You just fall in love with diving and now that you have earned your first certification, you cannot wait to explore the ocean. There’s something about the ocean that stole our heart. The calmness that comes with descending down the deep, the vibrant ecosystem of coral reefs and ocean animals, and the crystal clear water where we can see the fishes and feel like part of the marine life. A good diving, where you can meet various marine creatures in healthy condition, would feel very rewarding. However, being a diver means you will also get the front-row seat to see the changes and destruction of marine habitat. It’s time to learn how to be a sustainable divers, cause even diving beginners can do it too.
Diving Beginners First Step on Becoming A Sustainable Diver: Minimise Waste
Being a diver is not all about seeing corals and tropical fishes. You are fated to see underwater debris and garbage, bumping into sharks and other fishes trapped in hooks or fishing net, or turtles munching plastic bags. A true diver would try to stop that from happening further, and it can start from themselves. The first step you can do is to try going almost zero waste and plastic-free lifestyle. Realise the volume of plastic waste that end up into our oceans everyday and how it could impact the marine life we love so much. Be careful of your wrappers, sugars and drinks sachets, cigarette butts, and even masking tape. These things can be blown off easily from a dive boat and directly contributes to the ocean trash. You don’t want to be those irresponsible divers, don’t you?
Choose Reef-Safe Sunscreen
Part of your education of diving for beginners might not include knowledge of harmful beauty products. Not one that harmful for your skin, but those which gives destructive impact to the ocean. One of the most serious beauty product that can directly harm the marine life is sunscreen which contains oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3, BP-3). This ingredient causes coral bleaching, damages coral DNA, disrupt coral reproduction, and eventually lead to coral’s death. Yet oxybenzone is one of the most common ingredient for sunscreen and not many divers are aware of this!
Even Diving Beginners Should Choose Eco-Dive Centre
No one says that beginners in diving do not have to care about the dive operators. Try to choose only eco-dive centre since your first diving holiday. Do some research to find responsible operators that actually protect the environment and avoid greenwashing in their practice. Avoid dive centres that promote interactive animal experience—they can disrupt the behaviour of marine animals. See from reviews if the dive operators use baits to lure in sharks and other exotic animal. Know that a good dive centre should not guarantee any sight of marine creatures during the diving. A sustainable, responsible dive centre would also take initiatives on beach or ocean cleanup!
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Don’t Feed the Fish!
Stop giving them pieces of bread to lure them coming to you. Do not get attempted to feed the fishes with anything, really. It teach fishes to be dependant to human for food and forgo their natural sources of food. And that disrupts the natural balance of the marine ecosystem. Let the wild be wild!