Arcachon: Europe’s largest collection of submarine waste
Awareness and education
19 October 2023
126kg of waste were hauled up from the Arcachon basin during a vast underwater clean-up operation organized by Nettoyeurs Sub-Aquatiques (NSA) and The SeaCleaners.
It was Europe’s largest underwater waste collection: carried out by over 200 volunteer divers in the Arcachon bay on October 7, it brought up nearly 500 liters of waste in volume (glass bottles, cans), dozens of kilos of fishing gear (cables, nets, hooks) and oyster farming equipment. A huge sorting operation for The SeaCleaners team!
The operation also saw the recovery of cell phones, electric batteries, a brake disc, chair parts, DIY equipment, etc…
The divers were equipped with Belubag, the underwater collection bag developed by Manta Innovation, The SeaCleaners’ naval engineering office. Heavy objects were brought to the surface by the waste elevator, another innovation from Manta Innovation’s research.
For Olivier Linardon, president of the NSA, this operation is essential: “If we don’t do it, no one else will. I’ve been diving for 25 years and I could see the basin deteriorating, I have two children and I wanted them to be proud of me“.
“Any collection at sea is important, especially near the coast, so that the waste doesn’t end up in the open sea” explains Gwenaële Coat, The SeaCleaners’ scientific manager.
The operation coincided with the launch of the participatory science program developed by The SeaCleaners in partnership with the MerTerre association. Divers from The SeaCleaners and NSA donned their wetsuits again the following day for a second scientific underwater clean-up operation, this time in Lac Vert, Biganos.
Collected less than expected: awareness-raising and clean-up actions are working, we must continue!
Watch the highlights of Europe’s largest underwater garbage collection.