Building on the success of the “Upcycling the Oceans Thailand” project, the Tourism Authority of Thailand has launched another, “Save the Ocean & Save for Your Next Dive”, offering divers the chance to earn discounts on excursions in return for helping to protect the marine ecosystem.
Divers first need to inform a participating dive operator that they want to participate in the campaign. They’ll be given a rubbish-collection bag to fill while diving. On delivering the filled bag, they get a stamp on their Diving Passport with which to redeem discounts on their next dive trip.
Participating operators and dive sites are in Ao Sattahip and Ao Samae San in Chon Buri, on Koh Samet and at Hin Phloeng in Rayong province.
“Upcycling the Oceans Thailand” is a joint effort by the TAT, PTT Global Chemical and the Ecoalf Foundation that turns plastic debris recovered from the sea into thread for making fabric.
Participating divers are encouraged to practise buoyancy control while being careful not to damage the fragile ecosystem. When removing fishnet from coral, for example, scissors should be used to carefully trim away the netting rather than pulling at it, which could break the coral.
Find a list of participating dive operators at www.UtoDive.com.