There is more to being a diver than just exploring the underwater world and encountering different kinds of marine life. Proper diving etiquette is a fundamental part of this activity that you can carry on throughout your diving life. Keep in mind that you are just a guest when you venture into a marine ecosystem. As a visitor in someone else’s home, it’s only fitting that you observe good manners.
Interacting with marine life is a responsibility that you should take seriously. At Nemo Diving Center, we teach all our divers to respect marine life. Join our scuba diving Dubai trips for a rewarding underwater experience.
Here are some friendly tips that can help promote responsible encounters with marine wildlife and protect underwater sanctuaries.
Enter the water slowly and quietly
Enter the water as smoothly and quietly as possible. You might not be aware of it but sound travels better in the water. So the noise that you create when you enter the water can disturb aquatic creatures and drive them away. It’s also advisable to go slowly. Avoid creating too many bubbles as you explore your surroundings to appear less conspicuous to ocean inhabitants. The less attention you draw to yourself, the more chances you have to observe marine life.
Do not touch marine life
No matter how fascinating, underwater creatures are not domesticated animals that you can touch whenever you please. After all, the sea is not a petting zoo.
Marine animals such as turtles, rays, eels, fish, octopuses, whale sharks, and other species are delicate creatures. They can easily get stressed or injured when mishandled. It’s alright to be captivated by their beauty but keep your hands to yourself.
Not touching the aquatic residents is also for your personal safety and well-being. Be aware that some underwater creatures are equipped with certain defense mechanisms and touching them can make you vulnerable to bites and stings.
Keep off the bottom to avoid accidentally stepping on bottom-dwellers like stingrays that hide under the sand.
Master buoyancy control
Make sure that you’re aware of your flippers and leg movements to avoid disturbing animals, stirring up silt, and accidentally hitting a coral reef. Sometimes in the excitement, the frenzied kicking of your fins can cause irreparable damage to the corals. Establishing appropriate buoyancy control can help you have better control of your movements but this is not something that you can learn overnight. Buoyancy control takes constant practice to master that’s why the more you dive, the more opportunities you have to improve your skills. Aside from being mindful of your fins, you shouldn’t touch corals. They are fragile living organisms that can easily get damaged.
Keep a safe distance
Establishing a proper distance is also another important factor in responsible marine life interactions. Although it is normal for any diver to feel the urge to go near an aquatic creature, it’s recommended to keep a comfortable distance between yourself and the subject. Keep this in mind whether it’s a single animal or group. Doing this will not only increase your chances of better interaction with underwater residents but also protect you from aggressive animals.
Do not take anything from the sea
When you explore the ocean or sea, take only photographs but do not remove anything that belongs in the sea as a souvenir. You might be tempted to get a pretty shell or a starfish as a keepsake but gathering this kind of souvenir is prohibited in certain places. The best thing to do is to take some lovely shots and bring home memories that you can cherish for a lifetime.
Remember to observe proper manners when you venture into the aquatic world just as you would if visiting a friend’s house and chances are you’ll feel more than welcome among marine inhabitants. Happy diving!