Be an Eco Scuba Diver with these 5 Important Diving Lessons

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I would suspect that some would argue that scuba diving is not eco friendly but I am going to make a bold statement and say that it is.  If you learn to scuba dive well, and you are taught in your scuba diving course to respect where  you are going, my bold statement is : Scuba diving fundamentally encourages the respect for and the preservation of everything environmental.

There I said it, Scuba diving is an eco friendly sport.

So what are the reasons, the evidence that supports this statement.  Well the list could go on for days, weeks and months, but the bottom line is learning, understanding and witnessing another portion of the planet, water bodies making up over 73% of the earth surface, divers see and understand micro and macro eco systems in a different way. They also unfortunately do see the damage to the reef systems and fish populations that have occured over time due to land activities that end up in the ocean. 

I do not want to go into a eco rant, nor will I talk about the land activities that are effecting 100% of the planet.  What is important is making sure that you as a diver understand that you are pioneers in the underwater world, that you can leave or not leave a footprint in the ocean (we choose not to) and that you can see how the entire earth works as one, one eco system that is directly effected by each activity that happens.

How do you make sure that you dont leave a footprint in the ocean?

1.  Learn to control and understand buoyancy.  Buoyancy, or the lack there of is the first area where you can cause damage or where you can actually cause no damage.    if you are not neutrally buoyant and you hit the ocean floor or goodness, a piece of coral, (yikees) you are not being a eco diver.  An eco diver has full control of their buoyancy and will not interfere or by accident churn up anything.  The frog kick is best to help control your buoyancy and when you get it right, it actually gives you more power in your fin stroke.

2. Find your correct weight belt and weight needed while diving.  It is a known fact that new divers tend to over weight themselves, so that they stay at depth.  This activity can also also lead to some diving errors where by you end up having the incorrect fin position and kick up sand.  When you are over weighted, your legs and feet drag and kicking up sand can suffocate the coral that you are not touching but having an effect on.

3.  Take photos.  taking photos on your trip lets you record the reef, what you see, when you see it and the conditions of the area.  this is useful in later years when you can see if there is a change to the reef system or not a change.  it is actual documentation of what you see and could be used for marine biology purposes.  Secondly you can educate non divers about what exists under water and the eco systems that are there.  remember out of sight, out of mind, but that does not have to be.  All certifyin agencies, SSI, PADI, NAUI have digital photography courses that you can take to earn credits as a diver and learn how to take great pictures.

 4.     Share your diving adventures with others.  As there are areas on land that are not doing as well environmentally the same is in the ocean.   There are very healthy reef systems and not so healthy reef systems.  Discussing your dive adventures with others lets you understand if the damages are natural (from hurricanes, current changes, water changes) or if it is from human influences.  This is also a great way to find out where you can see ocean creatures as the ocean creatures migrate to different parts of the world, to different areas, continents etc, just like humans. 

5.  Use  your log books to describe what you saw.  Take a few minutes and sit down with your buddy and guide to record what you saw.  It may even be helpful to take a slate with you so you dont forget what you saw.  when you have what we call a busy dive, that is when you see a lot of creatures and coral, like if you were walking on 5th Ave in New York  verses walking through the Grand Canyon, New York having lots of ‘people’ on the street verses maybe not seeing anyone for a long time in the Grand Canyon.   These recordings could be very helpful in the future and could be used for important marine biology information. 

When taking your Open water Course, Try Scuba or continuing your recreations diving, remember you are a guest and are witnessing a piece of  the earth that many never get to see, wont see or have no desire to see.  Out of sight, out of mind plays an important role in decisions and as divers our view of the earth is much larger, grander and inclusive than non divers.  Share you knowledge and dive experiences so that others may choose to really understand 100% of the planet not just 27%, that being the land surface of the earth.

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