World Oceans Day

We celebrated World Oceans Day over the weekend of the 11th and 12th June as part of a global movement to give something back to the environment that is so often abused.

Focusing on our main areas of concern in the area – Crown of Thorn control and Dive Against Debris activities, we hit the water with our enthusiastic volunteers.

We’d had reports from our Dive Masters that the staghorn coral beds at Chebeh South were being over run by COTs – the coral destroying starfish.We moored up, kitted up and hit the water in search of the pests.

Weapons_Of_Mass_Injection
Weapons of Mass Injection! Dry acid solution is used to control the COT population

 

Using a sidemount COT setup
Even Sidemount divers can do Crown Of Thorn activities, and look mean doing it!

We were amazed to find so many COTs in such a small area. In a 50 minute dive, our 7 volunteers injected a whopping 66 starfish. The area was no more than 100m2!

Helping_The_Ocean
Sean is happy to help the reef!
Excellent buoyancy for COT injections
The standard pose for injection Crown Of Thorns – upside down!

Happy with our efforts we headed over to our Adopted Dive Site Mangrove Bay. As part of our Adopt A Dive Site pledge, we visit this site every month to conduct a Dive Against Debris survey. We’re happy to report that due to our regular activities, the amount of rubbish on the reef has drastically dropped. Our volunteers removed only 4kg of rubbish – perhaps a bit boring for them, but fantastic news for our reefs! We ventured to the mouth of the bay in search of more trash on this dive – further than we’ve explored before. We found formations of beautiful, healthy coral and saw at least half a dozen turtles along the way!

Small amount of trash from site
A small haul from our Adopted Dive Site – good news our efforts are working!

On Sunday we decided to head back to Chebeh to check on the COTs injected the day before. To our surprise… most had disappeared! There were a few still around with the tell tale post injection orange bumps, but we think that the majority of others had retreated to hide deep beneath the coral. And they must have told their friends – we only injected 3 starfish on this dive!

We also visited One Tree Bay to check out the situation there, we’re happy to report that this dive site has no issues.

Once again we’d like to thank all our volunteers for their hard work an dedication to this cause. It’s only with your help that we can see positive results after years of hard work!

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