Protecting the Coral Reefs

Existing more than 500 million years, coral reefs, today’s “rainforests of the sea”, are vital to maintaining the biological diversity of our world’s oceans.  Like colorful undersea gardens, reefs offer a delicate balance of beauty, serenity and life. But if we don’ act now to halt the demise of earth’s treasures, we may lose them forever.

It’s a formidable task, no doubt!  But as a diver or marine enthusiasts, we can help protect the living reefs:

  1. Avoid purchasing souvenirs made from coral or any threatened or endangered marine species,
  2. Support the establishment of coral reef protected areas and encourage better protection and management for those that exist.
  3. While traveling, choose resorts and tour operators that properly treat all sewage and waste water.
  4. While operating a boat, navigate carefully to avoid contact with coral reefs and other vulnerable ecosystems such as sea grass beds and maintain engine equipment to prevent oil and gas spills.
  5. As a diver or snorkeler, choose tour operators that use mooring bouys or drift diving techniques whenever possible rather than anchors that can cause reef damage.
  6. Make wise decisions in selecting seafood by avoiding menu items that are caught or farmed using destructive or unsustainable practices including reef-kiking poisons, explosives and illegal equipment.
  7. Avoid purchasing tropical wood furniture or products obtained from clear-cut tropical forests causing siltation damage to coral reefs.
  8. As a diver, practice bouyancy control skills in a pool or sandy area before diving near a coral reef.  Make sure your gauges and equipment are secured to avoid accidental contact with the reef and never touch, stand on or collect coral.  Be an AWARE diver.
  9. Report all damage of coral reefs to dive operators, scientific or conservation groups that monitor coral reef health.
  10. Enroll in an AWARE Specialty Course with a PADI professional to increase your knowledge about coral reefs and other aquatic environments.

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