SCUBA divers enjoy a privilege that few others have experienced. Divers have real-life access to an enchanting underwater world that the majority of people can only experience through second-hand accounts or imagine from pictures. As such, they have a responsibility to do their part in preserving the world’s oceans. As SCUBA divers come in direct contact with marine life, responsible diving is an important aspect of an overall effort to protect marine life and their underwater habitats.
Obviously, divers do not want to harm the beautiful oceans they are so fond of exploring. However, some beautiful dive spots have been ruined by irresponsible divers over the years. To avoid this, here are three of the best ways to SCUBA dive responsibly and protect the oceans while enjoying their boundless beauty.
Dive with caution. Employing proper diving techniques will ensure that a diver’s movements will not harm aquatic life. Divers should keep themselves properly weighted and neutrally buoyant while swimming horizontally in an effort to avoid bumping into underwater organisms. Responsible SCUBA divers glide cautiously through the water in order to avoid disturbing aquatic creatures and the environment they depend upon for survival.
Don’t interfere with marine life. This means following key diving practices, such as not attempting to ride manatees, manta rays, sea turtles, or any other marine creatures. Also, divers should not try to catch aquatic life or spearfish unless they are aware of the local laws, which are in place to maintain the survival of various marine species and promote a healthy marine environment. SCUBA divers should also observe responsible feeding practices by only feeding creatures food that they brought with them.
Look, but don’t touch. By following this one simple rule, divers can ensure they have the smallest possible impact on the underwater dive sites they enjoy. Merely observing marine life can be an extremely rewarding experience, but some divers feel compelled to reach out and touch a coral reef or an eel, which may damage the reef or be a terrifying experience for the creature. In some situations, touching can also be dangerous for divers. So, it is best to leave the handling of marine life to divers experienced in doing so.
Images via christophercjensen, gulfnews.com