SeyCCAT strategic objective: 2
Lead Project Partner: Marcus Quatre, Mervin Cedras and Dominique
The Ocean Project
Seychelles Fishing Authority
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Environment
Seychelles National Parks Authority
Summary: Ocean pollution is a big concern. There is so much evidence of how badly our planet is being affected; to mention a few:
- dead whales with their stomach full of plastic waste are washing up dead on beaches all over the world
- all sort of waste is ending up on our remote islands
- sea creatures living in the deepest part of the world’s oceans have been found to contain plastic in their body
While floating waste may end up on beaches and may be picked up, the ocean and ocean floor are also littered with inorganic waste that usually takes many years to decompose such as plastic bags floating or caught in corals and rocks, bottles (plastic and glass), cans, and, old fishing nets and traps thrown away by fishing vessels, to mention a few.
Despite tourism and fisheries being two of the main pillars of our economy, and the well-being of our population being highly dependent on the health of our oceanic territory, at the moment there is very little being done protect this precious resource. Little is being done to remove the waste from the ocean and to stop people from disposing of the waste directly in the sea and, in rivers and marshes that will eventually end up in the sea. Instead of enjoying the pristine clear waters in the adverts that sell our country as an idyllic ocean paradise, tourists are now encountering rubbish while they are swimming, diving and snorkelling around Seychelles. Fish stock is depleting quickly through overfishing but on the flipside, the dirtier water is making it more difficult for ocean life to flourish – a 2-sided disadvantage for a country that is dependent on the ocean to earn its keep.
Marcus, Dominique and Mervin have been diving for sea cucumbers for over 13 years and have noted how much dirtier the sea has become over the past decade. They feel that they have to do something to ensure that future generations enjoy cleaner oceans and eat cleaner fish, free from plastic and other waste.
Through this project, they will put their diving skills and experience to good use to clean up 3 areas around Mahé, which are particularly frequented by snorkelers and divers. Video documentaries of the cleaning up exercises will be done throughout the project to show the public exactly what is happening and how bad the ocean pollution problem is around our main island.
Once the cleaning up exercise is complete, the team will engage in an education campaign through workshops and social media to raise awareness among fishermen (who are currently disposing of a large quantity of waste at sea), youths and the general public about ocean pollution.
Using the video evidence gathered during the clean-up, the trio also plans to lobby the Seychelles Fishing Authority to make it mandatory for fishing vessels to return with all waste to shore.
SeyCCAT funds: SCR 677, 730
Duration: 6 months
Project Application Form:
Environmental and Social Management Plan: ESMP-The Ocean Cleanup Project-21012021
The first dive – What did they find? Read about it here.