Tips for interacting with marine life

You may or may not have seen one of our Eco-polls which asks the question, “Should all entry level diving certifications be coupled with an intro into Eco-awareness and Eco-friendly diving?”


Alas, This is not a mandatory requirement, YET. However, I believe we should take it upon ourselves to become Eco friendly in everything we do and respecting the ocean is a huge part of being a responsible diver as well as contributing back to the ocean.


So, in light of this I am taking it upon myself to offer all you current or would be divers a few tips on how you can be eco friendly divers with some important DÓ’S and DON'TS


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DO


GO SLOW. Relax and swim slowly. Some marine animals can be quite curious but most are shy and quite freaked out by our presence in their environment, after all, the ocean is not our natural environment, even though some of us may feel more at home there. Guaranteed, the slower you swim, the more you will see. You want to swim with the fishes? Be like the fishes.


DON’T


Don’t make sudden movements and Don’t chase the marine life. Fish will naturally scatter and hide if they are being chased or feel threatened, meaning, you will most likely see a lot less.


As I mentioned above, we are in their world. Show some respect to the place you are visiting. Sharks, poisonous fish etc don't come and harass us in our homes.

(That would be quite terrifying) So, lets not harass them in theirs.


Remember, the name of the game is calm and slow.


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DO


Keep a dive knife or dive tool with you and/or a porous dive bag. The sad reality is that humans create a massive impact on our oceans through fishing and littering.


If you find the opportunity to grab some plastic or free marine life from nets or fishing line, by all means, do so, but without putting yourself at risk.


DON’T


Touching or removing any marine life we see on our dives is absolutely not okay.


Touching underwater creatures and corals can not only harm them, but you as well. Many marine animal injuries have occurred because of divers getting too close and making the animal feel alarmed, disturbed, or aggravated which triggers a defense mechanism.


Even more important than our own safety is the well being of the marine life itself. Coral reefs in particular have a layer of mucous covering them which is antibacterial, once someone touches the coral it makes it defenseless.


Take with you only memories. Leave behind nothing but bubbles


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DO


When diving we should always be aware of our position and our buoyancy underwater. Many aquatic organisms are extremely delicate and can be harmed by a bump of a camera, swipe of a fin, or even the softest touch of the hand.


A couple questions you can ask yourself while diving. Are you positioning in a way that threatens marine life, or possibly your own? Are you between a fish and their nest? Are you too close to a fish while its hunting?


DON’T


Don't let your equipment hang loose. We need to check that all our hoses as well as our body are clear of any aquatic life that can be damaged at all times. Be aware of your surroundings.


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DO


Keep your diving skills sharp.


There are many ways for you to keep your diving skills honed or improve them. Both PADI and SSI provide specialty courses such as Peak Performance Buoyancy which will help you with your buoyancy skills. You could also take Underwater Naturalist Courses which will educate you on how to identify fish, and also learn where their habitats are and much more.


Finally, you could take a Fish Identification Course, not only does this help you to identify more fish, but also learn their behaviors and habits making you a more conscientious diver.


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As divers we can do so much good in the underwater world. Through our explorations, we can raise awareness about the marine environment and its conservation, actively take part in Eco-projects and so much more. We can also do so much harm if we are irresponsible, uncaring divers. Which would you rather be?


Let us all be better divers and better people.


Do your bit. By following some of these tips you will realize not only how much more you enjoy your diving,but how much better you feel about yourself.


Happy, responsible diving scuba fans.


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8/21 MOO 2 Koh Tao

Ko Pha-ngan 

Surat Thani

84360

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