Dubai, UAE: Four of Azraq’s volunteer members, ventured out to Lulu Island in Abu Dhabi yesterday to undertake a clean up from the seabed and around the island itself, removing 137.9kg of debris, mainly plastic water bottles and fishing debris.
This initiative was undertaken with its newest partner, The Captain’s Club which provided a boat and captain for the activity.
Aside from ocean clean ups, Azraq will utilize the partnership to expand on its coral reef survey program in Abu Dhabi, with an eye on Dubai also.
Natalie Banks, Founder of Azraq, stated that the partnership with The Captain’s Club came at the perfect time, through a connection from one of Azraq’s members and partly fulfilled a long-time dream of the conservationist, to have regular access to boats for water activities.
“We have long had a dream of having access to a boat in order to undertake additional marine conservation activities, so the team at The Captain’s Club absolutely made our wishes come true when they agreed to partner with us” Ms Banks said.
“There is a great deal of debris on the sea floor which I see regularly as a scuba diving instructor, and in order to conserve and protect our local waterways, we need to not only look at stopping the debris from entering the waterways, but assist to remove it also.”
Azraq has a long history of beach cleans, which the team will continue to do wherever possible, even when having to accommodate to social distancing regulations. Nonetheless, the ocean cleans are proving to offer greater reward for effort, with larger amounts of debris found.
“Organising the removal of debris from the seabed requires a great deal of organization and logistics, and we could not be happier with the support that The Captain’s Club provides us,” Ms Banks said.
“In addition to The Captain’s Club, we are extremely grateful for the support from the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi and Tadweer which sent a boat to Lulu Island to collect the debris afterwards.”
The clean ups are being undertaken by approved members. Anyone interested in joining Azraq is encouraged to do so by visiting their website or by sending an email to email@example.com
Founded by Natalie Banks, Azraq is a volunteer-run not-for-profit entity in the UAE. Azraq focuses on the protection, defence and conservation of marine life, as well as enables partnerships to be formed with government and private entities and individuals for the good of the UAE and its marine environment. Born in September 2018, the foundation’s mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect the marine ecosystem and species. The organization achieves its goals by educating through awareness programs and motivating the community. The word “Azraq” gives credence to the nation’s mother tongue, translated from Arabic to English as “blue”, defining the marine environment that the not-for-profit serves to conserve and protect.