By Founder and President Kurt Lieber
This Wednesday we pulled together a mid-week dive and went to a location a few miles from Angel's Gate (off the San Pedro coast). We went there based on information given us from newly acquainted commercial fishermen.
These folks understand that ODA's success means long-term stability for them as well, and we are happy to be expanding our alliance with those in the seafood industry. We are so much stronger working together in harmony than fighting each other over philosophy!
Anyway: we didn't find what we expected at our first location, so we shifted our boat Mr. Barker's LegaSea to another area along the breakwall searching for the traps that so often wash up along there.
The dive team went about a mile on scooters but didn't find a single trap. Yes, it is our mission to remove these traps, and we enjoy updating you about how many we remove each year, but I must admit that it's a relief to scout a place like this-usually filled with traps-and find none. It reminds us of the difference we are making in so many places!
Today we were fortunate to meet up with some ocean friends. First, a curious seal lion pup came to see what our ODA Dive Team was up to. Then, we came upon a small group of dolphins (notice how close to shore they are to the breakwall; this is why we HAVE to remove marine debris!). Later we saw stellar seal lions snoozing on the dock (see pictures below in our gallery).
Empty-handed but still satisfied, we began preparing to leave…and as we started pulling up the anchor we noticed it was extra heavy. Yes, dear reader, you guessed it: there were two traps on the anchor! Some time ago, a fisherman had strung the traps together with a loop of (deadly) line that caught on our anchor.
You can see in the pictures above how dangerous this loop line can be for a whale or dolphin swimming by. Neptune was on our side this time, and we were still able to save animal lives by removing these death traps and their connecting loop line.
I'll end with a thankful shout-out to our awesome volunteer crew! From left to right: Rex Levi, Marshall Trautman, Bill Kibbett, Darlene Summers, Dave Merrill, and Jeff Connor.
Without them, and YOU, we would not be able to conduct this life-saving work.
Let's do more of this important cleanup work and make the ocean a safe place for dolphins, seals, seal lions, and ALL marine life!
Check out our pics of the day! More images of the wildlife and the crew doin' their thing!