Swipe to the left

World Water Day

World Water Day
By 3 years ago 22247 Views No comments

Today on March 22 we celebrate World Water Day. Water covers approx. ¾ of our beautiful planet and is a living environment for many species.

As divers, we love the ocean and all life underwater. When under water, we enjoy the opportunity to see species going about their usual everyday business. But, unfortunately, nowadays this isn’t always what we witness. As many of us are aware, water pollution is becoming a more serious issue by the year. Two major issues are ghost fishing and plastic.

‘Ghost Fishing’ is what fishing gear does when it has been lost, dumped or abandoned.

Every year hundreds of kilometers of fish nets get lost in the water. It causes creatures of the water to be trapped or damaged and oftentimes leads to lethal consequences.

Many animals, such as seals, are especially at risk as they end up with net around their neck. The synthetic net does not expand as the animals grow, meaning it often ends up slicing through their flesh, causing open sores and wounds that can become badly infected, prevent the animal from foraging or feeding properly, and even kill them.

Whales and dolphins can get rope and netting stuck around fins and tail flukes, cutting into their flesh, slowing them down and reducing their feeding success. Some seabirds incorporate fishing line and net into their nests, sometimes resulting in the adults or babies becoming trapped or strangled.

Same consequences await marine life when it comes to plastic pollution.

Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide. An estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic enters the ocean every year. An estimated 5 trillion pieces of plastic are afloat on the ocean.

Over time, a plastic item in the ocean breaks down into many tiny particles, these are called microplastic. These plastic particles are less than five millimeters in size. Even smaller particles, which are no more than one millimeter in their largest dimension, are called microbeads. Microbeads are sometimes added as an exfoliating agent to personal care and beauty products like face scrubs, soaps and toothpaste. These tiny plastic pieces can pass unfiltered through sewage treatment systems and end up in local waterways, and eventually the ocean.

What is more, plastic is oftentimes being mistaken for food by marine life and gets eaten. It can further introduce potentially toxic substances into the food chain.

Over time, when eaten enough, an animal can begin to feel full and die of malnutrition or starvation. One in three leatherback turtles, which often mistake plastic bags for edible jellyfish, have been found with plastic in their bellies.

Yes, things are far from being perfect, but humanity is workings on getting things fixed.

Divers are actively participating in cleaning our oceans from plastic and ghost fishing pollution around the world via Ghost Fishing Foundation, World Animal Protection and Healthy Seas, for example. These people are dedicating their time, knowledge and skills to make an ocean a better place for marine life (just watch new BBC documentary series Blue Planet II) and those who want to enjoy it.

Some countries consider tax on single-use plastics or ban to tackle ocean pollution. Just recently UK has banned manufacturing of personal care products containing plastic microbeads, following examples of US and Canada. New Zealand is onboard as well with regulations coming into force June 2018.

When it comes to finding solutions in diving industry, Fourth Element has been working on some ideas and the results are amazing. Their two upcoming collections - OceanPositive and Thermocline - are partly made from recycled ocean waste, such as ghost fishing nets and plastic bottles.

In addition, Thermocline collection is suitable for those with neoprene allergies. Diving wise, these products are naturally buoyant, lightweight, breathable, machine washable and of a cutting edge design.

Check out the whole collections here. You will not be disappointed!

Fourth Element Thermocline Swimsuit Series Womens Wetsuits 2018