PictureGo Eco Phuket teaches local Thais
Go Eco Phuket was never about only cleaning up the reefs and bays around Phuket. From the beginning we also wanted to make a difference to PREVENT debris on our reefs and in our bays, and to improve the water quality around Phuket to allow our reefs to flourish in a healthy state. 
This means Education. 

Thankfully with numerous high-profile Reef & Beach Clean-Ups and consistent support from our member Dive Centres we have been able to raise awareness to the problems that Phuket faces. Most notably the Thai authorities in charge of Phuket's water areas have started to listen and when we said that we wanted to reach out to the local Thais and to educate for the good of Phuket's future we got the go-ahead! Even better, we got their support and from all this, Go Eco Phuket Camp was born!

From November 19th to November 24th a group of local Thais and expats were encouraged to join the Go Eco Phuket Boot Camp which was designed for applicants to receive their full PADI Open Water Course and to learn about the conservation of our marine resources. 

Vice-Governor Sommai Preechasil officially launched the project and expressed official thanks to Go Eco Phuket for organising beach and underwater clean-ups throughout the year that often involved hundreds of people on land and in the sea, collecting garbage. "To collect garbage from underwater has never been done before," she said. "I am glad that Go Eco has started these innovative and generous programmes. It is a good example of activities that give back to society".

So well done to everybody who got involved in this terrific project. All of those involved had a wonderful day and learned a lot. Special thanks to All 4 Diving for providing their swimming pool facilities free of charge to participants and to all dive centres who got involved, all in support of Go Eco Phuket and educating Phuket locals and visitors to make for a better, cleaner Phuket.

 
 
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13/08/2013
Yes we did it again!! 

You may remember our 'Dive Against Debris' Clean Up on 30th September 2012. That was such a huge success and propelled Go Eco Phuket into the eyes of the public. It was a major step in making the Thai authorities notice Go Eco Phuket and was therefore a massive step forward in making us closer to our goals of protecting Phuket and nearby Islands' coast lines.

On 13th August 2013, in honour of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit's 81st birthday, Go Eco Phuket and Phuket's Dive Community, supported by the Department of Marine & Coastal Resources and local government bodies joined together in a mass effort to raise the World's awareness of the importance of keeping Phuket's marine and coastal ecosystems clean and debris-free. 

A total of 4.356kg of debris was collected which was a lot less than in 2012 but we can only see this as a good thing. There is less debris in the Ocean! Go Eco Phuket is working to protect Phuket.

Special thanks goes to all those dive centres and individual volunteers that helped make this happen again in 2013. Particularly we would like to mention the sponsors that helped make this happen by providing resources, venues for press conferences and cash to support our cause:

Special thanks also to long-standing supporters of Go Eco Phuket, PHUKET GAZETTE and also to Phuket News for following our developments. You can see their after-event write-ups here:-

Go Eco Phuket in the news... Phuket Gazette
Go Eco Phuket in the news... Phuket News




 
 
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Wow! What a great year so far. Since our beginning in July 2012, Go Eco Phuket has gone from strength to strength.

Throughout the year there have been beach clean-ups Island-wide most notably in Patong in celebration of the King of Thailand's birthday (5th December 2012) and on World Earth Day (22nd April 2013) at Kata Beach.
Then this week it came to our attention that local fishermen had 'lost' a fishing net across one of our favourite Phuket dive sites; Shark Point. Go Eco Phuket members were made aware and the response was totally fantastic! Putting video evidence of the net on our facebook page reached over 40,000 hits and close to 100 shares, plus many appreciated comments from divers and non-divers worldwide. 

The result was that on 12th July 2013 Similan Queen Diving Centre and Sea Bees Diving kindly let volunteer dive professionals join their boats for the day to carefully handle the bringing up of the net. Thankfully some of the net had already been removed but there was still a job to do and it is great credit to all of the volunteer dive professionals and diving companies on Phuket that helped make Shark Point NET FREE once again.

Ultimately we do not want to be responding to these situations where fishing nets are abandoned on Phuket's reefs; we aim to PREVENT it happening in the first place. This is why Go Eco Phuket through Khun Narong Chaimo (Tea) have worked hard this last 12 months to have a more solid relationship with the Thai Governors, Royal Thai Navy, Marine Police, Phuket Marine Biological Centre and the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources. Video footage and photographs were collected yesterday to show these VIPs the problems that Phuket's reefs are facing. 

If you would like to help Go Eco Phuket you are most welcome and here is how:-
Volunteers to our events - the next one is 13th August! (like our facebook page for more information)
Donations - Go Eco Phuket are a non-profit organisation relying on donations and we can only keep going as long as we have the funds to do so. Email goecophuket@gmail.com for banking details if you would like to contribute to our projects

LET'S KEEP PHUKET CLEAN!

 
 
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September's Debris Month of Action saw thousands of divers across the world gear up and dive in to remove dangerous rubbish, nets, fishing traps and household waste from our ocean. From the islands of Fiji up to the waters of Devon, UK and all the way back to Brazil and South America, divers everywhere rallied together for one month of action to draw attention to our ocean’s silent killer: marine debris.

On the island of Phuket, Thailand new records in the fight against debris were smashed on 30th September. Over 650 divers and beach cleaners took part in the biggest Dive Against Debris event in the world with PADI Dive Centres working together as part of a recently formed group called Go Eco Phuket. They removed around 15 tonnes of rubbish including a massive discarded fishing net that weighed in at 4.5 tonnes.

Created to support Project AWARE actions and kick start local environmental initiatives, dive centres around Phuket pulled together to establish its first major Dive Against Debris event. With support from PADI Asia Pacific and led by PADI Regional Manager and Project AWARE Ambassador, Tony Andrews, the event gained incredible support from local businesses, the Royal Navy, Tourism Authority of Thailand, Marine Fisheries, Marine Police, Phuket Marine Biological Centre, Army and the Thai Aor- Ba-Jor.

Tony Andrews, PADI Regional Manager commenting on the event said, “This large scale action to protect our reefs has been mind blowing. We’ve exceeded all our expectations. We’ve worked together as a community: diving businesses, local businesses and government authorities. Thank you to everyone who rallied around this event to make our ocean cleaner.”

More than 12 government offices and departments pledged their support for this first Dive Against Debris event, from Chalong Municipality providing waste management for all the debris from the pier to the Royal Thai Navy sending three warships to maintain a perimeter to protect divers from speedboats that frequent the islands.

"Never before have so many dive centres, local businesses and community groups come together to tackle rubbish in their own backyard. It's incredibly inspiring and motivating to see this level of action," added Andrews.

The divers and Phuket community partied the night away at a sponsored after event with famous local and national Thai bands dropping in to show their support. $4,000 was also raised for future Go Eco Phuket activities as well as a generous donation of 30,000THB to Project AWARE Foundation from Khao Lak Scuba Adventures.

Go Eco Phuket now hope to continue with regular Dive Against Debris surveys as part of their local actions.

Thank you to everyone involved in this event and other Dive Against Debris actions worldwide.

Dive Against Debris – All Year Round

Since January 2012 Project AWARE divers and supporters have removed 28,751 kilograms of rubbish from the ocean and shoreline. Project AWARE’s Dive Against Debris is the only global survey of its kind recording debris found solely underwater. You can Dive Against Debris every time you dive or lead an effort locally. Read the Dive Against Debris Survey Guide on www.projectaware.org and be part of the global solution to tackle the growing tide of rubbish.


 
 
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PHUKET: Qualifiers keep dropping with Go-Eco Phuket as the environmental group prepares for its official launch on September 30 with the biggest reef cleanup of any kind in the world.

“On September 30, the eyes of the world will be attracted to Phuket,” Tony Andrews, Thailand’s West coast PADI Regional Manager and Project AWARE Ambassador, said at a press conference with Phuket government officials at Kata Beach Resort today.

The Go-Eco Phuket, PADI and Project AWARE-sponsored “Dive Against Debris” event has 14 PADI dive boats and more than 450 participants signed up to sweep the reefs off Koh Racha Noi, Koh Racha Yai, Phi Phi Island, Koh Khao Nok and Koh Hei (“Coral Island”) clean of marine debris.

Of those participants, more than 280 are divers prepared to tackle the underwater debris, while the rest have volunteered to either help as snorkelers or with beach cleanups on Koh Racha Noi.

“The government officials were interested as soon as we met them. They thought it was a great idea and were proud of the dive companies and community,” Narong Chaimo, who acted as liaison between Thai officials and the Go-Eco Phuket group, told the Phuket Gazette today

More than 12 government offices and departments have pledged support for the project, from Chalong Municipality providing waste management for all the debris from the pier to the Royal Thai Navy sending three warships to maintain a perimeter to protect divers from speedboats that frequent the islands.

“We are pleased to help by disposing of the rubbish from the pier,” Chalong Mayor Samran Jindaphol said.

Once the rubbish is brought up from the reef it will be sorted into categories, such as fishing nets, plastics and so on, so it can be accurately documented, explained Mr Andrews.

“Go-Eco Phuket’s goal is to safely remove the debris from the reefs and beaches of Phuket and other surrounding islands,” Mr Andrews said. 

The long-term goal of the event is to mobilize divers from around to the world to the return the surrounding reefs to a clean, healthy state.

“We had a strong dream of making the reefs of Phuket and the surrounding islands clean, pristine and sustainable, and making sure they belong in the top diving destinations in Thailand and the world,” Mr Andrews said.

Vice Admiral Taratorn Kajitsuwan, Commander of the Navy Third Area Command at their base at Cape Panwa, pointed out that when Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra previously visited the island, she had made it clear that eco-tourism was a must for Phuket.

“One of my priorities is to help [support eco-tourism efforts], and this project goes hand in hand with PM Yingluck’s vision of improving tourism and our country,” he said.

“Everyone is glad that Thais and foreigners have so much interest in the local environment,” he added.

During the meeting, a spokesperson for the Phuket Marine Biological Center highlighted to government officials the problem of “ghost fishing”.

Ghost fishing happens when nets become snagged on corals and are left behind by fishermen, but continue to catch and kill marine animals, he explained.

“These nets effect the entire development of reef system,” he said.

Noting that the issue of marine debris was a global concern, he said, “We hope we can show the world that Phuket can do it [cleanup the coral reefs], so it can be done everywhere else, too.”

The meeting also provided a forum for officials concerned about the current conditions of the marine ecosystem around Phuket.

“We will try to instigate a system to regulate and prevent boats from dumping rubbish,” a spokesperson for the Marine Department office in Phuket offered.

Pamuke Achariyachai, of event sponsor Kata Beach Group, invited the public to put forward more ideas to promote eco-tourism on the island.

“We will always support local events like this… should there be any other ideas for eco-tourism, the Kata Group would be interested in helping,” he said.

“We can show the world that Phuket is on the map for diving,” Mr Andrews said.

“But it’s really about what happens after September 30,” Mr Andrews added.

On September 30, registration for the event will start at 7:30am at the new marina building on Chalong Pier

At 8am, Governor Tri Augkaradacha, in his last day in office as Phuket Governor, along with other high-ranking officials will formally launch Go-Eco Phuket’s inaugural event.

An after party for participants will be held at Kan-Eang 2 at 6pm. A Thai-style buffet will start at 6:30pm and the raffle for a variety of dive goods and other contributions will start at 7pm. 

RNR Eco Adventures and Dive Resort is sponsoring the night’s entertainment by bringing together Legend Recording Studio’s Dark Fiber and Legends of Siam, as well as the Rocking Angels band and DJ Tank, with a special performance by Ricky Zen.

Drinks will be provided by Molly Malones, Phuket Beer and Chang Beer.

The event will run to 11pm.

The cleanup is sponsored by the Phuket Gazette and will be covered on national television (UBC/True Visions, channel 99) by the Gazette’s new show “Phuket Today”. The show airs six times per week. For the schedule, see October’s True Visions programming guide.

Despite the record-breaking attempt and focus on improving the tourism industry in Phuket, only eight of the 14 boats involved in the event have corporate sponsors for fuel costs.

Businesses interested in joining the Gazette as a sponsor of “Dive Against Debris” are invited to contact any local PADI dive center, or Tony Andrews, Regional Manager of PADI, by email at tony.andrews@padi.com.au 

 
 
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Rubbish. It is ugly; it costs local communities and economies; and it destroys wildlife. Every year tens of thousands of marine creatures, mammals and birds die because of the litter we drop or the fishing nets we abandon and lose at sea. If you are fed up with seeing your local dive site trashed, or rubbish left on Phuket beaches, then join us on September 30 for Phuket’s largest Dive Against Debris effort ever.

This month sees divers all around the world rallying against the growing tide of rubbish, and here in Phuket it is no different. The dive community is pulling together to create the biggest underwater action of its kind in the whole of Thailand.

These PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) dive centers are veteran supporters of the Project AWARE Foundation – a non-profit environmental organization mobilizing hundreds of thousands of divers across the planet to protect our oceans. And this year they have joined together under the umbrella of Go Eco Phuket to maximize their ocean protection efforts and kick off a new wave of Dive Against Debris action right here on our shores.

As Earth’s growing population consumes more disposable goods, the items we discard, even thousands of miles inland, are choking our oceans. But our local actions can contribute to a clean, healthy, future for the ocean. Divers involved on September 30 will remove dangerous marine debris and document all rubbish found as part of the Dive Against Debris survey. Not only will this be made available to local organizations and groups, it will work with similar surveys conducted all across the world to help paint a truer picture of the issues facing our ocean world.

The Phuket dive community has a proud history of removing rubbish from the ocean but despite our best efforts the junk keeps piling up. Be part of the solution not the problem. Join forces with us for Phuket’s largest ocean action: let’s Dive Against Debris.

It is estimated that over 300 divers will take part in this event with ten PADI Dive Centers providing boats to take divers to hotspot locations. Corporate sponsors like PADI, Phuket Gazette, Phuket FM and Phuket Art Advertising are already on board along with dive manufacturers donating marine debris removal gear.

Go Eco Phuket and the Project AWARE Foundation are now looking specifically for ten corporate partners to come on board and each sponsor a Dive Against Debris boat. Your logo will be included on a Dive Against Debris banner displayed on the vessel and you’ll be part of a wider community effort to tackle the growing onslaught of rubbish entering our ocean and destroying our wildlife. Sponsorship of a boat is just 15,000 baht.

Parties and concerts are also planned before and after the event – dates and acts will be confirmed soon.

If you are interested in joining our efforts and being part of the solution, then please contact PADI Regional Manager and Project AWARE Ambassador Tony Andrews on tony.andrews@padi.com.au or contact the Phuket Gazette directly. Or visit facebook.com/goecophuket.

The problem with marine debris

Every year, tens of thousands of marine animals and seabirds die from eating or getting tangled up in marine debris. Here’s the ugly and frightening truth surrounding our mass throwaway culture:
  • Almost 90 per cent of floating marine debris is plastic.
  • Over 6 million tonnes of marine litter could be entering our ocean every year.
  • Research of northern fulmar seabirds found dead on beaches showed 95 per cent had plastic in their stomachs. Each bird had swallowed an average of 35 plastic pieces.
  • 35 per cent of plankton-eating fish found during a study in the North Pacific Central Gyre had ingested plastic.
  • Annual plastic production and use of plastics has risen from 1.5 million tonnes in 1950 to 230 million tonnes in 2009.
  • Marine debris has affected more than 260 different marine species, including 86 per cent of sea turtles, 28 per cent marine mammals and 36 per cent of seabirds.
  • The majority of marine wildlife deaths are due to eating marine debris.
  • Animals that eat marine debris can choke if it catches in their throat. Once swallowed, plastic cannot be digested and makes the animal feel like it is full, so it stops eating and can starve to death.


 
 
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PHUKET: After coming face to face with shattered coral reef systems all over the world and confronting messes of plastic bags and tangled fishing nets, which are not-so-slowly strangling one of the world’s most important ecosystems, divers understand the importance of reef cleanups. There is of course that feeling of only delaying the inevitable, but isn’t that why we try to stop smoking and start exercising at some-point?

On Phuket, PADI, the world’s largest scuba diver training agency, and Project AWARE Foundation, a nonprofit environmental organization, is launching a collaborative "Dive for Debris" event, with around 25 PADI Dive Centers putting aside their profits, digging into their own pockets and attempting to make a difference with Phuket’s biggest reef cleanup. 

Project AWARE Foundation is a nonprofit group established to organize divers and make a positive impact on the world’s oceans. The foundation established its first International Cleanup Day in 1993, with divers participating in thousands of cleanups. 

According to Project AWARE’s website, "Cleanup dives from the past 18 years have been a true inspiration, placing scuba divers in the spotlight, key to addressing debris issues on a global scale."

The Phuket Gazette sat down with Thailand’s West coast PADI Regional Manager and Project AWARE Ambassador, Tony Andrewsto get a better grasp of the event and the impact it will have on Phuket’s reef systems.

Phuket Gazette
: There are dozens of cleanup projects every year on Phuket, what makes the project you are working on special?

Tony Andrews: Okay, what I think you’ve got to realize is that every PADI dive center here does underwater cleanups and they do beach cleanups, reef cleanups and reef checks independently. What makes this one special is that we’ve got about 25 official PADI centers on Phuket and we’re bringing them all together to do one massive reef cleanup. But more importantly we’re going to document and report exactly what we find under the ocean.

We’re hoping to get about 200 divers in the water on two islands [Koh Racha Yai and Noi]. 

To collect all that information about what debris is down there and lift it up in this quantity has never been done on Phuket.

Getting every dive center, especially the PADI centers to work together is fantastic.

What’s going to be the goal? How will you measure your success with this event?
The level of success will be based on how much rubbish lifted off the reefs we can document. At the moment we have 10 dive boats. 

Each dive boat is going to be assigned part of the reef to be cleaned. Now, what we’re going to do is submit the data that is collected on the day [to Project AWARE’s database]... So if we’re talking about 10 vessels and 200 divers [then] we’re talking a minimum of 10 documented marine debris data cards that we’ll present to the rest of the world and of course... the local authorities here in Thailand.

So, the information that is being collected is being added to Project AWARE’s larger marine debris database. Now, what’s the goal of that database?

To make the world aware that we need clean, healthy reefs... We’ve got to educate locals, Westerners, businesses, divers, everybody, and say, ‘Look we’ve got to look after the reefs we’ve got, because without them everything is just going to shut down.’ 

Our combined work in collecting, using and sharing data is fed into data that is submitted from divers all around the world.

Conservation cannot be done in isolation. That’s why all our divers here in Phuket together with Project AWARE can play a critical, deciding role in marine debris abatement efforts. Our data will support the development of coordinated policies and strategies to tackle marine debris at every point.

What dive boat operators and shops are part of this cleanup?
Okay, it pleases me to say that all of the big PADI five star IDC centers, PADI five centers and PADI dive centers have donated their boats.

We’ve got two live-aboards going out. One vessel is from Khao Lak Scuba Adventures. They’ve donated their boat, which is doing an overnight trip on Koh Racha Noi for professionals [divers] only. Their target will be to lift some of the big stuff, such as car tires and so on. 

All the other boats going out are day boats... so anyone can feel free to join. As I said before, we’re talking roughly 200 divers that can be taken out there, though I’m hoping that if people want to donate more boats they will feel free to contact us.

What’s your function in the project? What role are you playing?

My main goal is to unite these dive centers, because the importance of looking after these reefs is in everybody’s interest. 

From a business perspective, if your reefs go, obviously you’re going to lose your business. People are going to be out of their jobs, and that has big consequences, not just for the diving industry but for tourism too.

So, my main goal is to be a mediator in the project.

I don’t own a business here. I work for PADI. So, as a neutral person I can bring people together and drive the project forward as a PADI Regional Manager. 

Now, PADI is a main corporate sponsors of the event. We’re going to support these efforts and assist the dive businesses so their out of pocket expenses are reduced.

I think you’ve really got to emphasis the fact that these PADI centers are closing their business for one day. They are losing money to donate their boats; they’re putting their hands in their pockets for fuel and food costs. That loss of business for one day is quite substantial for Phuket. So, if you’re talking about ten of the biggest dive boats on the island going, wow, that’s pretty impressive.

But they are doing this because they understand and believe in the difference divers can make. 

We’re all honored and proud to be part of this event and fly the conservation flag for Phuket.

What are some of the difficulties you’ve run into when coordinating the efforts of all these dive centers? Everyone is PADI, but at the same time they are direct competitors...

You’ve got the main centers that have jumped at the chance, because they want to help Phuket; they want to help the dive industry, but what I would like to see is some of the smaller dive centers come on board. 

You don’t necessarily need to have a boat to do this. A lot of people think that you have to have your own boat to be on board with the project. If you want to get involved just email us or contact the Gazette [isaac@phuketgazette.net] and come on board. 

There are still some companies out there that could attend the meetings and say, ‘Yeah we’re going to help.’ They’ve been in business here for many years. It’s time to give something back to Phuket, and especially give something back to the diving community.

Everyone is trying to determine what price they can send their dive boat out for and still turn a profit. Now they came together for a meeting and leveled with each other to make this work. How did that meeting go?
The meeting was great. 

They all came, and if the owner wasn’t there, they sent a representative that could make decisions at the meeting. 

Each dive boat operator understands that they need to cover their fuel costs, so they all agreed to charge 1,000 baht per person. Let’s just give an example, a day trip to Racha Yai would average between 3,500 and 4,000 baht depending on the company. 

So they’ve all agreed that people who want to join can pay just 1,000 baht. That will cover everything, and it will help the dive center recover some of their fuel costs. And that’s open to everybody.

No one is going to deny that every piece of trash that you pick up is going to make a difference, but what are the long-term effects of this project?
If you can help sustain the reefs by at least removing the rubbish, you’ve given extra years to the diving community. That’s their office, their back garden.

What I’d like to see is that the marine debris surveys continue every month [after the project]. Dive centers can do this independently. 

Their instructors can do it, their fun divers can do it, their snorkelers can do it. Anyone can "Dive Against Debris" and be part of the solution.

It’s not necessarily about diving. People can survey the reefs from the surface and can say, ‘Yeah, we’ve seen that, we’ve seen this. We’d like to document it.’ I think the more we document it, the more our voice is going to be heard and the more we can highlight the fact that when you drop your litter it ends up in our ocean. 

It costs our marine life, our businesses and our economy. We want to stop the ocean’s silent killer and we can all be part of the solution – no matter where you live or dive.

We can then take the data and push it over to the government or all across the world and say, ‘Look, the importance of removing this trash is that it is going to give the reefs a longer life span, which will eventually create more marine life and more business’. Hopefully we’re still going to be here [he laughs], which is the big question.

You are still looking for corporate sponsor, but what sponsors have already gotten on board with you?
Okay, We’ve got the Phuket Gazette as media sponsors and had a great offer by Da Vinci’s to supply a venue for the after party, which has not been confirmed by the Go-Eco Phuket group. 

We’ve also got the COSCO Group, which is Molly Malone’s and Coyotes. They’ve actually supplied some alcohol for the after party to say thank you to everybody. 

Obviously, that will be monitored!

We’ve got Phuket Art Advertising, which is one of the local advertising agents; they are going to do all the promotional banners for us free of charge. And AM t-shirts is going to supply free event shirts for the divers.

PADI is going to be the main sponsor, funding some of the event, but what I’d like to see is some of the surrounding hotels... get involved. These guys should also be interested in what we are doing here, because a lot them have booking agencies and are sending people out snorkeling and diving.

Get Involved
Anyone interested in joining this Phuket Gazette sponsored event, or in the long-term goals of Go-Eco Phuket can find more information at goecophuket.weebly.com or on the groups facebook page .

http://www.phuketgazette.net/archives/phuketlifestyle/2012/article16641.html

 
 
Phuket members prepare the biggest cleanup
The 3rd meeting of Go Eco Phuket caught the attention of the local Phuket Gazette as members of the Go Eco Phuket team prepare for the biggest Dive Against Debris action ever. 


Here's the full story detailed by the Phuket Gazette:

PHUKET: Nine dive boats and almost 20 PADI dive shops with the guidance of PADI Project AWARE have put aside their differences and on Tuesday, at the group’s third meeting, announced the date for what they hope will be the largest coral reef cleanup in Phuket.

The project, part of the group’s start-up “Go Eco Phuket”, aims to set "cleanup records" this year as it brings hundreds of divers out to Koh Racha Yai and Koh Racha Noi on September 30.

In response to the skeptical questions of what difference coral reef cleanups really make, outside of raising public awareness and educating people of the importance of coral reefs, Michael Wallentin, a prominent member of the Phuket dive community, pointed out: “Every piece makes a difference. Maybe it only helps a fraction, but it helps.”

Tony Andrews, Thailand’s west coast PADI Project AWARE regional manager, offered to brief all members in the next meeting on properly using “Dive Against Debris Data cards”.

The information collected on the cards will be sent to marine biologists and officials based in Bangkok to present a better picture of what kind of debris is being found in the reef systems, so programs can be established to target specific issues.

Guenter Hormann, another prominent member of the dive community, made it clear that the dive companies needed to get as many people involved in the project as possible.

“We need to separate ourselves from the scum that is sometimes associated with Phuket. This is not about us making money; it’s about cleaning up the reefs and making a difference,” he said.

“It’s fundamental to the project for everyone to come together at the end of the cleanup and arrive in Phuket as a single, united group. All the boats will be flying the same flags and banners,” explained Mr Andrews.

Mr Wallentin plainly stated his goal: “Let’s make Phuket the cleanest island in Southeast Asia.” 

 
 
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Tomorrow, 3rd July 2012, is the 3rd meeting of the Go Eco Phuket group. We'll be reviewing the website, facebook and other action items as well as finalising logistics for the big upcoming event. We'll also welcome the Phuket Gazette and Phuket News who'll be documenting our efforts as our team grows. Please make sure you are ready, willing and able with your ideas and actions.

Where: Molly Malone's
Time: 7pm

We'll also welcome our latest Go Eco Phuket member - Baby Andrews - and we'll raise our eco glasses to Tony and Emma! 

'Congratulations' to both Tony and Emma - we can't wait to meet Afia-Harper and have no doubt she'll be a true eco bub! 

It was Tony's vision that we all to work together towards for a clean, healthy and abundant ocean for Phuket so it only seems right that we welcome Afia-Harper to the eco crew.

Make sure you send your dive centre rep along. Tim Hunt and Tony Andrews (Thailand's answer to Batman and Robin) will be there! 

Thanks to Molly Malone's for hosting us once again.

 
 
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Planning is already underway for our first ever group Dive Against Debris event.

Date: 30th September 2012

Location: Rachai Yai and Rachai Noi

We're also organising an after party at Andaman Ocean Safari. We're hoping to have some fun, celebrate our successful day and raise some money for our ocean