As divers we are increasingly aware of the danger our oceans are in from many factors such as debris, overfishing and global change. The sad reality is without change we will lose our oceans which in turn will mean the end of planet Earth!

What can we do as divers?

Project Aware

It is easy to think that no one person can make a difference, wrong! If every diver does their bit and educates family and friends, we can make a difference. There are two PADI online course that are worthwhile taking. First is the Project Aware course and the second is the Coral Reef Conservation course.

PADI PROJECT AWARE COURSE – this course goes through many of the problems our oceans are facing and what we can do to help.

PADI CORAL REEF CONSERVATION COURSE – another fantastic course teaching us about corals and what we can do to help preserve them, also teaches you the difference between soft and hard corals.

How can we get actively involved?

Every dive can become a dive against debris collection. If you see debris pick it up, as long as it is safe to do so, put it in your pocket or carry a small mesh bag to collect it in. 

As you can see from the photo, there is fishing line, lures and weights. This was collected in a pocket and then taken home to weight and sort and the data entered onto the Dive against Debris website. All this data helps organisations that are trying to preserve our oceans. Also maybe arrange or get involved with some beach clean ups. These can be good fun in a group and a worthy task at the same time.

Selsey Debris
Here is a recent photo from a short shore dive carried out at Selsey this year where one of our divers collected debris.

Ghost Fishing

Ghost fishing is the name given to discarded or lost commercial fishing equipment that is in theory still live, still catches fish and aquatic life and is a hazard to both the marine environment and diver alike. Commonly found on shipwrecks around the coast, we would not recommend that you try to free these due to risk of your own safety, but contact Ghost Fishing UK and report where and when you have seen them.

They are a charitable organisation that remove large fishing nets, a worth while organisation to support. This is just one way to support them, you can also donate or volunteer to help.

Finning and Trim Techniques

Unfortunately, the training provided on most course’s do not teach you the correct finning techniques or about good trim. Most new diver’s diver in an upright position with their fins facing down. Most of us started this way but with a little practice and work we can all improve.

Reason 1

To be horizontal moving through the water is easier. You are streamlined and therefore water resistance moving ahead and backwards is at a minimum. moving through the water in any direction is easier compared to swimming at it full-frontal. When a diver is streamlined, the thrust from each and every fin kick is translated into graceful movement. Progress from point A to point B and back again is more efficient, less work, uses less energy, uses less gas.

Reason 2

When a diver’s flat in the water, they meet maximum water resistance going up or down. This helps them to maintain position in the water column. Of course, this is a small effect compared to having buoyancy dialled in, but it’s nevertheless a factor. There is no temptation to kick to stay in place as there is with fins-down orientation.

Reason 3

A diver in horizontal trim is much less likely to stir up silt and mud or damage whatever is below them. In fact, when using the correct propulsion technique (frog kick generally) and by keeping the knees bent and thighs parallel to their lateral line, a diver can be a hand’s breadth from the bottom and move without disturbing anything at all.
Scuba Diving Trim

Good Fish Guide

We can ensure that we are only buying and eating fish from sustainable fishing. Did you know that very often fish are renamed to make them more appealing to us for example Rock Salmon – yes first thought it is a type of salmon. Wrong! It’s a Spiny Dog Fish / Cat shark!One exceptionally good website and app is the the Good Fish Guide. The definitive guide to sustainable seafood from the Marine Conservation Society. This App tells you which fish are good to eat, along with some suggested recipes for cooking them, and which to avoid based on whether they come from well-managed, sustainable stocks or farms. The guide includes almost every fish you could hope to find in UK shops, restaurants and markets, allowing you to make the best seafood choices. Any decent restaurant or fish monger should be able to tell you where the fish is from and if it has been sustainably caught.

Green Fins

What can we do to try and ensure the centres/resorts and liveaboards we are using are doing their part to protect the Oceans? One excellent resource for this is Green Fins.

Green Fins

The Green Fins initiative aims to protect and conserve coral reefs through environmentally friendly guidelines that promote a sustainable diving and snorkelling industry.

Green Fins is a proven conservation management approach which leads to a measurable reduction in negative environmental impacts associated with diving and snorkelling. The approach is proven and replicable, has been adopted by 11 countries and nearly 600 individual marine tourism companies since its inception in 2004.

Want to make a difference as you dive? Choose a resort that champions sustainable practices, cultivates environmental awareness, empowers local communities and protects marine life.