Diving for the past four years have made me realize how fortunate I am to come from a tropical country, where the marine life is abundant, diverse and simply amazing. It also made me realize that I must dive responsibly, with the least impact on the marine environment as possible. Some things I’ve learned on eco friendly diving:
Bohol. Photo by Leo Cabrera
- I still need to practice this: It’s important to maintain neutral buoyancy, wherein one neither shoots up nor sinks to the bottom. Apart from having a relaxed and comfortable dive, this prevents you from holding on to, and accidentally breaking, fragile sponges and corals. Oops.
- Keep gauges and hoses secured to the BCD. Loose hoses may hit the wall or drag on the sea bed and kick up sediment.
- Hands off. As tempting as it is, I do my best not to touch anything, lest I exert unnecessary pressure and damage fragile marine eco systems. Some of these critters may also be itchy or poisonous. Hassle yun di ba? It’s always better to be safe than sorry. And on that note…
- Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but bubbles. Sure you’d like to bring home something for your aquarium. But that’s an artificial habitat, and there’s no certainty that your souvenirs would adapt to that environment, let alone survive for long. Do them a favor and leave them where they are, undisturbed. Plus, think of all the divers who have yet to enjoy what you’ve seen.
- Bring a small mesh bag and pick up rubbish, especially plastic, you see along the way. Plastic, when ingested by fish and turtles, could be fatal. It won’t take much effort to bag a piece of cellophane floating along and dispose of it properly when you’re on shore.