Are you interested in becoming an eco friendly diver? On Koh Tao, Crystal Dive is heavily involved with Marine conservation and education. We educate our student divers on how to be more eco friendly and encourage them to spread the word.
After all, our oceans need to be protected. But you don’t have to be an Eco-warrior to start implementing a few basic tips and do your bit.
Want To Become a Buoyancy Master?
The first step to becoming an eco friendly diver is getting to grips with your buoyancy. We don’t want to be touching things underwater, nor crashing into corals as this will cause long term damage to the underwater eco system and the habitats of many different living organisms.
The PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Speciality Course (PPB) teaches divers new techniques to control and fine tune buoyancy. This will allow you much better control underwater and enable you to get closer to what you want to see without having to touch them.
Taking the Peak Performance Buoyancy Adventure dive during your PADI Advanced Open Water is a great way to start on the journey of becoming a ‘Buoyancy Master’. We will teach you how to master hovering in various positions – including upside down – as well as perfecting your finning technique allowing you to move efficiently through the water.
Moving on to the next level and completing the PPB Specialty course will teach you how to swim backwards, a little tricky at first but you will look cool when getting out of tight spots! PPB will help if you are a keen photographer where you will need excellent buoyancy to maintain a stationary position whilst getting that perfect shot.
There is nothing worse when diving than seeing a diver holding on to coral whilst taking photos. This is because their buoyancy isn’t good enough….and I doubt the results of their underwater photography are much better!
Some Simple Tips….
Here are 5 simple tips that we all should be adhering to in order to help keep our reefs healthy
1. Don’t wear gloves
Wearing gloves whilst diving can give a false sense of security which encourages people to hold onto corals.
2. Don’t feed the fish
Feeding fish has a domino effect within the ecosystem. The fish will not eat their normal food source which can lead to them becoming reliant on divers. This will then cause corals to be smothered in algae and lead to an imbalance of nutrients in the water.
3. Dispose of rubbish correctly
Litter in the water never looks good but consider that turtles can easily confuse a plastic bag with its usual food source. Bin it, don’t chuck it!
4. No chasing or touching the aquatic life
Touching and chasing can cause great stress to the animals, would you like it if a random person came along and started poking you?
5. Be careful were you place your fins.
Corals are very fragile and are easily broken by misplaced fins. Kicking up sediment can smother corals and upset bottom dwelling habitats.
Leaning more about what we are seeing when scuba diving makes us more eager to protect and preserve the beauty of the underwater world for future generations to experience. As Scuba divers, we are natural ambassadors for the underwater world and we notice the changes that are happening to our seas.
The PADI Underwater Naturalist Specialty course is a great way to expand your knowledge on ecosystems and the ecology of the underwater realm. Underwater Naturalist specialists are able to identify symbiotic relationships and predator/prey relationships that take place within the reefs. This information can then be passed onto your diving buddies and friends, raising their awareness and hopefully helping to make a difference.
Protecting Our Ocean Planet, One Dive At A Time
If you are passionate about expanding your knowledge of our intricate underwater world then PADI’s Project AWARE initiative offers a whole range of programs tailored for divers as well as non-divers. Project AWARE was formed in 1989. It’s mission, to raise awareness and teach the world the importance of preserving the aquatic environment.
Here at Crystal Dive we work closely with Eco Koh Tao offering all available Project AWARE courses and programs including Coral Watch. Coral Watch integrates global monitoring of coral bleaching with education about coral reef conservation and are based at The University of Queensland, in Brisbane, Australia.
Coral Watch allows you to survey reefs around the world, gathering important data that is shared with scientists who analyse the data from a global perspective. The chart standardises changes in coral colour, providing a simple way to quantify bleaching and monitor coral health.
The Coral Health Chart is used by dive centres, scientists and school groups and anyone can contribute to their database.
Author: Matt Bolton (PADI CD #463559)