An app to save the marine environment: Scubadvisor with Marevivo Onlus

With the Scubadvisor app, created in collaboration with Marevivo Onlus, underwater sites at risk can be reported with photos and descriptions

Scubadvisor, the app dedicated to diving enthusiasts, available free of charge for iOS and Android, is the latest in the project launched by the collaboration between Scubadvisor, and Marevivo Onlus, the association that has been working to protect the sea and the environment since 1985, with a particular focus on issues such as the study and conservation of biodiversity, the fight against pollution and illegal fishing, and the promotion of protected marine areas. Once the app has been downloaded, anyone can send a report by attaching one or more photos and a description of the damaged marine site in full respect of anonymity and the protection of privacy. The app will be able to identify the GPS coordinates exactly and provide them to Marevivo, which will set up a database with all the reports in order to monitor, and where possible recover, the waste present on the seabed.

The Scubadvisor app, through the contribution of all divers, will make it possible to create a map and monitor the seabed disfigured by rubbish with the aim of drawing a picture of the health of Italy’s underwater environment.

“In our DNA lives an absolute sensitivity towards environmental issues,” explained Marco Prandi and Alessandro d’Antonio, creators of Scubadvisor. “Divers love the sea, they are its first sentinels, and with this new project we want to personally involve those who live the marine and underwater environment. Scubadvisor in this way is not only the indispensable support tool for those who love diving. Alongside the function allowing you to share the most beautiful images of the underwater world, we add one emphasising environmental responsibility to help preserve biodiversity and the extraordinary richness and beauty of our seas”.

The issue of waste at sea is, now more than ever, extremely important for our future. It is estimated that every minute a truckload of plastic waste ends up in the sea, corresponding to as much as 8 million tonnes of plastic every year. Continuing at this rate, by 2050 experts estimate that the oceans will be populated with more plastic than fish. About 15% of the plastic that ends up in the sea, in fact, washes up on our beaches. The remaining amount floats on the surface or rests on the seabed.

“The fact that waste cannot be seen does not mean that it is not there and that it does not pose a serious threat to the sea and its inhabitants,” says Rosalba Giugni, President of Marevivo. “Most of the waste that enters the sea in fact ends up on the seabed where we find nets and fishing gear, plastics, tyres, batteries, bulky waste and much more that end up trapping and suffocating many marine organisms and being dangerous even for divers. This app will involve hundreds of other eyes that will help us acquire useful and valuable information to build a database and map this anthropogenic waste that damages the marine ecosystem”.

In the Mediterranean, another dramatic and often underestimated issue is that of abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear, particularly nets, which are another cause of litter in the sea and are particularly harmful to fish that become trapped in them.

In Italy, at the top of the list of causes of pollution of our seas is poor water purification and illegal dumping of waste on our beaches, which affects one in four inhabitants. Fortunately, there is no shortage of protected areas. The Italian Alliance for Sustainable Development report, ASviS 2018, notes that in Italy we have over 3 thousand kilometres of them, 75% of which are located in Sardinia, Sicily and Tuscany. Several studies show that protected areas are the only way to slow down this invasion, which is linked to the phenomenon of climate change and in particular to the rise in water temperature.

(An app to save the marine environment: Scubadvisor with Marevivo Onlus – Barchemagazine.com – June 2022)