That being said, there’s still a long way to go in terms of humans reconnecting with nature, and we must change a maximum of behaviours in many aspects of our lives. Here, we are going to discuss responsible scuba diving. Basically, are you an eco-friendly diver ?
Let’s bring to light some considerations you should be aware of for the next time you go visit the underwater world, from fin kicks to photography skills, we got you covered!
Eco-friendly scuba diving
Furthermore, assuming you are well trained, the other steps into being an eco-friendly diver should be a piece of cake! First, it’s all about having a good buoyancy control so you don’t accidentally hit and damage the reef, for example. Secondly, it’s about knowing that underwater we touch nothing and we leave nothing... but bubbles! In third position comes the fact that a well-trained scuba diver knows how to properly choose and handle his equipment. Indeed, this means that if you choose wisely and then wear your scuba diving equipment properly, nothing should be bothering you or hitting the reef while you swim.
Obviously, following the dive leader and the dive plan is also what any well-trained diver would do, and it comes in handy to protect the environment. In fact, just like it’s the case for buoyancy control, following the plan and leader will reduce the chances of accidentally hitting the reef, or finding yourself in an unexpected and possibly dangerous situation.
Eco-friendly underwater photography
support anything serious as to know if strobes hurt the marine life, and if so, to what extent. As an example, there’s a study published on The Conversation which aimed to figure out if light 1 strobes were harming seahorses. Thankfully, the study appears to demonstrate that the seahorse’s hunting and feeding behaviour was not impacted, even when put under bright and direct strobe light. Still, the study highlights that we don’t know the effect of flashes on other creatures, and that more is to be discovered in that field of research. Knowing this, it seems reasonable to say that the approach we use should be the safe one : moderation. Indeed, better safe than sorry! So, next time you are scuba diving in Indonesia or scuba diving in Myanmar, looking for Seahorses as well as other unique macro life critters... think of how you can protect them while enjoying their presence.
First, we suggest considering this : the light strobe is not more damaging nor tolerable to the fish eyes than it is to the human eyes. So, who likes to have 10 light-flashes in a row in the eyes? Not you? Then think about the critter or the fish you are photographing next time. If you have been to an aquarium or a zoo, you probably have noticed that in most of them, camera flashes are prohibited. Moreover, some dive centres and dive schools will impose or “highly recommend” either a flash ban or a maximum number of pictures per fish. Thus, without saying that light strobes should be banned for scuba divers, we can at least use them moderately, in a way that respects the sea life.
Furthermore, it's the photographer’s behaviour that can be more damageable than its light strobe itself. Let’s put this in perspective: it’s hard to have any diver understand not to touch any marine life at all, imagine if you hand the diver a camera and let him into the blue to get the best shot... Chances are he will be very tempted to create movement around some critter, or touch a fish so it reacts or moves. This is a behaviour related to underwater photography which would put marine life in harm's way. How? Either by stressing the creature, changing its behaviour or simply harming it with our contact.
We hope this helps on your path to becoming a responsible scuba diver that protects and cares for the marine environment. We want to keep our playground healthy and lively so raising awareness and sharing best practices for eco-friendly scuba diving is a little step for humanity and a big step in the scuba diving community!
Read more about protecting the environment.
Author: This is a guest article written by Myryame Sawyer