Coral Reef Etiquette for Ocean Explorers
Coral reefs are a gem for all ocean explorers. To visit one of these natural wonders is a fantastic opportunity to connect with the sea and explore marine life. When visiting coral reefs, divers must be prepared to take the necessary precautions to maintain and uphold the ecosystems’ integrity. Here are five coral reef etiquette tips:
Be an Educated Explorer
Before venturing out to sea, make sure to do your research. The more you know about the ecosystem you are visiting, the easier it will be to avoid unexpected situations and cause harm to yourself and the reef. With proper research on the location and marine life ecosystems, you will be prepared for common circumstances like expected tide patterns, poisonous marine life, common underwater conditions etc.
Leave the Sea Be
Our oceans are affected by every variable of pollution on land and sea. When approaching the sea, one must be mindful of our output into the sea. Very obviously, there is absolutely no littering. Quite the contrary, it would be stellar to collect debris as it comes your way. Although the ocean offers us so many gifts, none of those items should ever take a souvenir of your experience. Haven’t you heard the horror stories of divers cursed by taking souvenirs? I wouldn’t test the wrath of the ocean.
Look, But Don’t Touch.
Stunning colors, beautiful patterns and an abundance of sea life are a sight to see but never feel. We don’t blame you for being mesmerized by the diverse and fruitful coral reef ecosystems, but it is essential to always keep a distance. Even the most educated explorer can latch onto a reef for stability in a moment of carelessness or panic. In that case, we have now tampered with the ecosystem, and it may never fully recover from the damage that has been caused unknowingly. Stay far and clear from potentially destroying thousands of years of growth and scarring off vital marine life from that location.
Wear Smart Protection
Sunscreen is a person’s best friend for UV protection, especially when under the intense ray of sunlight at or under sea level. I hate to break it to you, but most sunscreens are not biodegradable and break down coral reefs. Remember to apply a biodegradable coral reef-safe formula to avoid any permanent damage as you dive deep. This is such a tiny task. Quite honestly, if no one ever mentioned it, how would someone know. Consider this your fair warning and do your part.
Secure Your Equipment
Imagine the panic as you’re swimming around a reef and a piece of your equipment begins to float away and suddenly hits a beautiful colored fish which then breaks off a piece of coral as it flows to its demise. Accidents are bound to happen. To the best of your abilities, be prepared to secure every piece of equipment fully. Even if you do not realize something floating away, we do not want to leave anything behind.