GVI Seychelles Cap Ternay recently participated in PADI Project Aware Dive for Debris Day, a worldwide effort to clear litter from marine environments.
We covered the entirety of Bay Ternay Marine National Park with each of three dives going to a different part. As suspected there was not much debris to be found in the pristine waters, although there were several glass bottles in front of Anse du Riz (Secret Beach) which is a popular beach BBQ spot. We left 6 glass bottles as part of the environment since they already had encrusting coral growth on them. In all, we collected two big pieces of glass, a rope, a water bottle, two glass bottles, and a snorkel.
Despite the lack of debris in the Marine Park, there was a lot to clear up. A lot of confusion. Tuesday was a beautiful day and looking longingly into Bay Ternay Marine Park I wished I had my “raft” which I had to translate to “lilo” to Maddy from the UK who was picturing a wooden craft with a sail... and of course this started the debate as we handed out “trash bags” to the Brits who took the “bin liners” to collect their “rubbish,” not “trash,” and a series of poor accent attempts ensued as we walked down to Anse Souillac (Back Beach) for a beach clean in the mangroves. And so it began: “gar-AGE” no it’s pronounced “GAR-age”, “sidewalk” or “pavement”, “sneakers” or “trainers”, “soccer” or “football”. Even the name of the day was in hot debate, was debris pronounced “da-BREE” or “DEB-bri”.
The conversation kept us going during our beach clean. In the fragile and extremely important mangroves system at the edge of the bay, there was a huge amount of trash. Thirty of us picked up an assortment of plastic bottles, snack wrappers, flip-flops, plastic cups, and much more. Mangroves are natural filter systems which filter run-off and stop debris from the land entering the marine environment, but they are not meant to handle these unnatural items.
We walked back to base with fresh mossie bites and four big trash bags worth of debris taken out of the mangroves.
Dive for Debris day was a success.
The Solar research base in the Seychelles will aid a long term research program being carried out by GVI volunteers, to get an idea of what life is like in the field read this update from the field:
'Another week in paradise started, as always with an early wake up crowing of our proud cocks and a lovely bowl of porridge. But something is different... it’s raining! The Monsoon is coming to bring us a lot of (shower) water and a bad Visibility.
Even with the bad Visibility we could manage to finish all our 12 dive-sites and open a new one. We try to find more new sites through exploration dives and get the possibility to see new sites no other volunteers ever seen before. It’s a great adventure to descent somewhere no one knows what you’ll find there and what to expect, maybe some hammerheads or tiger sharks?!:)
On Saturday Morning some of the volunteers went for a dive with Octopus-Divers to Marianne. It was just amazing! We saw a few White-Tip-Sharks, around 10 Gray Reef Sharks and 5 Eagle Rays, but the most impressive was the Visibility, it was stunning: 35m+, clear blue sea, the huge granitic formations and everywhere ascending bubbles on their way to the surface.
The next morning a group of volunteers started Dexter (our loyal boat) to get to Aride-Island, a Neighbour of Curieuse. Aride is one of the rare islands of the Seychelles without any rat-population but with a huge population of different types of birds. The birds are nesting everywhere on this island: in trees, on rocks or in the middle of a path. Sometimes they don’t even build a nest, they just lay their egg on a branch and balance it. The only human population is limited to a few Rangers and volunteers to protect the bird reserve and show the beauty of this island to just a few tourists daily. The job of the rangers includes tagging nesting turtles and observing their nests. It really is life on a paradise island!'
Read more about volunteer opportunities in the Seychelles with GVI.
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