Willemstad – Some countries ring in the new year with a “New Year’s Dive”. We get to do it by throwing an awesome & traditional Fuikdag beach day. Every year many locals and tourists alike come together at Fuik in their boats and floaties in order to celebrate and start off the new year together. However, being one of the biggest parties on the island, the aftermath of this event is harming to our environment. All the marine debris that is left behind once the party is over is heartbreaking.
That’s why the CHATA Dive Task Force, in cooperation with an army of 84 honorable volunteers and supported by concerned local sponsors, lead the charge into 2019 advocating against marine pollution. With this year being of no exception, the Annual “After-Fuiking It All Up” Marine Debris Clean-up event was held after Fuikdag on January 12th to clean up Fuik Bay (land & under water).
At this year’s event, over 1000 KG’s of marine debris was safely removed from the sea and land. The marine debris consisting of single use plastics, glass bottles, aluminum cans, beach balls and an uncountable number of inflatables were safely removed and placed into a trash container generously provided by Defensie Caribisch Gebied.
Plastic pollution is affecting the oceans across the world, and some reports estimate that by 2050 there could be more plastic in the ocean than fish. As a consequence, marine life i.g. fish, birds and sea turtles can mistake plastic for food, become entangled, suffocate and eventually starve. In addition to this, are collapsed reef systems which definitely has its effects on tourism, fishing revenue, floods, water quality and storm resistance. But the great news is that Curacao can still protect itself by taking action immediately.
According to CHATA CEO, Miles Mercera, “Our island’s subaquatic life is one of the many things that sets our island apart from the others in the Caribbean. So, it is of immense importance that we all work together as a sustainable community to conserve our ocean. The commitment of the Dive Task Force to organize regular Marine Debris Cleanup is only the first step for sustaining and spreading awareness regarding our island’s ocean life. I firmly believe that with the assistance and teamwork of the entire community we can make this initiative even bigger, create a sustainable change and ensure our upcoming generation a healthier ecological marine life.”
Let’s make a change in 2019! As Mr. Eugene Rhuggenaath, the Prime Minister of Curaçao says: “KEEPING Curacao CLEAN is a SHARED RESPONSIBILITY”
CHATA Dive Task Force Members:
Curious2Dive, Jan Thiel Diving, ScubaDo Dive Center, Ocean Encounters Diving, The Dive Bus, Epsilon, Atlantis Diving, Scuba Lodge Dive Center Pietermaai, Goby Divers, Blue Bay Dive and Watersports, Central Dive, Coral Divers, B Diving and Watersports, Bahia Diving, and GO WEST Diving.