57kg of marine trash hauled up in second reef cleanup

On 4 November 2017, Guardians of the S.E.A.A. embarked on our second bi-annual reef cleanup at Pulau Hantu with 22 divers – 10 Divemasters from S.E.A. Aquarium and 11 public divers, all of whom have at least an Advanced Open Water certification.

9am: All ready to set sail for Pulau Hantu.

Zulfli Bin Mazlan, team lead and Divemaster from S.E.A. Aquarium, giving a briefing onboard prior to the first dive.
Each diver was given a mesh bag to collect the trash.

The divers reached an average depth of six metres and covered a total area of about 6,648 square metres in two dive sites around Pulau Hantu. Underwater visibility was better than expected, and the divers spotted many beautiful marine life.

A large, gorgeous sea turtle was seen resting on the sea floor.
Divers saw this pair of cuttlefish mating.
A magnificent featherstar
About 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean each year, making up 60% – 80% of all marine debris. For this reef cleanup, plastic items also made up the bulk of our haul.
Nivedha from S.E.A. Aquarium’s Conservation & Education team was one of the participating divers. This was her first reef cleanup after receiving her Advanced Open Water Diver certification earlier this year. She noticed that apart from marine trash underwater, quite a fair bit of litter can also be seen floating on the surface.
57kg of marine trash was picked up in 2 hours.

Several divers commented that the dive sites appeared slightly cleaner than before. It seems that their observation coincided with the result of the cleanup this time round. Compared to our first reef cleanup earlier in June where we picked up 63kg of marine trash, this time round, there was a 6kg reduction.

The team from S.E.A. Aquarium then proceeded to sort and document the trash.

We picked up a total of 158 items, including 38 plastic bags, 36 plastic cups/plates/cutlery and 34 glass bottles. Data on the trash collected was handed to Project AWARE’s flagship citizen-science programme Dive Against Debris®, which collates information on the distribution of marine litter around the globe.

Finally, it’s a wrap!

A big thank you to all participants. If you wish to be part of our next reef cleanup or other Guardians of the S.E.A.A. events, sign up as a member of Guardians of the S.E.A.A. if you haven’t already.

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