A March 8th boat trip brought together scuba-divers from an assortment of Palau’s dive centers for the third underwater cleanup of the year, which involved the collection of trash from some of Palau’s iconic dive sites.

Ocean waste deposited at Blue Holes and Virgin Hole dive sites in the Ngemelis Area, including an assortment of plastics, glass bottles, and butane cans, were collected over a period of three days and multiple dives, and totaled over 400 kilograms altogether.

The March 8th cleanup, the third scuba-diving cleanup orchestrated by the Palau Diving Council this year, collected 42.5 kilograms of mostly small plastic trash, a project which involved ten divers and two compiling and sorting the trash on the boat.

“A lot of this trash which accumulates in Palau’s dive spots includes trash which was dropped elsewhere in the ocean, or trash which washes from coasts into the ocean,” said one of the divers. “It just shows how far-reaching the consequences are of plastic pollution and other pollution.”

The year’s first underwater cleanup at Blue Hole and Virgin Hole took place on January 15, which ended in the collection of 168.2 kilograms of waste, followed by another on January 21, ending in the collection of 200 kilograms of trash.

Dive centers which participated in the cleanups include Cruise Control, DayDream, Blue Marlin, Aqua Magic, Palau Pacific, and Splash.

The Palau Diving Council plans to perform one more cleanup at Blue Holes and Virgin Hole this year, before moving on to other dive sites. 

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