Feature: Responsible Diving
The popularity of Southeast Asia's diving industry places immense pressure on fragile coral sites. To help preserve the ecology, adhere to these simple rules:
- Don't feed the fish or allow your dive operator to dispose of excess food in the water. The fish become dependent on this food source and don't tend to the algae on the coral, causing harm to the reef.
- Avoid touching or standing on living marine organisms or dragging equipment across reefs.
- Never use anchors on reefs, and take care not to ground boats on coral.
- Be conscious of your fins: the surge from fin strokes near reefs can damage delicate organisms. Take care not to kick up clouds of sand, which can smother organisms.
- Practise and maintain proper buoyancy control: major damage can be done by divers descending too fast and colliding with reefs.
- Take great care in underwater caves. Spend as little time within them as possible – your air bubbles may be caught within the roof and leave organisms high and dry. Take turns to inspect the interior of small caves.
- Resist the temptation to collect or buy corals or shells or to remove objects from marine archaeological sites (mainly shipwrecks).
- Ensure that you remove all your rubbish, and any litter you may find. Plastics are a serious threat to marine life.
- Minimise your disturbance of marine animals. Never ride on the backs of turtles, whale sharks or dolphins.
- Join a coral clean-up campaign, sponsored by a local dive shop.