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?
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.
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
Good Fish Guide
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.
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.