May 16th is Endangered Species Day - a time to emphasize the importance of protecting species on the brink and the everyday actions that people can do to help protect them. Every tip from Project AWARE’s modernized 10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet can help the world’s most threatened marine species every time you dive and travel. For this month, Tip #3: Take Only Photos – Leave Only Bubbles is a no-brainer.
Experienced divers know that nearly everything natural found underwater is alive or will be used by a living critter. We know that taking coral, animals, shells and the like can deplete dive sites but also disturb the delicate balance underwater. It’s super important to be a positive role model every time we dive.
Did you also know that just being a good eco tourist can have a positive impact too? The simple act of diving in and being a knowledgeable and responsible diver can support some of the world’s most threatened animals like manta rays for example.
What can you do to be a good eco diver and tourist on Endangered Species day and every day?
1. Take only photos. You can also share your underwater images to support conservation.
2. Dive or snorkel to support local economies and help create valuable alternatives to unsustainable fishing.
3. Choose locally owned operators who employ local staff. Supporting alternative livelihoods for communities is one solution to overexploitation.
4. Make sure your guides follow procedures and local codes of conduct intended to protect species like mantas during viewing experiences.
Before you dive in, be sure pledge to follow Project AWARE’s 10 Tips for Divers.