Popular dive and adventure travel provider partners with local operators to make a difference.
The marine life and underwater imagery in the Indonesian waters of North Sulawesi are some of the most beautiful in the world. Unfortunately, there is a growing threat to sustaining the colors and diversity of marine life in Sulawesi – the problem of man-made trash.
Plastic trash both above and below the water is unsightly and a primary complaint of visitors to Lembeh Straits, one of the leading dive locations among scuba divers visiting the region. According to officials from the resorts, the trash problem is complex and has multiple sources. Stopping the flow of trash into Lembeh Straits and the surrounding Manado region is considered a long-term priority.
During a recent visit to North Sulawesi with a group of dive travel professionals, Scuba Travel Ventures Co-Owner and VP of Marketing, Mario Cabading, was able to get a more up close look at what the trash issue was doing to the area AND the effect is has on visiting divers. “They don’t know what a gift they have here but if something is not done soon, in 10 years we won’t be able to give this place away,” said one dive professional whose assessment of the situation was highly accurate.
Scuba Travel Ventures takes its leadership role in the dive travel industry very seriously. Seeing this vital need to address the problem, STV developed a plan to help address the problem. “It’s important that we don’t just talk about helping solve problems, but that we take action,” explains Cabading. “Many people talk about wanting to help, but not many people open their wallets or take action to help attack a problem.”
Cabading explained that at last year’s DEMA Trade Show in Las Vegas, Scuba Travel Ventures presented Lembeh Resort & Critters @ Lembeh with 200 lime green mesh bags to use at their resort on a voluntary basis for dive guides and visiting divers. Each bag has a clip so divers can easily connect to their BC and while diving, if they come across plastic bottles, wrappers and paper trash they are now equipped with these mesh bags and to create an awareness about this problem.
Other resorts in the area are now inquiring about bags too and want to participate in this program. Our goal is to have all resorts in Lembeh and Manado to begin using the bags or start their own programs and help save this truly gifted dive paradise.
Cabading said that resort dive staff are training volunteer divers how to properly and safety collect trash items that could be damaging the local eco-systems. He said that additional efforts are currently in the planning stages designed to duplicate the efforts in Indonesia in others parts of the world.
For more information on this program and other Scuba Travel Ventures opportunities and initiatives, visit the website at www.ScubaTravelVentures.com.
Also, don’t forget to visit STV’s Facebook page (facebook.com/stv.travel) to keep up with the latest scuba diving trends, fun facts and videos.