For most scuba divers, the utmost pleasure is derived from coral reef diving. However because coral reef diving has some unique and specific challenges attached to it unlike other types of diving, the activities of scuba divers are causing many damages to coral reefs around the world.
Most of this damage is not done intentionally as scientific research has proven that scuba divers are directly and/or indirectly to be blamed for damaging the world’s coral reefs with some of their behaviors which are a result of lack of proper training.
The damage to corals would eventually cause coastal erosion which will lead to a permanent loss to the biodiversity of the marine ecosystem. This damage to coral reefs needs to be curtailed because they are living organisms that are an essential part of the marine ecosystem and that need care and attention, like most other living organism.
Here are six tips which can ensure the curtailing of damage to the coral reefs while scuba diving.
1. Prevent contact with the coral
It is common human nature to want to touch and fiddle with things, especially when it comes to beautiful things. However, corals are not to be touched whether with hands or with other body parts. This is because the outer covers of corals are made of soft fragile membrane which gets punctured when touched and leaves the coral open to infections. Touching or being in contact with coral reefs beyond the maximum limit for interacting could lead them to break.
2. Practice Buoyancy control
It is common for excited scuba divers to get so lost in the moment that the kicking from their fins hurt corals. Having proper buoyancy control is hence very necessary as it helps scuba divers have better control of their fins and legs while diving and swimming. It gives divers proper understanding of their position in relation to the coral reefs and it helps them avoid contact with the corals. Buoyancy control involves the understanding of weights in maintaining balance to enable easy floatation in water which will eliminate the need for frenzied kicks to stay afloat.
3. Adhere strictly to safe diving guidelines
All practices which do not conform to the principles of safe diving should be eschewed.
4. Secure diving equipment
Ensure that all diving equipment is properly secured before diving into the water. This would prevent equipment from hanging loosely in the water, banging into the corals and damaging them.
5. Refrain from pollution
Avoid introducing any pollutants into the water. You know the expression “take only photos, leave only footprints.” In diving circles that should be “take only photos, leave only bubbles.”
6. Take scuba diving classes
Scuba diving classes include movement underwater and buoyancy control. Proper training in these things, while learning to scuba dive will ensure that scuba divers become more reef-friendly, lessening the chances of scuba diving causing any damage to corals.
Get committed to being nature friendly and coral reef friendly while having the absolute time of your life scuba diving on your next Great Barrier Reef Holidays.