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Diving into conservation: Sharjah Women's Diving Team Champions marine restoration, environmental awareness

Taking conservation under the sea
21 Nov 2023 08:40

KHAWLA ALI (DUBAI)

The women's diving team at Sharjah Marine Sports Club is undertaking several projects to restore damaged marine sites, including studying marine biology, cleaning the sea floors and beaches, and assisting in search and rescue operations. The team has stepped up its efforts to preserve marine wildlife and spread environmental awareness among the public. 

Coral Restoration
Maha Saeed Salem, a member of the Sharjah Women's Diving Team, who holds a rescue diver certificate, and a coral reef inspection certificate, said that her diving experience began three years again, and she joined the team based on her desire to play a positive role in society and empower women divers. 
Salem took part in the Coral Restoration Farming Initiative, which focuses on developing coral incubators, expanding the area of coral in the sea, and restoring damaged coral areas in the sea near Khor Fakkan.

"Coral reefs are considered one of the most important marine habitats, both in the UAE and the world, because they significantly support the presence and reproduction of fish, which prefer to live in a coral reef environment for protection, support, and food," she said.

Marine Issues
Salem said that she believes that COP28 is the most important international climate conference, noting that marine environment issues will be reviewed at the conference and solutions will be presented.

"These solutions will support efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, which include preserving the oceans, seas and marine resources, and using them sustainably, in addition to joining efforts among various segments of society to reduce pollution and overfishing to ensure sustainability for future generations," she said. 

Spreading Awareness
Israa Al Hosani, an environmental diver and coral farming specialist, and a member of the women's diving team, pointed out that when she started diving, her aim was enjoying seeing marine wildlife. After her initial diving journey, Al Hosani started to use her diving skills to the benefit of the nation and the environment by taking part in marine protection initiatives.

"We, at the Sharjah International Marine Sports Club, have initiated the Coral Project, which is aligned with the country's efforts to reduce the effects of climate change, and coincides with the hosting of COP28. We hope to spread a message confirming the importance of coral, which is considered a haven for many marine species," she said.

Al Hosani explained that there are ongoing efforts to protect marine life and maintain the cleanliness of the oceans and seas. 
"Since the start of Year of Sustainability in the UAE, there have been many activities that highlighted sustainable development in the marine environment, and we as a team encourage spreading awareness on the importance of protecting the marine environment by participating in marine clean-up and sustainability campaigns," she added. 

Tangible Change
Fatima Al Shamsi, a diver on the team, said that her desire to maintain the marine environment and was her motivation for joining the team, in addition to her love of exploration, passion for underwater photography, and interest in wildlife. 
"We are currently seeking to clean the beaches of Sharjah Emirate to preserve marine life and achieve sustainability, by working on a coral farming project," she said.

Regarding her thoughts on COP28, Al Shamsi pointed out that this global event will bring about tangible change and will increase public awareness of the importance of preserving the marine and terrestrial environment.

"We are proud to host this conference, and we seek to unify global efforts towards a clean and sustainable environment," she added. 

Wonderful World of Marine Life
Aisha Al Shamsi, another member of the women's diving team, said that her role on the team fulfilled her desire to preserve the marine environment and identify its most prominent problems. She also got the opportunity to use her diving skills to benefit her country by cleaning pollution and waste throw into the sea and along the coastline, she said. 

"I encourage all girls to learn diving to see the wonderful world of the marine life," she added.

 

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