More than a hundred scuba divers gathered 103 kilograms of trash and 43 coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish during the “Dive Against Debris” annual underwater cleanup last Saturday at Crimson Resort in Barangay Mactan, Lapu-Lapu City.
The program was participated in by the divers from Blue Water Maribago Resort, SeaKnights, Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary, Lapu-Lapu City Divers group, Philippine Air Force, Lapu-Lapu City Police Office, Cebu Korean Dive Shop Association, Scottys Dive Center, Alegria Cebu Divers, Hukas Divers, Liquid Pixel, Jaimes Dive Center, Boyla Divers, PSI Dive and individual volunteers.
The participants were briefed about the activity before being dispatched to coastal waters along the Hilutungan Channel.
The half-day activity gathered trash composed mostly of beverage plastic and glass bottles and tin cans. Some groups also retrieved crown-of-thorns, a kind of star fish that destroys corals.
“Dive Against Debris” is an international event that was created by divers for the preservation of marine life.
“We hold this project each year to raise awareness and keep marine environment healthy and free from foreign debris,” said Andy Berame, the Coastal Law Enforcement and Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer of Lapu-Lapu City.
Berame said that despite disseminating information about the importance of a clean underwater environment, people are still throwing their trash into the sea.
This year’s underwater cleanup program also featured six beautiful women wearing colorful mermaid costumes and an outdoor live band performance.
Lapu-Lapu City acting Vice Mayor Harry Don Radaza said, “With this kind of program, we hope we are able to demonstrate to the people how we love and care our seas,” he said.
Each diver was given a certificate from the host resort, Crimson Resort and Spa.
Nicolas Fidele, the Director of Fun of Crimson Resort, expressed gratitude to the participants and for their concern to the underwater environment.
The marine debris taken from underwater were then brought to Lapu-Lapu City’s Materials Recovery Facility (MRF).
The data they have gathered will be used in more policy making to further protect the sea, said Berame.