Scuba diving is arguably one of the world’s most spectacular leisure activities, especially here in San Diego. However, while this sport doesn’t obstruct marine life, it can threaten marine environments if done negligently. This blog will cover how to protect marine life while scuba diving and why you should dive with a diver instructor who cares about underwater ecosystems. From interacting with marine life to mastering your equipment and keeping the ocean clean, here’s how you can protect marine wildlife on your next scuba dive.
Look But Don’t Touch
While exploring the gorgeous underwater world, it is vital that you do not touch, hold, or ride any marine life you may see. While it may seem inoffensive to touch a sea creature swimming by, it can potentially harm them. There are many fish and aquatic creatures that are covered in slimy mucus. This mucus helps deter predators and protects them from infections. By touching them, you’re destroying the coating and putting the sea creature at risk. Whether the animal can be harmed or not, it’s always best to observe and appreciate the beautiful sea creature from afar without touching them.
Don’t Chase or Get Too Close to Animals
The last thing you want to do is alter an animal’s natural behavior. Doing so will not only prevent you from seeing the creatures in their natural habitat, but abnormal behaviors can cause the entire ecosystem balance to fall apart. Animals can become stressed when they’re disturbed. That’s why you mustn’t give the animals a reason to feel stressed or agitated. Don’t chase them or get too close. In the worst-case scenario, sea creatures can become nervous, causing them to permanently change their behavior and migration patterns. Simply appreciate their sight from a distance and let them do what they do.
Don’t Feed the Fish
We all know it’s tempting to bring your own food to lure fish closer to you in your dive. While your intentions may be pure, they can have severe consequences on the underwater ecosystem. Human food is not meant for fish, and by feeding them food that isn’t found in their natural habitat, you can negatively affect their health. The worst part is once fish start associating humans with food, they’ll eventually stop performing natural tasks like finding their own food or cleaning algae. This can cause an imbalance in the ecosystem, which only leads to bad news.
Master Your Equipment
While diving, it’s easy to forget how bulky your diving gear can be. You’re a lot larger with your tanks and fins on, so it is easy to accidentally cause damage to the ecosystem. Mastering your equipment and being aware at all times can prevent any accident that can cause damage. Make sure your gauge and regulator are tucked away so that they don’t drag onto anything while diving. It’s also a good idea to stay away from the ocean floor as it’s home to stingrays and many other creatures.
Clean Up the Ocean
You don’t have to organize an ocean cleaning event to keep the ocean clean. If you notice any trash or debris while you dive, remove it and bring it back with you for proper disposal on the surface. Little acts of good can make a big difference!
La Jolla Cove
One of the best scuba diving sites in San Diego is La Jolla Cove. It is an ecological reserve that is protected by the State. Since it’s highly protected, there are a few things you need to know before going there. One thing is that you are not allowed to take anything from there. When people go scuba diving, it’s normal to want to take a souvenir to remember the trip, like a shell or a stone. Unfortunately, it is illegal to take something from the ecological reserve. However, it is okay to take pictures and videos of your underwater adventure! If you don’t have an underwater camera, don’t worry! San Diego Scuba Guide can take pictures of your dive! We offer photo packages after your trip so that you can keep a life-long memento of your underwater escapade!
Choose a Responsible Dive Instructor
Now that you know how to protect marine life while scuba diving, you can do your part to make a difference. However, putting your new knowledge into action can be difficult. That’s why it’s a great idea to work with a dive instructor that cares about marine life and underwater ecosystems as much as you do. At San Diego Scuba Guide, we care about preserving the aquatic environment as much as we love to dive. That’s why we guide divers in a way that will give them the ultimate diving experience while not disturbing underwater life. To book an eco-conscious scuba tour, give us a call at 1-858-397-8213 or click here!