Out of Sight, Out of Mind? A Visualization of Ocean Trash

Dive Against Debris Map

Project AWARE’s new interactive map is the first to visualize nearly three years of ongoing reporting by an international network of scuba divers who remove marine debris they find underwater through the Dive Against Debris programme, a year round global citizen science initiative.

Marine litter does not belong underwater however it is estimated that more than six million tons of it enters the ocean each year entangling and injuring marine life and damaging critical habitats. Everyday items like plastic bottles and plastic bags as well as other plastics like fishing line and nets are some of the sources of plastic waste reported by divers.

The Dive Against Debris Map shows that plastics are the number one type of litter found by Project AWARE divers, making up 70% of the total amount of debris reported since 2011. The aim of the map is to raise awareness of the problems of underwater debris and also to provide a platform which enables divers to easily report and identify areas where waste prevention efforts are needed most. As more volunteer divers get involved with Dive Against Debris, Project AWARE can add the underwater view to a problem that remains out of sight for most of the public.

Explore the map to discover the types and amounts of debris scuba divers around the world have removed and reported from underwater environments and join the movement for a trash free ocean. Take action and Dive Against Debris! Think globally and act locally to work towards solutions to stop the ocean’s silent killer – marine debris.

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