Phuket Province, an island off Thailand’s southeast coast, has received special clean-up efforts in its waters from a recently-formed organization, Go Eco Phuket.
The group is comprised of a number of dive centers that work together to host events focused on cleaning up debris from the water, protecting the natural environment and the marine life that inhabits it.
On Tuesday the group held its annual Great Clean-Up, which brought in more than 1,500 volunteers who cleaned up more than 8,000 pounds of garbage.
“We all share the same concerns about critical issues facing the underwater world and want to do something about it. We want to connect conservation and tourism to build a community of divers enthusiastic and passionate about protecting our ocean,” the Go Eco Phuket website stated. “We know that scuba divers are amazing ambassadors for our underwater world. If you’re traveling to Thailand as a backpacker, a family, or just heading for a week in the sun, then why not join our activities and actions? We promise you lots of fun and plus you get to make a difference for our oceans.”
According to the Phuket Gazette, The Royal Thai Navy provided protection to the dive boats by posting at least one ship at each island being cleaned up.
At the same event last year, the Royal Thai Navy assisted a fishing vessel hauling aboard a discarded fishing net that weighed a whopping 4.5 tons, which had been abandoned on the sea floor. Before it was removed, divers spent two days disentangling it from the reef system.
“On the island of Phuket, Thailand new records in the fight against debris were smashed on September 30 ,” the website stated. “Over 650 divers and beach cleaners took part in the biggest Dive Against Debris event in the world with PADI Dive Centres working together as part of a recently formed group called Go Eco Phuket. They removed around 15 tons of rubbish.”