Activists collect 960 kg of garbage underwater to save Qatar’s marine life – Doha News

Activists removed more than 480 kg of Plastic waste of the ocean in Qatar.

Several marine activists organized a underwater cleaning awareness campaign on the dangers of plastic pollution in Qatar, collecting more than 960 kg of waste.

According to the group, the waste included 192 kg of metals, 480 kg of plastic and 288 kg of wood, cigarette butts, clothing and other non-recyclable items.

Award-winning underwater photographer and marine life conservation enthusiast Khaled Zaki said the initiative is part of a global movement for marine life conservation known as “Project AWARE”.

The global movement was started by a registered non-profit organization working with volunteer divers who protect the ocean. Their goal is to implement lasting changes in two key areas: shark conservation and marine litter.

Read also: Qatar steps up fight against climate change with expansion of fish farming

Under the theme “Dive Against Debris”, the campaign urges all divers to step up to help keep the oceans “free of litter and prevent plastics from harming marine animals.”

The movement helped “remove over 2 minutes of debris and help over 10,000 entangled marine animals.” It also aims to reduce marine debris in target countries by 50% by 2030.

However, in recent years, the effects of water pollution have taken their toll on the ocean, which covers more than 71% of the Earth and is home to nearly a million species.

Recent statistics have shown that 88% of the sea surface is polluted with plastic waste. Over a million plastic bags end up in the trash every minute around the world, causing significant damage to marine life.

Damage to coral reefs caused by global warming, overfishing and pollution could potentially lead to a 30% drop in the fish potential for capture in Qatari waters by the end of the century, according to Qatar University research assistant Pedro Range.

This is why professional divers from Qatar have come together to prevent marine damage in the Gulf country as much as possible.

5 easy steps you can take to protect our ocean

Zaki, a PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) master instructor with 25 years of experience in the diving industry in the Middle East and Egypt, said the diving community collects debris at dive sites whenever it was possible to keep the ocean clean.

“Sometimes I do it myself; sometimes I do it with friends; sometimes I organize campaigns every month or every three or four months, ”he said.

He added that they dive daily to keep the waters as clean as possible. However, he noted that several places still require special attention, especially on popular beaches across the country.

The professional urged the community to become more responsible and not to leave litter on the beach, in addition to reducing their consumption of single-use plastic, which “lasts in the waters forever.”

“While diving I spotted a group of small fish that keep circling around the group and me, and I can hear a voice deep in my head saying that these fish are overjoyed and they know what we do for them, ”Zaki said. .

“So they were like celebrating and kind of saluting us for what we’re doing. Hopefully the best for our environment.

Single-use plastic contributes significantly to water pollution and destruction of marine life every year. estimates that more than 250 million tonnes of plastic will pollute the ocean by 2025.

Meanwhile, the environmental impact caused by plastic debris alone is estimated at $ 13 billion per year.

“Divers are often the first to witness the human impact on the marine environment and are uniquely positioned to help report, remove and advocate to stop marine debris at its source,” he added.

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