Ocean Defenders Alliance (ODA) is a marine conservation organization that became a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2002.
The organization was founded by Kurt Lieber, an avid diver and self-made scholar of marine conservation news and information.
On dive after dive, and all over the world, Kurt found abandoned commercial fishing gear on the ocean floor or attached to boat wrecks—where it indiscriminately kills marine flora and fauna long after its service to the fishing industry was over.
At the same time, in his studies of the state of the world’s oceans, Kurt read widely diverse reports about the oceans, and came to understand the dire plight of life in the seas.
His heart told him to take action, and his intellect agreed completely.
So, with a 40-foot boat generously gifted to ODA by Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Kurt began taking volunteer divers to reported abandoned fishing gear sites.
Using the boat as a dive platform, the divers descend at each location, cut the gear loose, and float it to the surface. Volunteers on the boat haul it onto the deck and take it back to shore for proper disposal.
Animals such as lobsters, crabs, and fish found trapped alive are carefully liberated by ODA, and thus given a new chance to thrive, grow, and breed.