Poni Divers joins global network, pledges to protect ocean
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
A LOCAL dive centre renewed its pledge to save the ocean after joining Sea Shepherd Dive, a global network to promote ethical diving.
Poni Divers yesterday announced it became Sea Shepherd Dive’s first partner in the sultanate, a move that will enable them to run environmental training programmes that empower people to take action against threats to the marine environment.
“By being able to offer these courses and also having a partner that can assist us in protecting the oceans in Brunei, we hope to be able to involve the public more in our marine conservation efforts,” said Managing Director Wong Thye Sing.
Sea Shepherd Dive recently introduced its inaugural coral propagation course focused on training participants to respond to threats and how to rehabilitate coral reefs, particularly in the aftermath of a disaster.
Other courses in the line-up include marine life rescue or oil spill clean-up, which Wong said will equip “the everyday diver (with) the tools to respond to marine emergencies instead of just campaigning for others to do something”.
“Instead of being a passive activist reading about marine conservation and not knowing what to do, the courses offered under Sea Shepherd Dive allows people who care to do something,” he commented.
Unlike specialist courses that cater to marine experts, the managing director explained Sea Shepherd Dive’s environmental training programmes seek to encourage participation from the wider public by engaging those from non-scientific backgrounds.
The global network also serves as a platform for people worldwide to report environmental crimes witnessed while diving. Sea Shepherd Dive will also contact the relevant authorities to notify them of the suspected criminal activity.
“This programme works as a way to monitor the oceans better as partners like us are diving regularly and can report to Sea Shepherd Dive. They can use their influence within the public and civil sphere to make a change,” said Wong.
Sea Shepherd Dive was launched in February by Sea Shepherd Global, a leading ocean conservation organisation renowned for drawing attention to illegal activities at sea. They have also worked with authorities worldwide to combat crimes against the marine environment.
The Brunei Times