Environmental protection should be a responsibility of every diver, since you can only enjoy an intact, clean and healthy underwater world. This article summarizes tips and behaviors on how to actively and passively protect and preserve the environment as a diver.
Basic knowledge for Open Water Diver* (OWD*)
Every diver should feel responsible to protect the environment. If you look at the condition of some of the most visited diving areas, you can see that more sensitivity to environmental protection is urgently needed. So what can you do, especially as a beginner, to protect the environment and to maintain a healthy underwater world?
It's actually quite simple: Avoid all invasive behaviors as much as possible. In practice, this means that you should not only pay attention to environmental protection as in everyday life, but maybe even try to become a role model:
- As a diver, you can demonstrate environmentally conscious behavior even before you arrive. Carpooling, for example, saves fuel and has less impact on the environment.
- Choose the entry and exit points carefully to protect sensitive shore areas. Please do not drive to the shore by car, but use public parking lots and accept a small footpath.
- If possible, use buoys when mooring the boat to anchor the ship. Anchoring is harmful to the environment and should be avoided whenever possible. If anchoring is required, the operator should have a good understanding of the nature of the bottom composition in order to avoid damage from the anchor and anchor chain.
- Try not to touch anything, not even the ground. It is for a good reason that your instructor makes buoyancy control a very important part of your training. If you float neutrally buoyant over the reef or the lake bed, you won't destroy corals, nor will you steer up floating parts.
- Touching the flora and fauna should be avoided. Not only is the risk of injuring yourself or getting stuck minimized, you also contribute to protecting the fauna and flora. Many living things have a very sensitive surface that is sensitive to touch and can lead to illness or injury. You should avoid feeding, because regular feeding can change the behavior of the animals and lead to aggression towards other animals and divers.
- Never buy and collect souvenirs from the sea.
- The only thing you can collect as a diver at any time is garbage. The waters, seas and oceans are partly heavily polluted by garbage. Wherever you see rubbish lying under or on the water surface, it should be collected and disposed of properly. However, make sure that you do not collect any garbage that may already be used as a habitat. Many diving organizations and clubs regularly organize cleanups in and around their diving waters. They are always looking for volunteers to support the actions.
Above all, always keep the motto: Dive like your shadow: leave no traces.