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Local Dive Clubs Join Global Underwater Clean Up

Tasmanian dive clubs took to the water recently as part of a global underwater clean up.

Saturday 19 September was 'International Clean up Day' to highlight the amount of debris entering the world’s oceans each year.

To mark the event, several local dive clubs cleaned rubbish from waterways to help raise public awareness of the extent and impacts of littering.

"This annual event is a clear reminder of our role in disposing of waste responsibly and so preventing it from becoming litter," said Environment Division Deputy General Manager John Mollison.

Last year, 1,377,141 plastic bags and 714,892 plastic bottles were removed by volunteers from beaches and waters around the world.

"Divers have unique access and appreciation of the local underwater environment," John said. "Their enjoyment of recreational diving provides both the desire and opportunity to advocate and act for improved protection of the local marine environment. Their continued involvement in local cleanup efforts in 2009 is to be applauded."

Among the dive clubs involved were the GoDive group cleaning up around Geilston Bay and the Tas Uni Dive Club (TUDC), Aqua Scuba group and the Tasmanian Scuba Diving Club (TSDC) cleaning up in Kangaroo Bay and Bellerive Bluff.

This year's dives saw divers retrieve chairs, a full six-pack of beer, plus many empty cans and bottles - following on from last year's dive, when huge quantities of rubbish, including car tyres and batteries were also retrieved from the Hobart waterfront.

The President of the Tas Uni Dive Club, Andrew Bain, said dive clubs and Coastcare groups regard the clean up as a great chance to assist the community and raise awareness of the impact of rubbish in our waterways.