Golden Rules

22.02.2017 by Ina Medick
underwater world scuba diving

Environmental protection is particularly important for diving, so that the fascinating underwater world is not damaged. Divers are only visitors under water and should therefore never interfere with the environment. For this reason, most diver organisations have formulated so-called “golden rules” for environmental protection. The advantage for many diving clubs and the environment: If a diving club has included these golden rules in their house rules, a violation can be penalised. That way, all divers get an incentive to protect the environment.

The 10 golden rules are mostly formulated in this way or in a similar one.

  1. Shallow waters and nearshore marine environment often serve as breeding ground and refuge for fish and seabirds. Therefore you should not drive a water vehicle here.
  2. Always keep sufficient distance to shallow waters as well as to gatherings of seabirds.
  3. Before your dive, inform yourself about whether you are out and about in a nature reserve. Here it is often forbidden to dive or only possible under strict conditions. You should therefore strictly obey these rules.
  4. The same is true for “wetlands of international importance”, a refuge for rare species of animals and plants.
  5. Only get in or out of your boat where this is explicitly allowed.
  6. Even on land, do not get close to reed belts or other densely vegetated areas near water. Here animals often find refuge that you should not disturb.
  7. Valid for seas with seals: Stop the boat at a distance of at least 500 metres from seal colonies! Or else the animals could be scared.
  8. Only photograph marine animals from sufficient distance, as to not disturb them. You can use a tele objective to do so for instance.
  9. Never leave litter lying in the sea and do not let the boat engine running longer than necessary.
  10. Before your dive, inform yourself extensively about the local flora and fauna and the regulations valid there!

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