15 TIPS FOR DIV­ING RE­SPON­SI­BLY WITH MA­RINE LIFE

Asian Diver (English) - - Exhibitor Listings -

divers, it is im­por­tant we make in­formed de­ci­sions, both when or­gan­is­ing our trips and while we are on them, to help en­sure we limit our en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact. The fol­low­ing 15 tips will help you to en­sure your next div­ing hol­i­day is as en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly as pos­si­ble: When mak­ing en­quiries about your stay, you should ask about their con­ser­va­tion ethos. You want to make sure that your dive op­er­a­tor has re­spon­si­ble div­ing guide­lines and takes a proac­tive ap­proach to­ward con­ser­va­tion NOAA es­ti­mates that 4,000– 6,000 tonnes of sun­screen washes off our bod­ies and onto coral reefs ev­ery year. Cer­tain in­gre­di­ents in sun­screens are toxic to corals and reef fishes, and can cause coral bleach­ing. There are now reef safe va­ri­eties that use al­ter­na­tive com­pounds that are much less detri­men­tal to the ma­rine en­vi­ron­ment. To note, you should look ap­ply sun­screen at least 30 min­utes be­fore you en­ter the wa­ter Some of the ma­jor dive com­pa­nies ac­tively sup­port ma­rine con­ser­va­tion, and some ac­tu­ally gen­er­ate their gear from ocean waste and re­cy­cling. This is a fan­tas­tic ini­tia­tive be­cause it not only acts against ma­rine de­bris, but it also in­volves and sup­ports lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties When en­coun­ter­ing ma­rine an­i­mals, it is es­sen­tial that they are re­spected. Find out what species you are likely to en­counter and check with the ex­perts for ap­pro­pri­ate be­hav­iour. Fol­low­ing their guide­lines will not only en­sure you do not dis­turb the an­i­mals, but it will also en­hance your en­counter with them Many ma­jor ma­rine con­ser­va­tion or­gan­i­sa­tions rely di­rectly on do­na­tions and out­side sources to carry out their work. You can sup­port them by do­nat­ing funds, by vol­un­teer­ing or by of­fer­ing your skills Make ef­fort to en­sure that all of your equip­ment is tucked in be­fore and dur­ing your dive. Do not leave hoses or gauges dan­gling be­cause they can eas­ily catch on corals. Make sure that you are cor­rectly weighted too, since this will make it eas­ier for you to con­trol your buoy­ancy In or­der to im­prove your en­coun­ters and to give your­self the op­por­tu­nity to wit­ness nat­u­ral be­hav­iour, you need to re­lax, dive slowly and not try to chase the ma­rine life. Also, whether it is for per­sonal en­joy­ment or to show oth­ers, touch­ing or ha­rass­ing ma­rine life is com­pletely un­ac­cept­able be­hav­iour. If the cur­rent is too strong or if the crea­ture you want to look at is not in an ideal po­si­tion, you should wait for a bet­ter op­por­tu­nity to present it­self be­fore pro­ceed­ing

By Cat Cas­sidy, En­vi­ron­men­tal Of­fi­cer, Scuba Junkie SEAS

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