Your club's underwater litter pick dive will require careful and appropriate planning and preparation in line with BSAC’s Safe Diving guide

Before you start planning your underwater litter pick please read through the following guidelines carefully. You will find essential advice to help you safely plan and dive an underwater litter pick.

Remember: The aim is to remove smaller items of litter from the marine environment while diving. Removing large debris requires specialist skills and additional equipment (e.g. lifting bags). If you are interested in helping retrieve larger items of debris check out Ghost Fishing UK.

When organising litter picks, please remember to comply with Covid-19 safety guidelines and organisers should implement the guidance for organised events.

Choose your underwater litter pick dive site

  • Your chosen site must be safe for an underwater litter pick. This means the depths and conditions must be suitable for the experience levels of all of your participating divers.
  • Avoid dive sites that are potentially hazardous – eg. heavy boating traffic, fishing activities or areas affected by industrial discharges.
  • We strongly advise that you choose a site that you have dived before. If possible, conduct an orientation dive prior to your underwater litter pick to evaluate any potential hazards and assess the area to be cleaned.
  • If you are planning a boat dive, remember to inform the Coastguard and/or harbour authority of your location, planned activity and the number of divers in the clean-up team.

Recruit your divers

  • Try not to overcrowd the dive site. If there are enough of you, consider cleaning two dive sites.
  • Make sure you have sufficient boat cover.
  • Ensure your underwater litter pick divers have the relevant diving qualifications.
  • Familiarise yourself with a copy of these guidance notes before the day.

Underwater litter pick equipment you will need

  • Mesh bags to collect litter underwater.
  • Underwater slates for recording unusual or larger items that you cannot safely retrieve during the dive.
  • Marker buoys for identifying the area you have covered.
  • Rubbish bags for disposing of the litter retrieved at the end of your litter pick.

Get the word out!

Share your success stories with us on social media using the hashtags #BSACdivers and #BSACclean.

Let your local media know about your planned underwater litter picks – this will help to promote the campaign as well as generate good publicity for your club.

Please go to grow your club for more advice and guidance on working with the media.

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