What does it mean to be an eco-friendly diver?
Even when it comes to recreation, it is important that to consider the potential impacts on the spaces that we use. A quick diving trip may seem harmless, but can have consequential outcomes if proper diving etiquette is neglected.
Here are few of the many practices divers can follow to ensure dives with little environmental impact:
Leave your environment in the same or better condition than it was when you got there
When you enter the water you’re immediately in someone else’s home. Never leave trash or materials from outside the ecosystem in your diving environment, leave the natural environment intact, and remove any trash or debris you can without harming the habitat around you.
For the safety of both you and the marine animals around you, do not harass or feed marine life.
Be wary of where you enter and exit reefs
If you are anchoring your boat, be extremely careful of where you are putting your anchor. If possible, use already available moorings, as anchors can be very damaging to corals. Think about entering and exiting the water away from reef habitats.
Practice good diving skills – particularly away from reefs!
To avoid accidental contact and maintain good body control in reefs, maintain neutral buoyancy and practice good finning techniques. Making sure that your diving gear is all properly attached can also prevent accidents from occurring.
Be a steward of the ocean environment when you are also on land! Volunteering to remove marine debris, making sustainable seafood choices and supporting organizations with green initiatives are a few of the endless possibilities.
Interested in learning more? Check out the Green Fins Project!
Green Fins is a project initiated the United Nations Environmental Programme that works with dive and snorkel operators to establish environmental standards. The Green Fins Code of Conduct applies to Green Fins members and aims to eliminate environmental threats stemming from the tourism industry. Members are guided through the Code of Conduct and are given annual assessments, training and feedback.