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Scuba Divers Holding Back the Tide

If you have eyes and/or ears you (as a scuba diver) should be fairly familiar with the problems concerning the world’s oceans. What you may not know is that scuba divers like yourself are already working to hold back the tide…of plastic.

The Problem

There’s a very large amount of plastic being dumped in the ocean on a regular basis. The words, “A really large amount.” Just don’t cover it.  We are talking about an inconceivably large amount.

The official guestimate for plastic entering the sea in 2010 was…between 4 million and 12 million metric tons, according to ScienceMag.

It’s hard to appreciate just how much plastic that is in real terms, as our brains can’t conceive of quantities that great.  To give you a better idea, if every human living on earth made a plastic casting of their left leg and hurled it into the ocean once a year, that would be roughly equivalent.  I don’t know if that helped put it into perspective but it gives you a rough idea of the scale at least.

This is why we have islands of plastic forming in the oceans.  Fish dying with plastic in their stomachs, and our recent look in the Mariana Trench involved finding trash.

Aside from tide of plastic being dumped into the ocean, we also have the Fukushima plant contaminating the oceans.  5 years on from the disaster and it is estimated it has contaminated 760,000 tons of water.

Do you want Godzilla?  Because that’s how you get Godzilla!

What Our Fans and Followers Have Already Done!

We can’t do much ourselves about the impending Godzilla catastrophe, but can fight back against plastic pollution.

Before I get into what you can do personally, here is what some of our WeDiveToo fans have done to take on the problem:

  • “…done diving clean ups in bays, and just did a beach cleanup along the Pacific Coast.”
  • “…I almost always come up with trash/plastic in my BC pocket every dive.”
  • “…We have gone out at night and walked and we have picked up some trash…”
  • “A few times a year I dive in my local marina and beach to pick up trash around the piers.”
  • “I always have a mesh bag in a pocket to pick up trash.”
  • “Done several beach and underwater cleanups. Have another one on the 25th.”
  • “Collected 8000 kgs of rubbish off the surrounding island washed up on the beaches with 10 other volunteers last nov from Linderman island, anything that could float was washed up and then picked up with Ecobarge whitsundays.”
  • “I too come back with any plastic I see. Then during my SI, I’ll walk the beach and collect anything I see that doesn’t belong.”
Scuba divers cleaning up the ocean

WeDiveToo member in action.

Scuba divers cleaning up the ocean

More WeDiveToo member in action.


Getting our members and fellow scuba divers to tell us about the good they are doing was tricky, but it was important to show people are already trying.  And that WeDiveToo scuba divers are directly helping with the problem.  So if anyone ever asks what plus sized divers have done for the diving community, point them here.

What You Can Do to Help…

There are ways you too can take part in making the world a better place.

You can’t fix it on your own but now you know you don’t have to.  There are lots of us already pushing back, and what we need are more people helping.

  1. You don’t need to start the change, just turn up and be part of it.  Help defend what you love.
  2. You can look out for local beach/bay cleaning events in your area.
  3. You can take a mesh bag with you and pick up and trash you find while you are diving.
  4. You can report any dumping activity you see.
  5. You can cut down on the amount of plastics you use in your daily life.  This means disposable plastic items, as these often end up in the sea.
  6. You can spread the message about the problem, get others involved.

The important thing is that you as a scuba diver help push back against the tide of plastic threatening to drown us all.

I’ve avoided using pictures of deformed turtles and fish, wounded by the plastic in the ocean.  I’ve done this as I know some will say they don’t want to see it, and use those images as an excuse to hide from the reality.

This is a real problem, and one we hope more WeDiveToo followers are getting involved in.

Together we can make a difference.


About the Author ColinP

Colin is an inventor, author, guitar player, amateur scientist and steampunk enthusiast. During his years as a ships navigator his luck was so consistently bad that he was briefly known as 'Jonah', presumed cursed, and subsequently barred from setting foot on any boat docked in Ireland. Due to his misadventures he spent more time underwater than most divers will achieve in a lifetime. Not deliberately, but he was still down there!

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