Coral reefs are under threats from many sources, and numerous scientific studies have unambiguously shown that dive tourism can be a source of coral reef damage. By learning and observing reef friendly diving practices, the individual diver or snorkeler can minimize the impacts of their visits to coral reef ecosystems.
To that end, we provide the following “Reef Friendly Diving Practices” that have been developed and endorsed by authoritative sources* as part of their efforts to protect coral reefs from further damage.
1. Kick up sand/sediment with your fins.
2. Feed or attempt to feed fish or any other marine life.
3. Spear, hook or capture any marine life
4. Harass, chase, or try to ride marine life such as turtles, manatees, sharks, etc.
5. Take rocks, pieces of coral, shells, or any other parts of the natural habitat
6. Dump or throw anything overboard.
1. Avoid touching or contacting corals or other reef dwelling organisms
2. Wear a t-shirt rather than oils or lotions to protect your skin from the sun.
3. Where available, ask for a pre-dive briefing on the local reef ecosystem before you dive.
4. If you are on a private vessel, make sure that the boat captain does not run aground, or anchor on the reef.
*Adapted from: (1)United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI). 2001; and (2) Voluntary Standards for Marine Recreation in the Mesoamerican Reef System, ICRAN Mesoamerican Reef Alliance Standards and Code Taskforce. 2007
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