About 1,000 volunteers, including divers and onshore participants took part in this initiative, which ran at 16 points on the Spanish coast simultaneously
Among the points was the Malaga town of Torre del Mar, Aguadulce ( Almería), and Cadiz. About 30 volunteers participated in Torre del Mar, at the mouth of Rio Seco -Playa of Levante-, under the coordination of Club Apañao.
This was the first large-scale operation of the Network Rangers Marinos, whose primary objective is to remove plastic and other debris that reaches the oceans which each year is the cause of death of more than one million birds and 100,000 turtles and mammals.
In total, divers and volunteers on the ground acted in 17 coastal parts of Andalucia, the Canaries, Asturias, Basque Country, Catalonia, Valencia, Murcia, Ceuta and Melilla as part of an initiative in which they have involved numerous diving clubs, institutions, associations and individuals, and it not only involved the removal of harmful waste to the environment, but also gathered information about the location and categories thereof.
The information is gathered with the Platform Marnoba, a free mobile application developed by ‘Zero Discharge’, with which “divers, swimmers, fishermen and citizens can record data on waste” found on the coasts and makes this information available to all, including the scientific community.”
Network Rangers Marine Environment is an initiative of the NGO Oceánidas, developed with the support of the Department of the Marine Environment of the Spanish Federation of Underwater Activities (Fedas), mainly composed of volunteer divers who engage in the conservation of species linked to the sea through protection work, research and dissemination of the marine environment.
Network Watchers were recently introduced in Almuñécar (Granada), where a local cleaning of the seabed took place and served as rehearsal for national action, during which “more than 100 kilos of rubbish” were removed.
In Cadiz, club members Andalusia Under the Sea and SEA (Divers in Action), Delphi-Stranding Network Support and Ecologists in Action joined forces to develop a day in which not only involved a clean-up around the Paseo de la Alameda de Hercules, but also numerous environmental education activities aimed at children and the general public. In total there were about 50 volunteers, those working on the ground and divers who took turns to dive in places of difficult access and arriving by support vessels.
Meanwhile, Aguadulce, Almeria hosted two operations of cleaning the seabed, of which one was in the Marina, where more than 60 volunteers worked from 11.00 hours under the organisation of Club Crised. The seabed and the coast of Playa de Aguadulce were cleaned by volunteers from Aguadulce Diving Club.
According to the Volunteer Network Marine Environment , “despite the numerous international conventions and state and regional laws that oversee the health of the seas , waste continues to harmfully affect numerous species and ecosystems, making it necessary to increase public awareness and the involvement of those who have access to the seabed , including scuba diving enthusiasts.”