How to be a responsible Scuba Diver
Being a responsible scuba diver is important for your own safety, the safety of others and for the longevity of marine eco-systems. The great news about being a responsible scuba diver is that it has a major feel good factor, and together we can make a difference and raise awareness – all of which leads to maintaining the incredible dive sites we have around Melbourne.
Here are some tips for responsible diving, how they help and how they can help you in your daily life too!
Have an appropriate certification to dive:
If you want to dive, get certified! This not only increases your personal safety underwater, it also means you’ll learn about how to dive to limit your impact on the coral reef and marine life. This means that dive sites stay preserved for you and other divers to enjoy dive after dive. If you are not certified to dive, sign up for the PADI Open Water Course – you can even start learning online from home now! Once you are a certified diver you’ll be recognised as a diver by dive centres all over the world – meaning more places to explore and more buddies to meet and dive with as soon as you can travel again!
Don’t touch the coral reef or marine life:
Did you know that corals are living animals? Corals need to be treated with the same respect you would give other creatures. Touching corals can lead to nasty stings and, as humans, we can actually infect the reef by having different natural bacteria and micro-organism on our skin. Contamination from humans can be deadly for coral reefs, and for the fish living there. Hard coral is often covered with a thin layer of live tissue which protects it, but when touched by humans, this layer is damaged and no longer functions.
The basic rules of sustainable scuba diving are: (1) don’t touch the corals and (2) don’t take any coral or shells out of the ocean.
Be in control of your movements:
Having good control underwater comes through proper training and supervised practice. If you are not a certified diver, sign up for a Discover Scuba Diver program here in Melbourne – you’ll learn some basic skills to keep you and the reef safe, followed by an amazing dive in the ocean with an instructor. If you want to get certified, take the Open Water Course and commit to learning to dive, or, to develop your diving skills further, why not take the PADI Advanced course? Being in control of your movements makes you look more accomplished underwater and you’ll be ensuring the longevity of the reef by not making contact with it. As an ‘in control’ diver, beginners will look up to you and follow your example.
Control your buoyancy:
Divers with good buoyancy control are looked up to wherever they dive. Be a good role model with excellent diving skills and you’ll gain the respect of your buddies in no time. Good buoyancy control also means that your air will last longer so you can dive Melbourne’s best dive sites for longer. You’ll also be able to manoeuvre better meaning you can get up closer to the marine life. You’ll also reduce your stress and anxiety level in the process – meaning more relaxing and comfortable dives.
Have the right gear – and the right fit:
If you want to look and feel great underwater, you have to have the right equipment, and it has to fit correctly. Oversized gear or a ‘too-snug’ fit is both uncomfortable and unsafe. Ask us about what gear you should have and how it should fit to give the best performance. Make sure that all gear is tucked away and that nothing is trailing or dangling which can cause to damage to the reef or even lead to entanglement.
Protect our oceans:
It’s increasingly important to be environmentally responsible and try your best to reduce your environmental footprint. Pick up any trash that you see while diving and others will follow your example. Role model good behaviour at home too. Try to reduce your use of plastic and think twice about buying items that are overly packaged. Be a trailblazer and get active on social media about what you are doing to reduce your own plastic consumption and inspire others.
Educate yourself – and tell others:
The more people know about something, the greater their interest in protecting it. Learn about corals and marine life and share your findings with others – especially children. Children love to learn and you’ll be helping to create the next generation of scuba divers who, like you, will want to protect our amazing underwater environments.
Be an Ocean Advocate:
Be a diver everyday by staying up to date on global issues such as climate change and overfishing. Join online conservation groups and be a leading voice on social media.
Share you underwater pictures and talk with your friends, family and neighbours about your adventures and experiences when scuba diving – the more divers there are, the more powerful our collective voice becomes.
So are you ready to learn to dive in Melbourne with us? We’d love to be a part of your underwater adventures! If you’d like more information or to make a reservation, fill in our online contact form, or send us an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ocean Divers is a PADI Five Star Instructor Development Centre and a Scubapro Platinum Dealer. Established since 1972, Ocean Divers is the longest operating dive store in Melbourne.
We look forward to scuba diving in Melbourne with you soon!