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How to be a responsible diver!

A clean ocean view

Guest blog by © 2018 | Myryame Angers | myryame@divezone.net

It’s no longer a myth, the condition of the oceans around the globe is deteriorating. Not because of scuba divers, but a little bit more because of the man behind the mask and fins. Still, as scuba divers, we are in direct contact with the oceans and the living species within. Thus, we can help to reduce the negative effects that we, divers, and humans, have on them. Here are a few pieces of advice, for the new and seasoned divers, to improve their skills toward a responsible scuba diving approach.

Indeed, simple gestures can be incorporated into our routines, from our first fin kicks in the water and on land. One change at a time we can all be responsible divers and help our beloved playground to survive beyond this critical situation. Please read below and share to spread awareness!

Choose a dive training center that is right for you and the planet!

“How to choose a dive center?” is the main question for most new divers. Indeed, from the very beginning, you will be a better diver if you get your certification in a great school. Choosing a smaller school, focused on ethical and safe diving practices is a must! Of course, it might not be the cheapest one around but you’ll start off ahead of other divers. The right dive center will have values that match yours, will take your training seriously and display eco-friendly practices from the very beginning.

Furthermore, if more people choose eco-friendly dive centers, we will see more of the regular centers changing their practices. It’s a long-term investment in both your own diving skills and the diving industry in general! Good habits underwater might save your life and the planets!

What skills should I master to become a responsible diver?

It doesn’t matter which agency you train with, SSI, PADI or another, they will all teach you similar scuba diving skills. The same thing applies when you do a specialty course. Thus, is it your responsibility as a diver to master your skills. Indeed, make sure your buoyancy is top notch, always be in control of your movement and learn to read the environment around you. Not only mastering these habits can save your life in critical situations, but it makes you a responsible and safer scuba diver. So, the piece of advice here includes practicing these habits over and over, whether during pool lessons or on a patch of sand bottom in the sea!

Plus, once you master these scuba diving skills, you are most likely to never break this basic diving rule: do not touch the coral. Standing on coral is not okay, nor it is to collect a starfish to bring home. Thus, controlling your buoyancy and movements will prevent you from using your hands to push yourself around, or accidentally kicking the corals with your fins. It’s so very much important to understand this to protect the marine environment. If you need a visual example to describe the impact of divers or the seabed, think of Thailand! Indeed, Thailand is a sad, yet relevant example of what not to do. The country has seen too many reckless divers rushing out of dive factories and it has destroyed so much of its incredible marine ecosystem.

In comparison, diving in the Philippines, or in Indonesia is still great because most places are small, hardly reachable. Plus, dive centers tend to have ethical, eco-friendly diving practices. Still, these countries will become more popular, and visited by more people… that’s why we must adopt responsible diving practices. The same applies to diving other parts of the world. For example, diving in the Canary Islands of Spain must be done in harmony with the environment in order to preserve the quality and quantity of marine life found there. Luckily, the islands have plenty of marine reserves and relevant regulation in
place, which will give way to a much better experience for the present and future divers.

Share and raise awareness so we all become responsible divers!

diver touching sea urchin

Yes, the picture above is a great example of a situation that we see too often. Whether it is a dive master, an instructor, or a newcomer diver, we all have seen someone grabbing or touching marine life. Worse, maybe we have done it ourselves. It’s okay, but we must learn from our mistakes in order to protect the marine environment.

Now, as we learn tips to become responsible divers, we can change our bad habits into good ones. Plus, we can politely instruct the next person we see grabbing some sea urchin or stepping on coral. Need quick arguments? First, coral and marine life can be harmed by your touch, or they can harm you. Secondly, if one diver does touch or steps on coral, many divers will notice and be tempted to do the same or think it’s okay to do so. Either way, touching the coral is never okay and often leads to a mean cycle that has a high impact on the critters living into the blue.

Will you stand up (not on the coral!) and suggest responsible diving habits to your fellow divers on your next trip? We will!

If you would like to dive with us in the marine reserve El Cabron in Gran Canaria please contact us here! 

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