From Scuba Diving to Eco Diving
Lisbon was the first destination of ImpacTrip, when Rita and Diogo started the first partnerships to creat volunteering programs with a positive impact.
With 943km of coast, Portugal depends a lot from the ocean, as a perfect recreative place but also an economic source, a carbon recruiter and an oxygen producer. However, we have been treating it as a garbage – is estimated by 2050 to exist more sea waste in the oceans than fishes.
Preserverving the marine ecosystems and keep it healthy has been the mission of our Marine Conservation program partner in Lisbon. With more than 20 years of experience in diving, Nuno Pereira has been partnering with ImpacTrip since 2014, training and creating awareness to our volunteers who propose themselves to give their time to the Atlantic ocean.
We decided to ask him some questions about this journey:
- For how long have you been developing this program with ImpacTrip and what has changed on the way you see and practice scuba diving since you are part of it?
We started this partnership in 2014 as a result of an interesting meeting with Rita and Diogo! For many years we dove for recreational purposes and from time to time we got involved in some ‘cleaning the oceans activities’. Working with Impactrip and all the volunteers, opened a new door into the way we looked at marine conservation …..it’s hard nowadays to dive and not search for any ‘trash ‘ underwater!
- How do you see the problem of ocean pollution, its challenges, and consequences on the marine environment?
Ocean pollution it’s a major issue today ! More than a buzzword, it’s a challenge we all have to embrace. Looking at the bright side, you can see that you make a difference when you get people involved even when they are no ‘part of the program’!! the biggest award you can have its when you see ‘normal divers’ looking at volunteers and asking to participate in the dives they’re making
- On your point of view, what are the biggest impacts of this program for the local marine environment and for the volunteers who participate in it?
In terms of local marine environment, being able to watch a clear reduction of marine trash during the program, it’s the best reward you can have! For the volunteers I think that the best is when they feel that They are part of the change!!
- Which was for you the most remarkable moment with ImpacTrip volunteers?
Definitely as I mentioned earlier, its when we involve people that we are not meant to do that. Watching others (the volunteers) and changing what was supposed to be a ‘normal dive’ into a ‘dive with a purpose ‘ it’s the best rewartd you can have!!
- Which was the strangest kind of trash you have collected from the ocean until today?
Picking up tires in the middle of the ocean its probably something you would never think of
- What are your recommendations and advice for future volunteers who would like to join this program?
Come with an open mind ! more and more what we are watching it’s a change of habits and fortunately a decrease in marine trash (specially this year probable due to the confinement ). We would love to be more and more Ocean Guardians rather than Ocean Cleaners…. But we still have a long walk !!
Nuno Pereira, diving instructor