Coral Reef Conservation 101 – What Everyone Should Know
Scuba diving is a wonderful pastime that allows you to get close and personal with nature while pushing you to learn and grow as a person. There is no other activity that allows you to get as acquainted with sea life as scuba diving. Plus, there is specific training that comes with being a certified diver.
But, because you’re getting so close to nature you have a responsibility to the creatures that you are viewing. As a trained diver, you can help keep coral reefs alive so that generations to come can enjoy their beauty. Coral reefs are in danger, that’s just a fact. But that doesn’t mean we can’t contribute to keeping them as healthy as possible.
At Bahama Divers, we want you to feel confident in your diving, but we also want to give you the tools to be able to dive safely and in harmony with the nature around you.
Learning how to dive carefully around coral reefs is essential to maintaining their beauty and the delicate ecosystem they support. Let’s go over some basics to get you started.
Before You Dive
It’s important to refer to a checklist of equipment and a dive plan before you set off. Not only because it helps you make sure your equipment is all in order but also because you can check and see if you have any misconceptions going into the dive.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a first-time diver or you’ve been diving for years, everyone goes into a trip with conceptions of how it will go. So, make sure you’re going over what you want out of the trip.
Don’t expect fish and other sea creatures to just swim up to you and let you pet them. Some might, but it’s best not to interfere with marine life. In some cases, touching a sea animal can be fatal to it. This is especially relevant to coral reefs.
Also, make sure you are researching the dive location before you go. You don’t want to support diving businesses that use harmful practices like taking pieces of coral reefs, which has become a sad trend. Nor do you want to go to a dive site that is too difficult to explore at your skill level.
One important thing to remember is that coral are animals. This means that they feel and react to stimulus. If you touch them, you could both hurt the coral itself and the creatures that depend on coral for their own survival.
Therefore, it’s important that you keep a distance from the reefs. Do not stand on them and definitely do not break off pieces to bring home.
It’s super important to leave no waste while you’re diving. Don’t drop or leave equipment behind. If you drop something in the coral, it could hinder their growth and lead to their premature death.
When you have finished your dive and are ready to go home, share your experience. Tell everyone about the beauty of coral reefs and how you felt while you were exploring the unique underwater world. But also share how you made your dive an eco-friendly experience with the marine life in mind.
It’s important to spread the word of your good experience and how you acted around the marine life. People react best to positive stories, and they don’t particularly like being told not to do something without somebody explaining why. Emphasize the delicate nature of the coral reefs, and people will hopefully remember to act respectfully if they themselves ever visit a reef.