The pristine coral reefs are a colorful and wondrous site. Watching numerous varieties of fish, sponges and plants providing food for one another is what makes the underwater world breathtaking. The more life, the more spectacular the show!
The reef itself is a living, breathing animal made of a hard limestone exoskeleton, covered with a very thin film of living tissue, much like our own skin. The soft touch from ones hand is enough to puncture their tissue against their boney skeleton.
Have you ever touched coral and felt that slimy film on your hand? Well…this may sound a bit harsh but that would be, coral guts. Yes, sad but true. Once the coral is exposed, much like humans having a deep cut with no treatment, bacteria & infection will set in and cause these beautiful reefs to die. If you’ve ever seen a dead reef, it’s not a pretty site, there’s no color, a horribly baron and gloomy scene.
A simple fin kick too close to the sand/coral is also harmful; some divers are unaware of their dangling gauges/consoles and what damage they do to the corals.
Buoyancy control is the chief cause of the physical damage by divers and is almost always associated with being too heavily weighted. Learning to maintain neutral buoyancy; hovering 3-4 feet above sand/coral will keep divers safe from stepping on or frightening these magnificent creatures.
Wet suit & gloves keep us warm, comfy and protected from cuts, stings, scrapes & burns, yet neither protects the coral from us unless we practice good diving etiquette.
The world wide diving population has continued to grow at a rate of 20% per year with 10 million certified divers in the United States alone.
Understanding and respecting the u/w environemt, being aware of our surroundings, using good judgment along with quality instruction insures one to be a great diver.
We must remember we are a guest in their home, it’s important to keep Mother Nature free from harm, ALIVE & BEAUTIFUL!!!
the scuba lady…