Protect The Aquatic Realm
|Diving in a responsible manner is imperative to protect the undersea living space of those we share the planet with.||
|Please dive carefully in
fragile aquatic ecosystems, such as coral reefs. Although they may look at
first like rocks or plants, many aquatic organisms are fragile creatures that can be
damaged by the bump of a tank, knee or camera. Corals are extremely slow growing. By
breaking off a small piece you may be destroying decades of growth. By being careful, you
can prevent devastating and long lasting damage to magnificent dive sites.
Be aware of your body and equipment placement when diving.
Much of the damage underwater is done unwittingly. Keep your gauges and alternate air sources secured so that they don't drag over the reef or bottom. Be graceful.
Keep your diving skills sharp with continued education.
If you haven't dived for a while your skills, (particularly buoyancy
control,) may need sharpening, so seek bottom time with a certified assistant or instructor
in a pool or other environment that wont be damaged by a few bumps and scrapes.
You can even provoke aggressive behaviour in creatures who normally aren't in the slightest.
Understand and respect underwater life everywhere.
Many creatures only appear to look like plants or inanimate objects. Using them as toys or food for other animals can leave a trail of destruction that can disrupt a local ecosystem and rob other divers of the pleasure of observing or photographing these creatures. Consider enrolling in a PADI Underwater Naturalist course.
Don't collect any souvenirs or dive artefacts.
Dive sites that are heavily visited by divers can be depleted quickly and permanently of their resources in a very short time. Collecting specimens, corral and even shells can strip areas of their fascination and beauty. If you want to return to land with trophies, consider underwater photography.
Fishing, Hunting and game gathering.
If you get pleasure from taking food from the aquatic realm, it is vital that you get proper licensing and become familiar with local fish and game rules. Only take creatures you will consume. Never kill anything for the sake of killing. Respect the rights of other divers who are not hunting and avoid spear fishing in areas that other divers are using for sight seeing. Understand that YOU effect the environment.
destruction or disturbance of your dive sites.
If you observe an unusual depletion of aquatic life, a rash of injuries to fish etc or notice strange substances in the water, REPORT THEM to local authorities such as the Environmental protection office or the equivalent in your country. You can make a difference for all of our children.
Be a role model for other divers and others.
As a diver you will realise that when someone tosses a plastic wrapper or suchlike overboard it is not out of sight out of mind. You see the results of such neglect. So set a good example in your own interactions with the environment, and other divers and non divers will follow suit. Peer pressure and education!
Get involved in local environmental activities and issues.
You may feel you can't save the world, but you have a great impact on
the corner of the planet in which you live and dive.
Also the best thing you can do to help protect the sea is to inform others how fragile it is. There is only a tiny percentage which has not been hugely impacted by mans 'footprint.'
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