SCUBA diving is a wonderful hobby and an excellent way to become an ambassador of the sea. As you set off to explore the marvels that are hidden beneath the surface, you become one of a fortunate few on Earth to see the happenings of the marine world, as well as getting a firsthand view of how human actions affect marine ecosystems. That is why it is of the utmost importance to remember to be an eco-conscious diver. Everyone should have respect for all marine life and avoid disturbing the delicate balance of the underwater world. Here are three ways to be eco-conscious diver when planning the next excursion.
Take Care with Coral Reefs
Coral reefs are a point of fascination for most divers, simply for the sheer volume of life that is held within. When planning on visiting coral reefs, it is important to have a “look, but don’t touch” policy. This truly is a good practice for any type of diving. SCUBA divers should try and disrupt as little as possible when passing through the ocean’s waters. It’s possible to observe plant and animal life without actually laying hands on anything by practicing good buoyancy and finning techniques. Don’t use reefs as a place to stand, and never just grab a part of the reef for stability. If absolutely necessary, you can use a single finger to connect with an outcropping to stabilize yourself.
Use Discretion with Cleaning Supplies
When it comes to cleaning all equipment and even the body, divers need to take special precautions with the cleansers, soaps, and shampoos that are used. No cleaning should be performed in the ocean or even on the boat. Chemicals of any sort can truly be harmful to aquatic life. Marine animals and environments should never be put at risk for the sake of our own activities. Pay attention to the products you use when preparing for a dive and make sure it is environmentally friendly.
Don’t Feed Marine Life
As tempting as it may be, avoid feeding marine creatures. This can add to pollution beneath the waves and can actually disrupt their lives. Never chase marine creatures or bother them in any way. It can be difficult to resist the temptation to feed or otherwise physically interact with marine creatures, but our objective as divers is to observe the underwater environment without interfering if at all possible. When diving, it’s important to think of yourself as a visitor in a strange land, observing the customs of a unique culture and doing everything possible to be a friendly, non-threatening guest.