CORAL REEFS are the flowerbeds of the sea, home to a vast number of the creatures with whom we share this planet. Here are 7 do's and don'ts when you're underwater diving among the corals. (text by Simon Pridmore, photos by Mathieu Meur | Nikon D800E | Nikkor 16mm | 1/320 f8 ISO100 | Seacam | Ikelite DS200 strobes)
You may not be a town planner, a resort owner, a construction magnate or even a fisherman, but there are still things you can still do to help reduce the adverse impact of humans on corals.
1. DO support reef-friendly businesses when you go on holiday. Look for the passion on their website and in their publicity materials to tell them apart from those who are merely paying lip-service.
2. DON’T use chemically enhanced washing and cleaning products.
3. DON’T eat reef fish.
4. DON’T drop litter ANYWHERE!
5. DO pick up litter dropped by others.
6. DO conserve water.
7. DO learn more about coral reefs and their inhabitants and spread the word.
AND WHEN YOU DIVE OR SNORKEL…
DON’T touch anything! Really, no touchy-touchy! Apart from the fact that many of the reef structures are hard and sharp and cuts can easily become infected, a careless hand or fin stroke can have the same effect on the reef as a mini fish bomb. DON’T kick up sand near the reef either as stirred-up sediment can settle on the reef and cause the corals and algae to die from lack of sunlight, and finally… DO take a training course to learn how to fine tune your buoyancy and control your position in the water.