Sunday, 30 March 2014

Got lead..?

There's a lot of things you do when you work as a Dive Instructor at a dive shop in the Caribbean besides diving.

And there are a lot of other things you can do in the ocean besides diving.

Like fishing.

Curacao's inhabitants love fishing. It's a very long-standing profession and tradition, and fishing boats are passed down from generation to generation. 

But over the weekends and holidays, 'have-a-go' fishermen head out to catch their fresher-than-fresh snapper for supper (snupper) on our beloved house-reef Pierbaai, amongst other locations. It may not be very eco-friendly or well controlled, but it's part of the way of life here and hey, who doesn't love a fresher-than- fresh snupper.

This results in complete underwater cobwebs of lost fishing line that once belonged to the have-a-go's.

On reefs where there's a lot of diving going on, most of the time divers clean up these lines on the fly, or like us at The Dive Bus, organise clean ups. But not always. Whoever has seen those beautiful gorgonians and colourful stovepipe sponges, choked to death, tangled by old in algae-covered fishing line, knows that it's a terrible sight to see :o(

And most of the time those fishing lines end with a hook and weights. The weights made of lead, and lead is poison. Slowly the weights start dissolving on the bottom of the ocean, poisoning the reef...

 So recently us Dive Bus instructors decided to start a campaign and ask our divers to collect fishing lines and weights on their dives, and deposit them in our special lead container.

In less then two months we had over 18 pounds of fishing weights, minus fishing line, from Pierbaai, Tugboat, Porto Mari, Vaersenbaai / Kokomo and Directors Bay in the container.

Some clever guy invented a mold to melt lead to create dive weights. These weights will help us and you to sink and stay down on your dives, and that's what we want.

We use them in our rental and we sell them in our dive shop. We even personalise them. Two, three or four pound dive weights made of 100% recycled material. Isn't that fantastic?

So, got lead? Bring it. But don't try it at home.


P.S. Watch out when collecting fishing line underwater! Don't pull it as it could break or strangle coral and plants. Instead, follow the line, wrapping it around a piece of old wood or whatever. Cut it with your dive knife or scissors as you need to.

More top tips about how you can protect our reefs here.