Vanuatu has some great opportunities for snorkelling, but remember these tips to help you make the most of your experience and protect our fragile environment.
The absence of, or ill fitting equipment will definitely spoil your snorkelling experience, so don’t risk it. Purchase snorkelling equipment from your own country and bring it with you or buy good quality gear in Port Vila. When your holiday has finished, do something really wonderful… give it (or even better, ask your children to give it) to the local people as a thank you gift for their hospitality. The provision of gifts is common in the Melanesian culture as long as it is done in a dignified manner. Often, resort equipment gets damaged by past guests, they may not have your size mask or fins, or all the equipment may be used by other guests when you want it.
Every year our turtles, dugongs, coral, fish, invertebrates and other marine species die needlessly due to the carelessness of travellers and locals alike. Our beaches, mangroves and reefs are desecrated. How?
Rubbish! Tin cans will last 50 to 100 years. Aluminum cans 80 – 100 years, polluting beaches. The innocuous plastic six-pack packaging rings has 450 years to kill, the polystyrene cups and packaging will have a little longer; 500 years. The inescapable death trap is of course the discarded fishing line which will be around for 600 years.
While no one knows for certain, one figure indicates that over 450,000 garbage plastic bags were thrown overboard everyday by the world’s ships in the 1980’s. Walk along any beach in Vanuatu and you will see the results. It has become a major problem – our problem. Let us do the right thing, and set an example to the indigenous communities as they are equally guilty, albeit in a smaller scale.
It is up to each person fishing, snorkeling or diving with a marine operator to ensure they take their responsibilities seriously, making sure that they are not polluting (have a look at the wake created, is it mixed with oils or fuel?). Are they making all possible efforts to with sufficient signage & rubbish collection, ensuring their operation is 100% green? Throwing trash overboard is against the law, and morally despicable.
Come to see our pristine marine world, be green on our blue, and make sure future generations will enjoy the same.
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