, 168 KILOS of trash picked-up.
Before I start : this is a one-time post.
Because it bores the hell out of me when I read stuff, articles, whatever, being patronizing and telling me about one of many of the ecological disasters that we are facing. I am not even starting a list because frankly, I don't know where to start. I KNOW, for f**k's sake. And I get too often the feeling that I am one small human out of billions, and recycling my litter or collecting crap underwater will definitely not save the planet.
But hey, since I can't save the planet, I do like everybody else, which is what I can. And which is linked to what matters to me, since I hope to see sharks underwater for a few decades still. Or that my hypothetical kids will.
So yes, I collect garbage underwater when I can (and one day I'll tell you about this time I tried to collect a beer bottle during a dive before seeing it was full of kerosene or something and meant for dynamite fishing. I live a dangerous life). And yes, I try to tell people not to touch stuff underwater without sounding like a pain in the bum, and I sign petitions, and I wear t-shirts saying I care about the fish, and sometimes I even donate money to organizations that seem worth of my few euros. And I do not eat much fish, first because life made it easy for me, most of it I don't really like. And second, because I'd rather see them underwater. (and yes, I do eat meat. Sorry, I care less about the chickens. I know it's unfair, but I never pretended I was.)
But that's my own way of doing things, really. I do not mean for any of you to do that. What I can do however, is point out a few things for you to check out. Feel free to go and do something else with your time. If just a couple out of you people out there check one of these links or think about what they pick out next time before eating fish or throwing crap in the ocean, I would have just made my little drop a tiny bit bigger. And that's better than nothing.
- There are several lists you can find on sustainable fish to eat, even on your local species or the methods of the fisheries around you. It goes without saying that the less you eat bluefin tuna or shark fin soup, the less they will get killed, in the end. Offer and demand, that's as simple as that. (well a little bit more complex along the way, but believe me, that's the bottom line of what they teach you in business school)
- I might be stating the obvious here, but garbage does not disappear because it is thrown in the ocean. They just go on the reef, in creatures' stomachs or end up in your own stomach when you eat a fish after it's been eating garbage. See, in the end, it's for your own good. Pick up your trash. If you're in a good mood, you can even pick up someone else's trash that was left on the beach.
- Here below are a few links to organizations that I care for. A lot of them have various local initiatives all around the world :
Surfrider foundation runs local actions and campaigns all over the place. And they also run lots of educational days and events for kids.
Sea Shepherd fights the battle of marine conservation through direct actions. You might argue about the communication methods or the way they do these things. I don't, because they are one of the few that actually get coverage for it. And these guys have balls.
Project Aware is a NGO linked to PADI, that runs several programs for conservation. They are also very divers-focused and offer a lot of material and campaings towards them.
There are many many others, and I will not bore you and make a list, but I am sure there's one around the corner from where you live.
That's it, my ranting is over. Next post I promise I'll be all cheerful again.