Scuba diving is an exciting recreational sport and everyone is encouraged to try it, given the chance. However, as scuba diving becomes increasingly popular as a sport, so do the chances of the marine ecosystem being damaged. The ocean, like every part of nature, undergoes stressful impact with human presence. Therefore, when scuba diving, whether you’re learning or a seasoned pro, it’s important to keep these things in mind:
- Perfect your buoyancy
Marine life is extremely fragile, hence, it’s very important to focus on your buoyancy at all time. Not only does it make you a better diver, it also helps preserve marine life and coral for future generations of divers to enjoy.
- Share your knowledge
If you are a seasoned diver with years of experience, do pay it forward and pass on your knowledge, tips and skills to newer, less experienced divers. You will help create awareness on ocean conservation and help preserve the marine ecosystem.
- Hands off!
The age-old diving saying goes, ‘“take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but bubbles”. Believe it or not, the marine ecosystem is interconnected; if you take a piece of coral, pick up a shell or grab a fish, it is going to affect the ocean’s ecosystem in more ways than you can imagine.
- Be a marine debris activist
Each day huge amounts of waste end up in the ocean, and it’s our responsibility to keep the ocean clean and safe for the marine life to live in. If you see any debris during a dive, carefully pick it up,while making sure that it doesn’t get entangled among the reef.
- Be a responsible seafood consumer
Overfishing occurs when more fish are caught than the population can replace through natural reproduction. Like everything else that is done in excess, overfishing has serious consequences. To play your part, choose to be informed about the types of seafood that you should and shouldn’t eat.
- Speak out for marine conservation
Share your underwater images, report environmental damage to the authorities and campaign for change. Report sightings of endangered marine life and spread awareness about the illegal consumption of marine products, such as shark fins soup.
- Do your research
If you’re going diving on holiday, do some research before you go and try to find a dive resort that prides itself on its eco-friendly practices. To play your part in minimizing waste, try to avoid using plastic bottles and polystyrene takeaway boxes for food, as these are hard to recycle in some parts of the world or simply just aren’t recyclable.
- Give back
The ocean plays a huge part in our lives even if you don’t live near it. Give back what you can, whether it’s donating to a marine conservation charity, taking part in a community beach clean-up activity or in putting information into marine species databases, these will all contribute to saving our marine ecosystem.