Keep an eye on your buoyancy
Fact: Good buoyancy control is the best protection for the environment and for you.
Why: If you are able to control your position in the water, you will not hit the reef accidentally and thereby break off some corals.
Your advantage: Good buoyancy control has a positive effect on your air consumption. The less you have to think about it, the less it will stress you. With a better balance, you also reduce your risk of injury because you don’t touch your surroundings unintentionally.
Our tip: If you have problems controlling your buoyancy, we recommend taking a special buoyancy course.
Pay attention to your fin kick
Fact: The energy of your fin kicking sometimes goes on for several more metres.
Why: Depending on how close you are and how hard you kick, you can break off some corals without even touching them. Moreover, many plants and creatures live at the bottom of the sea. If you swirl up sediments with your fin kick, you may be “exposing” them to predators or covering them inadvertently with sand.
Your advantage: If you do not swirl anything up with your fin kick, the view remains clear. Your dive group will also appreciate it if you are careful with your fin kicks. In addition, the air consumption can be further improved as well by means of controlled fin kicks.
Our tip: Try a so-called frog kick (wiki)
Don’t touch anything!
Fact: Not touching anything should actually be taught at every beginner’s diving course, but one still sees time and again that people touch everything.
Why: Touching animals can harm them, even if it doesn’t look like it. Many fish have a protective layer of mucus. It can be destroyed by merely touching it. Thereby, you make it more susceptible to bacteria and diseases.
Your advantage: If you don’t touch anything, you will surely avoid touching anything toxic at the same time.
Don’t take anything with you!
Fact: Unfortunately, far too many people still take shells from the beach, corals or even animals with them as souvenirs. Please don’t do that!
Why: Everything is recycled in nature. For example, empty shells serve as dwellings for hermit crabs and other animals. Dead corals are populated or eaten by micro-organisms.
Your advantage: In many countries, it is illegal to take something from the sea. If you do not take anything, you avoid high fines.
Correct behaviour on the shore
Fact: Every year several accidents happen due to careless and incorrect water entries. Therefore, the best way is to use marked entries, if there are any.
Why: Near the shore, so where you still cannot even swim, beautiful corals or some other form of underwater flora and fauna grow and need to be protected. Shore regions are often nesting and breeding sites for animals!
Your advantage: Marked entries will tell you where you can go in and out of the water without any problems and, above all, in the simplest way.
Collect the rubbish that you find!
Fact: Plastic bags, cans, bottles, remains of fishing nets, etc. are always found in the sea. Already in 2050, there could be more plastic than fish in our oceans!
Why: Plastic bags, for example, are mistaken for jellyfish and eaten by turtles. On one hand, these are toxic and, in addition, they cannot be digested. As a result, the stomach volume is reduced and the animals starve slowly. In the case of leftover fishing nets, it often happens that animals are caught in them and drown because they can no longer swim to the surface to breathe or they starve as well.
Caution: Please pay attention to what you are touching! The rubbish might already be covered with corals. Thus it is better not to rip it out, but rather only take with you the parts that can be removed without any damage. Bottles can already have become a new home for crabs or octopuses after a short while.
Do not feed any fish!
Fact: Even in the 21st century there are still people who do not know that wild animals should not be fed!
Why: Fish keep the reef clean. They eat algae and parasites and by doing so the reef can remain healthy. As soon as they are fed, they get used to it and don’t eat what they really should be eating anymore. Thus, algae can spread more easily and damage the reef.
Choose your diving school consciously!
Fact: As a customer, you are the most important part of the diving industry. The diving school needs you. Should you observe shortcomings, please speak to the employees about them. If they do not anything, pick a different diving school! Support those who take care of the environment! Not every diving school is the same. Especially in regions where you have a large selection, you should select one keeping in mind the environmental criteria as well.
For example, keep an eye on the following:
- How does the team behave? Is the rubbish disposed of in the sea?
- Are there plenty of bins on the boat?
- Do environmental aspects come up in the briefing? (Be sure not to touch anything, pay attention to buoyancy, sun cream should only be applied up to 30min before the dive, etc.?)
- Is the base a member of an organization, such as Green Fins?
- How do the dive guides behave under water? Do they touch things themselves or do they make sure that their divers behave correctly?
- Do they let divers get away with harmful behaviour or do they react?
Last but not least: Share this article! 😉 Let us reach as many people as possible.
Fact: A lot of environmental violations happen due to carelessness or ignorance, not from evil intent. The more people are sensitised to this topic, the better. So please share this article as often as possible!