The Green Fins initiative aims to protect and conserve coral reefs through environmentally friendly guidelines that promote a sustainable diving and snorkelling industry.
Camel Dive Club is proud to be a Green Fins Member and here are 10 points that every Camel diver/snorkeler should always have at the forefront of his/her mind when being in the sea:
Look but don’t touch
Chasing and touching can cause great stress to any animal. This can also transmit diseases or remove protective coatings of fish, mammals, invertebrates and other species. Always keep a respectable distance from all marine life.
Do not step on the coral
Whether swimming, diving or snorkeling you need to be aware of where you are putting your hands and feet at all times. Fins and feet cause the most damage to the fragile corals that grow in the light filled shallows of tropical seas. Careless wading or swimming around reefs takes seconds but the damage it causes takes a long time to recover.
Do not feed the fish
Feeding any form of marine life disrupts their natural feeding pattern and can cause them to act in an unnatural way around divers and snorkelers which can include aggression. Fish find their natural food source on the reefs and are their natural maintenance team. Without maintenance, algae and faster growing corals can quickly unhinge the delicate balance in a reef habitat.
Do not stir the sediment
Fish and corals find their homes anywhere where they will thrive. Divers should pay attention to avoid stirring up any sediment with their hands or fins. Settling sediment can spread disease as well as reduce the ability of corals to photosynthesize (the main source of their food supply). Smaller animals can get caught up in the disturbance, displaced and exposed to predation.
Never throw thrash into the sea
Marine pollution is a huge threat to the underwater ecosystems. Chemicals, cigarette ash & butts, plastic and anything that does not belong in the sea should be disposed of responsibly. Always pay attention to where you can dispose of your trash and be mindful of what you take with you on a trip out to sea by land or by boat!
Make sustainable life choices
Say no to the plastic straw, avoid plastic wrapped groceries and single use plastics, use eco friendly bags for shopping. Consume seafood caught and processed in a sustainable way. Rethink your cleaning cupboard and use environmentally friendly cleaning products. There are many more eco-freindly swaps to make. Just do it!
Practice good buoyancy skills
Practice makes perfect. Diving regularly, gaining experience and diving within your experience level improves your skills as a diver. Breath control, correct weighting and mastery of different Finning techniques will greatly reduce the chances of you making contact with any part of he marine environment other than the water of course!
Take part in conservation projects
Taking part in conservation projects both at home and when you are on holiday has a positive effect on the environment, helps to educate others and can provide vital information that could help conservation in the future. A little help goes a long way!
Don’t buy corals, shells or marine life as souvenirs
Tons and tons of marine life is removed dead or alive from the sea for the souvenir industry. Every species plays an important role in creating and maintaining the delicate balance in reef ecosystems so take pictures, keep your memories and leave the corals, shells and marine animals alive in their natural habitat for others to enjoy.
Don’t take marine life dead or alive
Removing species that would normally break down and go back into the food chain or taking shells that could be used as a home by something else once it has been vacated breaks the natural cycle and balance of things. Live by the mantra ‘Take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but bubbles.’
Together we can make a difference in sustaining and preserving the planets vast and varied oceans for future generations to enjoy. Every moment you act responsibly when diving, snorkelling, swimming and enjoying coastlines around the world is a step in the right direction.