Da Nang swimming club picks up trash from the bottom of the sea to protect corals

More than 20 volunteers from a swimming club in Da Nang spent hours collecting marine litter near the Son Tra peninsula on Sunday to protect the area’s coral reefs.

The volunteers were experienced in underwater activities and included swimming coaches for local schools and professional athletes.

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Marine Environment Ambassador Dao Dang Cong Trung and 20 members of the Thanh Khe Swimming Club gathered at a rocky spot on Son Tra Peninsula to pick up litter from the seabed.

The volunteers were experienced in underwater activities and included swimming coaches for local schools and professional athletes.

Da Nang Swimming Club collects waste from the seabed to protect coralsFirst they collected large amounts of trash from the surface, mostly plastic bags and fast food containers left behind by visitors.

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They first collected large amounts of trash from the surface, mostly plastic bags and fast food containers left behind by visitors.

Da Nang Swimming Club collects waste from the seabed to protect coralsThen they dived to collect trash from among the coral reefs, taking caution not to accidentally damage them.

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Then they dived to pick up trash among the coral reefs, taking care not to accidentally damage it.

Da Nang Swimming Club collects waste from the seabed to protect coralsSince the trash could be hidden in all nooks and crannies, the volunteers had to pay close attention to their work.

In fact, several reefs in the area have already been damaged by various factors including tourists stomping on them while diving.

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As waste could be hidden in every nook and cranny, the volunteers had to be very careful about their work.

In fact, several reefs in the area have already been damaged by various factors, including tourists trampling them while diving.

Da Nang Swimming Club collects waste from the seabed to protect coralsSome of the volunteers found beer cans buried in the sand at a depth of three meters.

The swimming club of Thanh Khe District has collected trash from the seabed around six times.

Phan Thanh Tin, 45, a teacher at the Da Nang Sports University and head of the swimming club, said the club would try to organize such clean-ups every month.

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Some volunteers found beer cans buried in the sand at a depth of three meters.

Thanh Khe District Swimming Club collected litter from the seabed about six times.

Phan Thanh Tin, 45, a teacher at Da Nang Sports University and director of the swimming club, said the club would try to organize such cleanings every month.

Da Nang Swimming Club collects waste from the seabed to protect coralsA volunteer holds a bag of trash in his hand while swimming underwater.

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A volunteer holds a garbage bag in his hand while swimming underwater.

Da Nang Swimming Club collects waste from the seabed to protect coralsSometimes volunteers would have to use their own feet to pick up the trash, as diving too deep could be dangerous if they're not used to equalizing pressure.

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Sometimes the volunteers had to use their own feet to pick up the litter, as diving too deep could be dangerous if they weren’t used to balancing the pressure.

Da Nang Swimming Club collects waste from the seabed to protect coralsVolunteers bring bags with them to collect more trash before having to swim back to shore.

It would take corals about a year to grow a few centimeters, so they would take a long time to recover from damages, experts said.

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Volunteers bring bags with them to pick up more trash before they have to swim to shore.

It would take corals about a year to grow a few inches, so they will take a long time to recover from damage, experts said.

Da Nang Swimming Club collects waste from the seabed to protect coralsNguyen Ai Viet, 46, and his children Nguyen Hai Duong, 6th grader and Nguyen Hai Dang, 12th grader have been collecting trash off the Da Nang sea floor for the third time.

He said the activity has taught his children to throw trash in their proper places.

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Nguyen Ai Viet, 46, and his children Nguyen Hai Duong, 6th grader and Nguyen Hai Dang, 12th grader, pick up trash from the seabed in Da Nang for the third time.

He said the activity taught his children to throw the trash away for them.

Da Nang Swimming Club collects waste from the seabed to protect coralsDao Dang Cong Trung holds up a bag of trash after about an hour of collecting.

"I want to share this activity so everyone would join hands to protect the sea environment and promote sustainable tourism," he said.

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Dao Dang Cong Trung holds a garbage bag after about an hour of collection.

“I want to share this activity so that everyone comes together to protect the marine environment and promote sustainable tourism,” he said.