Diver Extracts Over 2K Pounds Of Marine Trash

August 22, 2022

Free diver and ocean activist Karen Plianthos has extracted 2,142 pounds of marine trash from Bermuda’s waters during a clean-up campaign this summer.

A spokesperson said, “Plianthos, a hunter of the invasive lionfish who can hold her breath for two minutes and dive up to 60 feet, brought in the trash from some 25 dives in locations across the island since June.

“This year’s haul brings her total to 12,600 pounds, or 5.7 tonnes, in five years of dives.

Karen Plianthos Bermuda August 17 2022 (1)

“The bulk of the trash was glass, mostly beer bottles, followed by discarded metal and plastic which are harmful to marine wildlife such as Bermuda’s green turtles. Among the most original discoveries were an octopus trap from West Africa found at Queen’s Cove Beach and a gold spotted eel that wriggled out of a PVC tube at Devonshire Bay.”

Ms. Plianthos said, “There is nothing better than removing things from the ocean that seriously do not belong there.”

The spokesperson said, “In one instance she found a crab trapped inside a discarded soda can that had grown too big to crawl out of the mouth and released it. She also freed two conchs entangled in fishing line.

“Plianthos was helped by her mother Louise Jones, who skippers their boat Seaweed, and by about 10 other volunteers including her two and three-year-old daughters Grace and Ophelia, who cleaned out bottles and scoured the shorelines for debris.

“After each dive, the team donned Kevlar gloves for protection to clean the waste using screwdrivers and delivered it by boat to Mill’s Creek, Pembroke where it was weighed and sorted for later recycling or incineration. They used discarded beer boxes to transport the waste so as not to incur more trash with plastic bags.”

Ms. Plianthos said, “I am mentally plagued by the fact that we live in a world that is horrifically polluted, our oceans especially. To be in the ocean heals me, and I think that it is my way of healing the ocean as a form of reciprocation – even if it’s just a small one.”

Karen Plianthos Bermuda August 17 2022 (2)

Plianthos first began the annual diving campaigns called ‘Cash Trash Bash’ in 2015 as a way to raise money to fund a close friend’s bachelorette party. Now a 40-year-old estate agent, she instead raises money for Bermuda-based charity Waterstart, which runs ocean education programmes, and Wildlife Friendly Otley, which is devoted to protecting British wildlife.”

Ms. Plianthos said, “This campaign gives me a feeling of hope in that I hope I can bring awareness to others and education as well – just how much our actions of tossing a bottle into the sea can affect things.”

The spokesperson said, “When she can identify the owner of the garbage, such as a mask with a nametag on it, she plans to return it to its rightful owner. Her efforts won her a Best of Bermuda award in 2018 in the category of ‘Community Activist’. You can sponsor her here.”

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Comments (10)

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  1. maddog says:

    Thank you for your efforts….the human race is selfish and disgusting. We care about nothing but ourselves. Take your trash with you and dispose if it properly….I don’t understand what is so hard about that. I regularly take a trash bag with me when I walk my dog on the railway trails picking up rubbish along the way left by selfish idiots who just drop and go. Sit on a bench, enjoy a beer and your take out dinner, and then drop everything right there…I really do not get it. We have no pride. No respect. No care for anything.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Thank you for caring . But haven’t you heard ? ‘It gives someone else a jawb’.

  2. Sad sad says:

    Why do people continue to treat the environment this way?the hardest part is when you see them about to do it and politely ask them not to they use profanity saying it is their right. Ignorance us multiplying in thus country by 100 fold in so many areas that we are killing ourselves but that ignorant person would say so what “It is my right ” we are going to face some gard hard times.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      You are so right . Bermuda , ‘filled with wonderful people’ .. lol I’ve experienced the same behavior before as well .
      Unfortunately the ‘dumb and nasty’ is catching up with us quickly and on many fronts.

  3. Ocean Potion says:

    Thank you for caring. This lazy or thoughtless discarding of trash is so sad for the ocean and its inhabitants.

  4. Joe Bloggs says:

    I’m in. Thank you Ms Plianthos for caring about Bermuda more than most.

  5. Mr. Speaker says:

    I can only speak h8ghly for these good people.

  6. Marine Life says:

    Thanks for your caring spirit. We ALL should be proper stewards of our environment, but unfortunately the Smartest beings on the planet are also the dumbest.
    For example, some of our neighbors love to put all their trash bags out for pick-up right after the trash truck comes. So their trash sits there for 6-7 days in this summer heat before it is collected. The Government has plainly told people to keep their trash lidded on their property and put it out to the street the evening before or morning of collection.
    What is so difficult to understand about that?
    This is one reason we are overburdened by mice and rats island-wide, because of a percentage of people who are selfish and dumb.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      When Derrick Burgess was min of W&E he ordered that trash goes out on the morning of collection day only !
      I’ve heard nothing about people being encouraged to take it out the night before.

    • question says:

      The island is overrun with rats, and it’s the fault of the people. Of course.