Saturday, October 25, 2008

Recreational Divers Must Support Coral reefs Conservation

by Charles Roring
Divers both professional and recreational around the world are the first-hand eyewitnesses of dying coral reefs. Human induced activities that cause climate change such as burning fossil fuel, cut trees, reclaiming lands have direct impact on coral reefs. Every year scuba divers see the number of reefs is decreasing.
Divers can inform and encourage their friends to participate in saving coral reefs environment by reducing the burning of fossil fuel or cleaning up the beach.
To better inform their friends, they need educational materials about the importance of coral reefs to the livelihood of mankind. Nowadays, there are a lot of books, videos or websites that dedicate their contents for the conservation of coral reefs and marine environment. A very good website that I recommend is Coral. It provides handbooks such as Sustainable Tourism for Marine Recreation Providers, and Introduction to Coral Reef Ecosystems, Threats and Solutions.
Another resource which I say as very good is The Ocean Conservancy. It contains information on how to carry out coastal clean-up. The organization is also working on coral reef monitoring protocol that can be easily performed by recreational divers. It has a program called RECON – Reef Ecosystem Condition.
If there is anybody who is interested in experiencing real diving in order to know what it is like to breathe underwater and enjoy the beauty of coral reefs environment, he or she should take a diving course. There are a lot of diving schools around the world. In the US, there is Midwest Scuba, whereas in Australia there is Pro Dive.
Scuba diving is relatively an expensive sport. But it is not just a mere sport. It brings us closer to nature. If we can see by our own eyes how beautiful coral reefs are, we will support any efforts aiming at protecting our marine environment.
Dive schools must also emphasize subjects such as the conservation of coral reefs ecosystem, responsible recreational divers in their diving course curriculum.