Dive against Debris – Fishing Net at Roda Reef

Dive against Debris – Fishing Net at Roda Reef

What is Roda Reef?

Roda Reef is an artificial reef created by Dive Timor Lorosae in 2014.  It is made out of car tyres and now is home to some amazing sea creatures such as pipefish, nudibranch, pufferfish, moray eels and leaf scorpionfish as well as schooling surgeonfish, sweetlips and the occasional barracuda.

The Fishing Net

Fishing net from Roda Reef

On Friday the 10th of May we went for a scuba dive at Roda Reef and found an enormous fishing net approximately 100m long smothering the tyre structures and going down to 32 meters.  Between us we managed to disentangle the net from the tyres and twist the net so that it wouldn’t re-catch on the branching coral that has grown on the tyre structures.  We also removed a makeshift buoy so the net would lie on the sand for most part.

Frustrated and devastated by the damage that could be done by this net, we knew it would take a few divers to bring it up in sections, so we called to arms our regular guests and the other dive centres to tackle the fishing net on Tuesday the 14th of May.

Dive against debris collaboration

fishing net collaboration at Roda ReefWe were absolutely stoked at the turn out, staff members and guests from Dive Timor Lorosae, Aquatica Dive Resort, Dream Divers Academy and Compass Diving all turned up to help. 

We saw there was a vast amount of new looking fishing net on the beach near the entrance of the site, so sent Bailey and Steve to snorkel and freedive to see if the net was still there.  It looked like the net had been retrieved by the local fishermen so we decided as everyone was there to dive, we would do a dive against debris anyway.

In total we brought up 7 big fishing nets that had been there a while, 18 plastic bottles, 7 food wrappers, 25 plastic bags, a big curtain, several plastic food boxes and ½ a plate! A fantastic result for the reef and an amazing effort from all those involved.  It’s great to see all the dive centres working together for the aquatic environment.

Data collection

Fishing net and other trash Roda ReefUsing  a Dive Against Debris data card, we separate all the debris into debris categories which is a bit of a smelly job. All data collected from Dive Against Debris is registered on a central database through the Project Aware Foundation a respected and trusted leading organization for ocean protection.  The survey data is used by marine researchers and policymakers for conservation efforts.  Here is a link to the dive against debris map so you can see what’s happening in your part of the world.

If you are interested in getting involved in Timor Leste, contact us as we are always appreciative of volunteers.