Local sea cucumber divers Mervin Cedras, Marcus Quatre and Dominique Thelermont kicked off their maiden dive for the SeyCCAT funded “Reduction of ocean pollution through sea floor clean up, and education of fishermen and youth about the impact of ocean pollution” project at the Providence area this Saturday 31st July to disheartening results.
The three divers have over 13 years of diving experience and their observations of the continuous devastation of the local marine ecosystems drove them into a desire to rectify the problem in any way that they could. In 2019, they successfully applied for a large grant from SeyCCAT to the tune of SCR 677,730 aiming to clean up the ocean floor at some of the polluted sites around Mahe. The project aims to take only six months and will cover sites that have more traffic and is expected to have more trash.
The harshness of their findings brings to light the extent of the disrespectful use of the ocean as a dumping site for all manner of materials. “The worst thing was the fact that we saw countless marine species feeding from all this trash and I realized that this was what we were eating too!” explained a horrified Mervin Cedras.
The mound of trash collected did not even put a dent in the amount left for the divers to clean up. “Imagine that this area is so close to an actual marine park and it is in this state” commented Marcus Quatre. The divers went on to further note that they had been unprepared to the extent, the kinds of materials and their sentiments that it seems as if no one is taking to heart the continuous campaigns against marine pollution that various organizations have been conducting over the years.
The SeyCCAT project will also fund a three-part documentary about their efforts to clean-up of the ocean floor around Mahe, detailing the type of materials collected and the extent of the pollution so to create real-time visuals of the situation so as to inspire others to take up the fight against marine pollution.