Monday, 18 May 2015

Turtle Week: The Opening Ceremony

After weeks of anticipation and preparation, Turtle Week finally got underway today in spectacular fashion!

The morning brought the arrival of the school children from the SK Mabul, as well as the children from Project Sha, a community based programme on Pulau Mabul. They arrived bright and early at the Scuba Junkie resort, and things got off to a fun start with some games on the beach as we awaited the arrival of Green Semporna. Green Semporna are a volunteer group who are dedicated to getting involved in conservation activities and are committed to environmental protection. 

On the beach, the games were brought to an abrupt end as the heavens opened. However, the kids did not let the rain dampen their spirits, as it merely meant a change of venue and the games could continue! Inside the warm and comfort of the resort, our staff members along with Green Semporna began with some colouring in and decorating the walls with some amazing turtle pictures! This was then followed up with a two presentations from Green Semporna, which covered everything from turtle biology to feeding and mating habits. 

At lunch time one of our Resort Managers - Steve - performed the Opening Ceremony. He provided us with an informative overview of the upcoming week and the activities we could expect. He also talked about the importance of turtle conservation and what the week is aiming to promote.

After these hugely informative talks, the children once again got stuck into some games - there was no tiring these guys out! It seemed like everyone enjoyed the day. The days activities were rounded off with Green Semporna heading out for a snorkel off of the Scuba Junkie Jetty - one of the best places for turtle spotting around the whole island!! 

One of our Environmental Officers, Dave McCann, gave an extremely informative presentation on Marine Debris. We were given some devastating facts. Reports have shown that 280 million tonnes of plastic are produced in just one year and alarmingly 20 million tonnes of this ends up in the Oceans. This is just one of many pieces of information that we were presented with and there is no doubt that many in the room were shocked by the reality of the Marine Debris situation. However, as Dave said, it is not all doom and gloom. There are people making a change and trying to rectify this situation. 

Here at Scuba Junkie we perform regular beach and reef cleans and try to make as little of an impact on the environment as possible. Beach and reef cleans are key and something that everyone can get involved in. They require little training or experience and have an immediate effect. Green Fins - a non-profit organisation that asses dive and snorkel centres on their impact on the environment - voted us number 3 out of the dive centres that they have assessed across South East Asia. 

There is no doubt that the start of this years Turtle Week was a huge success! We can’t wait to see what the rest of this exciting time brings. 

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