Wednesday, 04 August 2021 09:09

How Divers can protect our Seas

All divers and indeed snorkellers can help to take steps to protect and conserve the oceans we love so much.

We are the people who see what is happening underwater, and we have contributed our knowledge to the understanding of this underwater world in so many ways over the years. However, now our contribution is more important than ever.

Here are some guidelines for anyone in the wider diving community to think about and perhaps incorporate into their diving practices. We must protect and preserve our diverse marine environment. We all recognise that we are in a climate emergency and that we should act now to make sure we dive thoughtfully and in ways sensitive to the needs of the environment.

We should endeavour to reduce our carbon emissions - for example car sharing, checking vehicle and boats fuel efficiency, exploring more local dive sites and look after your kit so it lasts longer.

Prevent pollution - underwater clean ups, beach clean ups, report ghost fishing and other illegal activity, avoid single use plastics, leave nothing but bubbles, don't touch anything or feed anything, make sure equipment is streamlined and use reef and fish safe suncream.

Boat activities - keep underwater noise to a minimum, use a well serviced engine, take only what you need to reduce weight and fuel consumption and keep an eye out for oil or pollution spills.

Diving activities - streamline, have good buoyancy control, keep off the bottom and off wrecks, don't kick up the bottom, don't harass marine life, be more careful when taking photographs and videos, and leave the site as you would wish to find it.

Interacting with marine life - follow all relevant codes of conduct, watch and don't get too close or stress marine life, do not feed at all, minimise any disturbance and don't interrupt natural behaviours.

Responsible tourism - look for good environmental credentials, take fewer trips and stay longer, support the local community by buying local, don't support activities that encourages damage to the environment and avoid marine parks with captive marine life.

Eat sustainable sea food only. It is important that we understand where it comes from and how it was harvested. Sustainability should be the watch word. Eat seasonably available and locally sourced fish where possible.

Contribute to marine research - help collect data, support research science projects and help to expand our knowledge of what is happening underwater. Get involved in projects that bring the underwater world to the public's attention.

All of these things and more can only help in the ongoing struggle to protect our seas, oceans and marine environment from the climate and bio-diversity changes that are coming. Only together can we reduce or stop the future impacts as much as possible.