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Tourism and Animals

Respectful diving

Animals and plants that live in seas and oceans are adapted to the marine ecosystem. Human ingenuity and technology have allowed us to have the privilege of knowing this underwater environment, but we must remember that we are only visitors, and the animals that live there are not adapted to human presence. For this and other reasons, we must learn to understand marine life and be especially respectful when we dive.

Our actions can have consequences for marine life. To avoid these consequences to be negative, we list here some tips for a responsible dive:

  1. Be very careful when diving in fragile ecosystems. Although at first glance they may seem like rocks or plants, some may be camouflaged and delicate aquatic organisms that can die by a little bump (even from a camera or a knee). The simple breaking of a piece of coral, for example, can kill it and it takes dozens of years to develop.
  2. Learn in an "indelicate” environment before going to a coral reef. Thesel reefs are extremely sensitive ecosystems that may be damaged as a result of even minimal contact. It is important to know how to move with the diving gear to avoid damaging the environment.
  3. If you enter the water from the shore, do it carefully through the established routes without damaging vegetation or seabirds’ habitat.
  4. Check the equipment before diving. A simple gesture such as making sure all equipment is securely in place may prevent damage to the ecosystem when dragged along the bottom, hitting coral or similar.
  5. Check the buoyancy to avoid landing on fragile plants or bottom. The correct calculation of the weights and neutral buoyancy can avoid damage with the flippers.

    6. Keep a safe distance from everything. Enjoy being a mere observer of this wonderful environment.

    7. When diving near the seabed one must be careful not to stir up sand with their fins as it can harm the wildlife, so we will use a breaststroke style. When you want to turn away from the bottom use the fingertips to push yourself up.

    8. Try not to hold on to corals, walls, etc. Only if necessary for reasons of currents, for example, seek a rock or dead coral to maintain position.



    9. Resist the temptation to take "souvenirs". Taking corals, shells or other specimens of marine life can have serious repercussions on the ecosystem. The best option if you want to go home with some kind of memory is to take photographs. Of course, legislation and common sense ban the capture any living being during dives.

    10. Do not chase, touch or harass animals. Even if they don’t run away from us it doesn’t mean they are not afraid, they may be protecting their lair. Provoking camouflaged flatfish to swim, or groping octopus, for example, can cause them great stress. Of course, do not grab or "ride" on sea turtles. Our actions may stress the animal, interrupt feeding or reproduction and even cause aggressive reactions in non-aggressive species.

    11. Do not shine a light on the animals, this can harm and upset them.

    12. Do not feed the animals. That may lead to human dependence that can be very harmful to them. They can suffer from a modification of their diet, even getting poisoned, and alter their natural behaviors.

    13. Do not buy "souvenirs" made up from wildlife or flora. Do not purchase shells, shark teeth, objects made from turtles, fish or corals under any circumstance. The demand for these souvenirs is the cause of the killing of these beings.



    14. Join local activities addressed to solve environmental issues. There are many things you can do to help preserve and maintain clean water, such as help in beach clean ups.

    15. Take your waste with you. Sometimes the most charming tourist destinations are also the least equipped for garbage collection. For this reason it is important that we carry with us all the waste we generate and that could pollute the environment and endanger its inhabitants.

    16. Try diving with responsible companies that have, and enforce, strict conservation measures and environmental protection.


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