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Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke is once quoted saying, “How inappropriate to call this planet earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.” Well, perhaps if it were called ocean, people would be a lot more concerned about what is happening to our marine environments, which are in terrible trouble.

According to NOAA, the world’s oceans hold more than 97 percent of the planet’s water and may be home to as much as 80 percent of the world’s plant and animal species. Without our oceans, life as we know it would cease to exist. These vast bodies of water help regulate weather patterns, they absorb almost one-third of the carbon dioxide we emit, provide many people with vital sources of protein, and most importantly, nearly 70 percent of the oxygen in our atmosphere is produced by marine plants. Without healthy, thriving ocean ecosystems, we would be cooked!

Unfortunately, as we continue to dump more and more plastic into the oceans, this essential ecosystem is starting to collapse. Every year, around 8.8 million tons of plastic trash end up in the oceans. The majority of this trash ends up sinking to the bottom of the oceans or getting swept up in massive gyres, so it can be easy to overlook this problem from the vantage point of land. Scuba divers, who spend their time beneath the surface, however, are constantly faced with the reality of this plastic problem.

In an effort to bring the sights that these divers see and raise awareness for the sake of the oceans, the good folks at Project Aware have launched a stunning photo campaign called, Beneath The Waves.

Beneath the Waves aims to rally scuba divers all over the world to share photos of the plastic trash they encounter, and add #BeneathTheWaves, to help raise awareness for marine debris.

scuba cans on the ocean floor

While it might just look like this is a mound of trash, this is actually a photo of a sea crab.

scuba entangled crab

We have a tendency to think that when we throw out trash it just “goes away!” Well … this is where “away” is.

Scuba Trash in Water

Plants, animals, and trash all float in a tangled mass on the surface.

scuba trashed beach 2

Many marine animals, some which have never even seen a human, are now finding themselves the victims of human behavior, many miles away.

scuba turtle in nets

Even creatures like coral, which are an essential nursery for ocean life, are coming under threat. This large piece was sliced off by a discarded fishing line.

scuba sponge sliced by fishing line

It is estimated that around 700 marine species are in danger of extinction due to plastic pollution.

Scuba whale tied up

Lucky for those animals, these divers are here to help.

scuba diver cleaning up

Discarded piles of rope and fishing nets like these are a hazard to aquatic life.

scuba divers with rope pile

By working hard to clear out some of the trash accumulating on the ocean floor, the amazing people working with Project Aware are making a difference, one trash bag at a time.

scuba diver with yellow bag

 

Hopefully, by documenting this problem and garnering clean up efforts, Project Aware will inspire others to help, in whatever way that they can. Cleaning up at your nearest river, lake or beach is a great way to help, but prevention is the best cure. Check out these awesome resources to learn how you can reduce your own plastic trash to make a difference:

 All image source: Beneath the Waves



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164 comments on “Haunting Photos From Scuba Divers Across the World Show Devastating Impact of Ocean Plastic”

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Kimberley Bernard
4 Months Ago

Zaid Dillon I'm getting emotional, this is disgusting.


Reply
Zaid Dillon
26 Jul 2016

I love that line how we should have named our planet Ocean! Such a travesty!

Kimberley Bernard
26 Jul 2016

Totally

Katrina May Armenta
4 Months Ago


Reply
Katrina May Armenta
4 Months Ago


Reply
Donna Ward
4 Months Ago


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Michael Rynes
4 Months Ago

And now the boot


Reply
Salvina Aupetit
4 Months Ago

Jim Moore this is why we recycle


Reply
Marion Donnelly
4 Months Ago

Stupid humans.


Reply
Vesna Ranisavljevic
4 Months Ago

NO!!!


Reply
Vesna Ranisavljevic
4 Months Ago

NO!!!


Reply
Carole Frith
4 Months Ago

So sad that this is happening with n our oceans. But its done by man who thinks its ok to dump rubbish in the ocean, its killing the wildlife in there and polluting the ocean.


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