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  • Writer's pictureMako

Divers' choices matter

Updated: May 25, 2022

As divers, we are in a great position to have an impact on the environment we love to be in … not only in the way we behave underwater, but also in the choices we make when it comes to our dive destinations.

As tourism bounces back to pre-Covid levels, we should be aware of our potential influence and the power of our consumer choices on the future of the diving industry. This includes thinking carefully about which diving operators to support.

Eco-tourism has long been a catchphrase in the travel industry, and now eco-diving has entered the diving lectionary. Be aware, not all operators claiming eco-diving credentials are equal. There is increasing competition for this slender pool of customers, sometimes resulting in irresponsible management practices; poor supervision on dives springs to mind, as do rushed briefings, inadequate training of divers – you get the drift. These need to be brought to light and addressed, both for the sake of the industry, and most significantly, in my opinion, for the sake of the environment.

Most of us accept that divers and diving operations can have a negative impact on the environment, causing direct damage as well as indirect damage through pollution and development. Education and training are key in reducing environment damage caused by divers (Better divers) ,(Fellow photographers). But far beyond imposing necessary restrictions, penalties and fines, there is the infinitely more positive and long-reaching approach of promoting marine environment awareness through education, training, and interpretation.

There are many exceptional organisations involved in marine conservation, who are educating, training, supporting research and highlighting the importance of sustainability, at the same time taking action and seriously making a difference. Ghost Diving, earthdive, PADI Project AWARE and Green Fins to mention just a few.

There are also many outstanding dive operators around the world working at promoting marine conservation who have high-impact initiatives which involve scuba divers in conservation. Consider these when you make decisions about your next diving trip. For example, how about getting involved in a coral restoration project? Or in monitoring sea turtle populations? Or an underwater clean up event? Many options exist and for some, you may need some training. All part of the fun. Check the Divers & Conservation category in the Scubavox marine conservation organizations database for information of who is doing what, where.

So, for your next diving trip, use your consumer power, choose carefully, and be part of the change we all want to see.


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