Celebrating 10 Years by Giving Back
Rachel Doornekamp | December 1, 2020
We at Deep Trekker are thrilled to be celebrating our ten year anniversary! Over the last decade Deep Trekker has grown from a garage start-up to a global company serving more than 9 industries.
The idea for Deep Trekker was inspired by a dropped flashlight in Lake Huron, Ontario, Canada. Current Deep Trekker President, Sam Macdonald dropped her flashlight and remarked how she wished that she had a robot to go get it for her - little did she know that would be the start of an amazing journey.
After developing their first ROV prototype, Sam and her business partner Jeff Lotz realized what a truly versatile product they had. Allowing users to get visual of underwater and submerged spaces has proven to be incredibly useful.
Beginning with one single ROV, the Deep Trekker team has now expanded to offer complete lines of utility crawlers, CCTV pipe crawlers and ROVs, including the semi-autonomous REVOLUTION NAV. Appearances on Shark Week, as well as missions like the Belize Blue Hole with Richard Branson and Fabien Cousteau, the exploration of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, and the search for the Arvo Arrow punctuate a decade filled with innovation and growth.
In honour of our 10 year anniversary the Deep Trekker team is giving back! As an organization deeply involved with water, oceans and lakes of all kinds, we felt that there was no better way to celebrate our first decade than to give back to organizations keeping our water safe and healthy. We’ve partnered with two amazing organizations doing exceptional work for our oceans and freshwater systems; Plastic Oceans Canada and Ghost Diving Foundation.
Join us in making a difference! We’re supporting Plastic Oceans Canada as they work towards eradicating single use plastic and saving the ocean - starting right here in Canada. For every dollar donated to Plastic Oceans Canada’s Canadian Shoreline campaign through our GoFundMe page, Deep Trekker will be matching up to $5,000 total.
Deep Trekker has long been passionate about tackling the far reaching issue of ghost fishing gear. Ghost Diving Foundation has been working since 2009 to expose the catastrophic impacts of ghost fishing gear. Teams of volunteer divers retrieve and remove discarded gear and then that gear is displayed and publicized for the world to see. Deep Trekker is thrilled to be gifting the organization with a DTG3 to help find and collect ghost fishing gear from the ocean floor.
As a proudly Canadian company there is nothing we love more than supporting causes close to home. By tackling the plastic problem in Canada we’re helping to clean up the rest of the world. Plastic likes to travel - by helping Plastic Oceans reach their goal of reducing plastic entering Canadian oceans by 75% before 2025 we’re helping everyone!
Everyone can make a difference! Make your contribution here!
Did you know that 8 million tonnes of plastic is tossed into the sea annually? If we don’t make a change there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050.
Here’s how much plastic the average Canadian uses annually:
- 700 plastic bags
- 720 single use cups
- 1025 plastic bottles
- 730 straws
Once these single-plastics enter the ocean they break up into small particles that enter the food chain. Water borne chemicals attach to these plastics like a magnet, carrying toxins with them wherever they go. Once ingested by fish, these toxins are released from the plastic fragments and are carried in the bloodstream and stored in the fatty tissues of the fish. These toxins are then carried up the food chain - sometimes even to us!
How Does Plastic Get Into the Ocean
It is clear that we use an abundance of single use plastics, but how does it get into our ocean? There are three main ways; the drain, littering or landfill escapees.
Products like wet wipes, sanitary products and microfibres in our clothes are constantly being washed down the drain. Furthermore, products like face and body washes or toothpaste can have microbeads in them. These microbeads are easily ingested by fish - and then us if we eat those fish!
Littering is a huge contributor to ocean plastics. When items like food or drink packaging is tossed on the ground it then gets moved quite easily. One good rainstorm can carry plenty of garbage towards sewage systems or nearby rivers and streams, ultimately leading to the ocean.
Unfortunately plastic’s lightweight nature means that it can easily get carried off by a strong breeze. Sometimes plastic that has been recycled escapes the landfill and is carried away where it often makes its way towards nearby water systems.
Once plastic reaches the ocean’s shore it gets quickly moved into the water by nearby animals and changing tides. Plastic Oceans aims to intervene right at the shoreline, before it becomes an even bigger problem. By tackling the issue at the source, Plastic Oceans has found an effective way in which to reduce the plastic problem.
$25 for 1km of Canada’s Shorelines
Every single person can make a difference! Deep Trekker is proud to match donations made to Plastic Ocean’s Canadian Shoreline campaign (up to $5,000 total). Every $25 protects 1km of Canada’s shorelines including lakes, rivers and oceans. When you donate four key things happen:
- Shoreline cleanups can take place. With your donation Plastic Oceans can supply volunteers with trucks to cart the waste, burlap sacks and safety gloves.
- Schools and communities are educated about single use plastics.
- Collected plastics are processed to ensure they don’t become litter again.
- Deep Trekker will match your donation to double your impact!
Donate to our GoFundMe page here.
What Else Can You Do
Plastic Oceans Canada is a non-profit organization and Registered Canadian Charity. The purpose of Plastic Oceans is to raise awareness about plastic pollution through the creation of awareness initiatives developed around film and other content oriented school children, policy awareness, and consumer behavior. There are many ways that you can get involved!
Drastically reduce your plastic footprint with Plastic Oceans’ reusable kits. Using their travel kits or shopping kits help to eliminate single-use plastics, while proceeds from the kits go to national small grant programs that focus on cleaning up Earth’s waterways.
You can also donate to their Outreach Program or use their downloadables in your teaching programs! Plastic Oceans Outreach Program teaches students about plastics and the damage plastic pollution does to the ocean, as well as outlining attainable solutions.
You can also volunteer with Plastic Oceans to assist in their shoreline cleanups.
This is a cause that is near and dear to our hearts at Deep Trekker. We thank you in advance for your valuable contribution and support!
What is Ghost Fishing Gear
Ghost fishing refers to abandoned, lost, and discarded fishing gear including nets, pots and traps. In addition to making navigation tricky and smothering habitats, the gear carries on indiscriminately capturing any animal unlucky enough to cross its path. The marine mammals, turtles, fish, rays and crustaceans that are unfortunate enough to get caught often suffer slow, horrible deaths by drowning, suffocation, starvation and exhaustion. Furthermore, fish that die in ghost fishing gear often attract scavengers who can then get caught in that same net, creating a vicious cycle.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) reported that each year more than 100,000 whales, dolphins, seals and turtles get caught in this discarded fishing gear, with an inestimable number of birds and fish captured as well. What’s more is the plastic based gear can be ingested by a variety of marine life, leading to serious health complications. By weight, ghost fishing gear is estimated to make up 46% to 70% of all microplastic marine debris with an estimated 640,000 tonnes of ghost gear entering the world’s ocean every year. Concerningly it has been found that entanglement in or ingestion of marine debris has affected all sea turtle species, half of marine mammal species and one fifth of seabird species.
Who is Ghost Diving Foundation?
Ghost Diving Foundation is a registered charity organization of volunteer technical divers specialized in the removal of ghost fishing gear and other marine debris since 2009. The largest international diving organization tackling ghost fishing gear, Ghost Diving Foundation takes on debris around the world.
In addition to removing gear, Ghost Diving Foundation seeks to raise awareness and expose the problem of ghost fishing gear worldwide.
To further empower the Ghost Diving Foundation team, Deep Trekker donated the organization a DTG3 Expert. Utilizing an ROV allows ghost diving teams to locate ghost fishing gear and retrieve that gear from dangerous locations quickly and cost effectively without putting divers into treacherous conditions. Using the controller from topside operators can search areas for ghost gear using the ROV’s HD camera, LED floodlights and even sonar. Once located, the ROV can be used to cut nets and pull debris out of the water. Utilizing the ROV also allows teams to get eyes underwater before divers enter the ocean to ensure that when divers are retrieving gear, they are doing so under safe conditions.
Part of solving the issue of ghost fishing is making others aware of the problem. The DTG3 will allow users to take photos and videos during missions, providing viewers with a firsthand look at the catastrophic impact of ghost fishing gear. Part of the challenge in communicating about ghost fishing gear is that it is tough to visualize.
What Else Can You Do
There are several ways that you can help the Ghost Diving team in their mission. Donations go a long way in helping the team get on the water to remove ghost gear. As a registered charity made up of volunteers, the organization runs entirely on donations. Your donation matters, and every amount of money is greatly appreciated! Donations can be made online on the Ghost Diving website.
As part of Ghost Diving’s mission includes exposing the worldwide issue of ghost fishing gear, watching and sharing their videos helps to make a difference. Watch Ghost Diving’s content on Vimeo and YouTube.
We’re thrilled to be celebrating our tenth anniversary and there is no better way for us to celebrate than by giving back to causes that matter to us and our team.
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