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Ghost Diving Southeast Asia Team's Pioneer Mindoro Project

Environment DaveRoss COMMENTS 14 Jun, 2024
Ghost diving

Ghost Diving Southeast Asia Team's Pioneer Mindoro Project

   Ghost Diving Southeast Asia is the newest international chapter of Ghost Diving , a registered charity founded in 2012 by technical divers specializing in removing lost fishing gear and other marine debris.
  They hyperfocus on physically removing nets, fishing gear, and other marine debris while adhering to diving practices that reduce risks to a minimum. At their core is volunteerism, the willingness of the technical diving community in Southeast Asia to dedicate their time, so groups of adequately trained and experienced divers can come together. Projects are supported by both international and local sponsors.
   Activities are selected and planned based on local intelligence and input from dive centers, boat operators, not-for-profits, governmental offices, coast guards, and citizen scientist reporting.

The Calapan Expedition

   Inspired by Blue Alliance’s Blue Talk at El Galleon in Puerto Galera in April 2024, Ghost Diving SEA initiated and organized an expedition to Calapan. It was a three-day event consisting of four dives near the Baco Islands. This was preceded by two days diving in Balatero Cove, Puerto Galera which allowed the team, some of whom had not yet worked together, to familiarize themselves with each other and the tasks at hand.
   The Balatero dives on June 12th/13th were smooth and successful with significant amounts of both line and netting being lifted from the water, during a series of four dives performed not deeper than 30m. The Calapan dives were more exploratory in nature with a sub-team from Blue Alliance focusing on fish survey, and The Ghost Diving SEA team evaluating potential areas for future clean up and net removal.
   The expedition was funded by Atelier Holgur Exploration and Conservation Grant, with Asia Divers/El Galleon providing boat support, and Tech Asia handling gas fills and tanks. Blue Alliance Philippines advised on diving locations and provided visibility to relevant government offices and Coast Guards.
  It is hoped expedition and cleanup event can begin a long-term project if Ghost Diving sees value in supporting the Calapan Marine Protected Area.

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