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Scuba diving is a popular vacation choice when traveling to more exotic countries. As beautiful as coral reefs can be, these are also endangered so if you want to practice this sport variety here’s how to become an eco-friendly diver.
People consider beaches to be a go-to holiday spot where they can relax under the sun. However, individuals willing to test the ocean take their experiences up a notch by diving into the depths of it. By doing so, they get to experience the beautiful and magnificent marine life at its prime in its natural habitat. That’s a sight that people wish to experience at least once in a lifetime. But do schools teach us how to become a more eco-friendly diver?
Going for a dive certainly sounds mesmerizing and soothing, but the issue is that people get these experiences at the expense of marine life. As more and more crowds have started amassing the beaches, the statistics have already begun producing unfavorable figures for sea creatures. Scuba diving and snorkeling are no different in causing this damage, whether it’s intentional or accidental. People show up to enjoy and have the time of their life, but instead, they end up jeopardizing an entire species from the ecosystem. So you should learn some eco-friendly practices while underwater to avoid disrupting life under sea.
The importance of Coral Reefs
Coral reefs are endangered by a variety of factors, including: natural disasters, phenomena such as hurricanes, industrial pollution, invasive species, overfishing, coastal development, careless tourism, destructive fishing techniques, plastic pollution, and ocean acidification.
Reefs foster vast ecosystems, providing food, shelter, and breeding grounds for thousands of marine creatures. Losing coral reefs would have a profound impact on the global environment and human society, according to UNESCO.
How to become an eco-friendly diver
Here are seven eco-friendly tips to start with, which might help you become an environment-friendly diver:
1. Join the Right Dive Center
A huge role in teaching you the right diving ethics is reliant on the diving school that you join. It happens quite often that diving institutions aim to prepare the divers only on how to control themselves under the sea surface, which is a sweeping method for market capitalization but is much harmful to marine life. A better way to go about this situation would be to include an environmental awareness section in this course and educate divers.
2. Get the right equipment
What divers need to do is to get enrolled at a diving center and learn the right way to do it. Besides this, they also need an extensive set of equipment to dive.
Luckily enough, you can generally hire the equipment at the schools, diving centers. Now, if you have everything in order, you might be ready to witness the core of the ocean and experience the beauty nature has to offer.
3. Go Natural
A problem that promotes carelessness amongst divers is with the excess gear that they put on, which makes them feel secure. It mainly happens due to the gloves as people assume that since they won’t catch onto something, it’s safe to touch everything. It may sound insignificant when done by just one person, but collectively, it makes a substantial difference. So it is best to go natural underwater.
4. Behave Responsibly Underwater
Divers often feel ecstatic when under the surface of the ocean and start losing their wits. That results in irresponsible behavior from them, the toll of which has to be paid by marine life. To avoid this, divers need to be careful and recall their buoyancy control lessons. They should make sure that they don’t like to stroke or paddle carelessly while diving to avoid hitting a coral or rock. Similarly, they also should avoid unnecessary contact, as a small touch can result in unexpected outcomes.
5. Don’t Feed the Fish
The biggest mistake that divers make to upset the balance of the ocean is that they feed marine life. It might be a great idea to attract the attention of some fish towards you, but it upsets the food cycle of the ocean. Once the fish are used to finding easy snacks, they stop consuming their regular diet. It causes a pressing shift as some fish feed on the algae, which limits the sunlight and space of coral reefs. If the algae last, the coral reefs can decline in numbers, making it harder for the fish to survive on their own.
6. Garbage Disposal
Another great idea while at the beach of being eco-friendly is to practice efficient garbage disposal. The situation of the ocean and marine life is declining significantly, mainly because people don’t care what they throw in the sand. Divers visiting the sea can start reversing this situation by carrying environment-friendly disposal bags to avoid littering the beach.
7. Report Environmental Violations
You can always find fish to be in high demand at stalls and markets. It makes fish be at a more prominent threat of abuse from the fishermen who are overfishing or fishing in restricted zones. It won’t be a rare sight to notice this happening if you are often at the beach. As a diver, you should take responsibility and report any environmental violations that you witness to the concerned authorities. It might help expose the culprits behind these heinous misdeeds and save a lot of fish from being taken out of the ocean and save them from being extinct.
8. Be Careful of what you Buy
Beaches often have stalls that are selling exotic seashells along with that fresh fish. It may seem insignificant when it’s just a single shell, but imagine the cumulative effect on it. Everything at the beach serves as a part of the ecosystem, and taking away an element from it might result in an unprecedented reaction. For instance, the seashells might serve as the nutrients for some creatures, and a shortage will directly affect it. So try avoiding these ornaments to discourage the stall owners from selling them.
These were the eight tips on becoming eco-friendly divers, which might serve as a good starting point for your environment awareness education. It’s good to research before going on a vacation on a beach. Every single contribution matters a lot to protect our marine life. Do your part and also encourage others to do theirs.
What has been your experience with diving? Share your tips to become a more eco-friendly diver on the comments below!