Why do we dive? For pure enjoyment? Sometimes, but not always. In fact, most divers make the splash for fun, but also for many other things. We dive to explore. We dive to connect with others. We dive to connect with ourselves. Sometimes, though, we dive to help others. Whether it’s for search and rescue or for wildlife study or for other helpful reasons, much of the SCUBA diving in the world centers on people doing good. And you thought all divers were thrill-seeking adrenaline junkies. If that’s the case, these divers and dive groups might just change your perception.
Volunteer Divers Help with Underwater Recovery in Tohoku
Who will ever forget the terrifying images of the 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan? Watching video of the horrific flooding, the relentless surges of water and debris, the cars and trucks being tossed around like toys, the structures toppled like stick houses—it was heartbreaking. Even more so if you lived in Japan. Divers from Japan were devastated just like everyone else, and they wanted to do something to help. Recovering and removing debris washed to sea by the cataclysm was a good place to start for a group of volunteer divers. (Read more)
A charity looking to raise money for marine conservation in the UK and abroad, the Sea-Changers vision is to protect the seas and marine species. The unique things about Sea-Changers is how they raise the money for this important work. They utilize the vitality, generosity and resources of marine users to create change, working in conjunction with dive companies, cruise ship operators, and marinas that rely on healthy oceans for their livelihood. According to their website, 100% of the money raised to support marine conservation work. (Read more)
If you don’t know, ghost fishing refers to the awful tendency for discarded or lost fishing gear like nets and hooked lines to keep catching and killing sea life long after human operators have gone. No one know exactly how much derelict fishing gear is out there still catching fish, but it is estimated that ghost fishing debris accounts for most of the manmade garbage in the sea. Ghostfishing.org is a group of divers who have determined to rid the world’s oceans of this shameful stuff. (Read more)
The importance of coral cannot be understated. Besides the simple aesthetics of observing a stunning, colorful living coral reef, they also serve practical purposes, like providing habitat and sanctuary for small fish and protecting coastal areas by providing a barrier from the sea (hence the term ‘barrier Reef’). However, due to many different factors, much of the coral around the world is dying. Either from ocean acidification, rising sea temperatures, pollution, or other reasons, we are losing our coral. Coral bleaching is a major concern as well. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Many different groups have gotten into coral restoration over the last several years, and their efforts are bearing fruit. (Read more)