As scuba divers, we are given the good fortune to see what few others have the magic of an underwater world. But times are changing and the ocean is becoming more accessible than ever before. A sea of change is in the air, and sadly divers are getting a front row seat at the human destruction that is plaguing our waterways. Lately, it seems like the greatest wonder of the ocean is how it’s still alive after everything we are putting it through.
With coral bleaching, plastic whirlpools and invasive species at the forefront of the environmental news, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that our lakes, rivers, and oceans are in dire need of help.
Even though scuba divers are some of the most eco-conscious people on the planet, we aren’t perfect, and there is always room for improvement.
The age-old saying: “take only pictures, leave only bubbles” is probably the single most important rule of scuba diving.
There is so much beauty in the underwater world it is tempting to want to collect and bring home memorabilia from our adventures. What most people forget is that we are visitors to the marine realm and as such we should act accordingly.
Scuba diving is not a place for souvenir shopping. Diving and collecting trophies have long become a thing of the past. The only thing you should be taking with you when you leave your dive is photographic memories recorded on your underwater camera.
As beautiful as they might look, lionfish are a big invasive problem. I’m not an advocate for hunting, but when it comes to these destructive fish, something needs to be done to contain the population.
Lionfish originally come from the Indo-Pacific region of the globe and first made their appearance in the Atlantic during the late 1980s when someone mistakenly introduced them to the ecosystem. Having no natural predators in this new area, the species has exploded and taken over much of the Atlantic and Caribbean waters, out-competing and even preying on the native fish species.
Lionfish have become such a menace to the North and South American continents that there are dozens of sustainable organizations that sanction hunting events and group collections trying to keep the growing population at bay. Most of these environmentally friendly organizations even go as far as to train divers on how to harvest lionfish safely and responsibly.
Dive with a purpose, dive to get rid of lionfish!
First learning to scuba dive can be tough (especially if you are not incredibly comfortable in the water). There is so much bulky gear to get used; buttons to tinker with; gauges to keep track of and then there’s that ever-elusive neutral buoyancy.
Every year, tonnes of rookie scuba divers destroy many decades of coral growth in a single fin kick without knowing any better.
Don’t wait until you’re hovering above a coral reef to perfect your buoyancy. By practicing your scuba skill in a controlled environment free of currents, waves, and seemingly endless depths, you are setting yourself up for diving success. Pick a pool or shallow sandy bottom lake where you can spend the time and figure out how your body moves, floats and responds to the water.
By practicing perfection you are not only minimizing the risk to the critters around you, but you are making yourself a safer scuba diver.
In the big spectrum of things a single piece of garbage may not seem like much, but when multiplied by thousands of divers all over the planet, picking up one piece of garbage on a single dive could actually change the world.
Let’s get every scuba diver into the habit of leaving the dive location better than the way they found it because when it comes to keeping the ocean clean, every little bit counts!
Take your scuba one step further and make every dive count. In this day and age, people love to combine travel with volunteering. It’s a fulfilling and rewarding experience that allows travelers to explore a new country while giving back to the community at the same time.
Given that 70% of the globe is covered in water there is always so much to do in the realm of ocean conservation and never enough hands to do it. By spending your vacation reef monitoring, animal tagging, fish counting, you can aid scientists in the gathering of valuable information that can contribute to groundbreaking restoration efforts in our lakes, rivers, and oceans.
Tonnes of environmental initiatives have been launched all over the world. WWF shoreline cleanup, Project Aware, Earth Hour… there is a pretty long list of great things happening in the ocean, and often scuba divers are the ringleaders.
Now more than ever divers need to take a stand. Knowing what is eminently happening to our lake, rivers, and oceans, try to become a part of this blue movement and join a local initiative. Even a simple hometown marina cleanup can tip the scales towards a better and more eco-friendly tomorrow.
When a person falls in love with an animal, they will forever want to protect it. By teaching people about the wonders of the underwater world, through aquariums, documentaries, and photography, we help them fall in love with some cool critters and instill a sense of respect for the ocean.
Knowledge IS power, and by educating non-divers, we can captivate people’s hearts in the same way we were captivated the first time we tried scuba diving.
When people think of being an environmentally friendly diver, they think it only happens once you are geared up in a wetsuit and heading under the waves, but being a sustainable scuba diver happens as much on land in the pre-dive prep as it does in the water.
Anything that we put on our bodies before diving inadvertently makes its way into the water column. Sunscreen, lotions, conditioners and other beauty products are very toxic to marine plants and animals, especially corals. Steer clear of these products before diving and opt instead to embrace a natural salt hair, wear a hat to keep the sun off your face and lotion up after your finished playing in the water.
You don’t need to book a 10-hour flight and stay at a resort down south to be able to scuba dive.
There are plenty of diving adventures just waiting to be had in your own backyard (unless you live in the middle of the desert). Consider staying close to home next time you get the dive bug and wet your gills in some local watering holes. You’d be surprised at all the neat things you might discover around your home country.
Discover your home country and help save the environment at the same time; sounds like a win-win to me.
It’s no longer appropriate and often frowned upon to touch, grab or handle underwater creatures.
Not only is touching marine life dangerous for the environment and species itself, but it can also be hazardous for you. There is a smorgasbord of marine animals that are venomous, poisonous and just downright aggressive. If that is not enough, there are also aquatic creatures that are uber sensitive and susceptible to disease and sickness when poked or prodded.
Be a friend to the fishes and enjoy a hands-free dive!
It ain’t easy being green in a day and age where everything is plastic and it’s cheaper to throw something out than actually repair it.
For scuba divers who live and breathe underwater, it’s easy to forget how privileged we are to enjoy some of the most astounding ecosystems on the planet. Given the state of our oceans, it’s not enough anymore to sit around and hope that nature can rebound. If we want to save the marine world we need to start taking action – NOW.
The silver lining? Not to make light of a bad situation, but in general scuba divers are some of the most eco-friendly people on the planet. Can you blame us, I mean some of our favorite pastimes involve getting up close with dainty little creatures and fragile ecosystems. Let’s find that drive and passion for starting the blue movement. Let’s get people diving in symbiosis with the underwater environment.
Of all these eco-friendly dive suggestions, which point would you rate as the most important for a better, healthier tomorrow and why?
Sometimes finding a good dive spot is easier said than done. Shore diving around Saint John, New Brunswick is a testament to how unpredictable the Bay Fundy can be.
No matter what level of diver you are, scuba backroll entries are a fun-filled way to get off the dive boat and get into the water.
Sitting pretty right next to the gulf stream, Jupiter is known as one of Florida's best shark diving location. Drift along in the current as you enjoy an up-close encounter with the ocean's apex predators.
Forget the colorful piñatas and all-you-can-eat tacos, when in Mexico's coastal town of Zihuatanejo, it's all about the scuba diving!
Becoming a PADI Rescue Diver is a great way to further your knowledge and give yourself the tools to stay safe on a dive.
From planes to cars, diving Vobster Quay means experiencing a range of underwater sights and covering a lot of ground in little time.
The day is over and the sun is setting on a day of scuba diving but is it really time to hang up your fins, or do you dare slip back into the water at night?
Green initiatives are important and in Zihuatanejo, we had the opportunity to join forces with Zihro Plastic and Dive Zihuatanejo to lending a helping fin.
Whether your diving with turtles or admiring coral reefs, get ready to be wowed by the underwater beauty of Bonaire, the shore diving capital of the Caribbean.
For fresh bubbles, magnificent viz and spectacular wildlife encounters, now is the perfect time to explore the volcanic island of Lanzarote.
Mini blue scuba diving tank key ring with brass pick tool and o-rings
Compact scuba diving finger spool with 150ft of white line and a 4-inch brass double-ended clip
Compact underwater scuba diving hand reel with a 150ft of white line on the spool
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Large Aperture Standard Zoom Lens for Canon Digital DSLR Camera + 32GB Memory Card + Photo4Less Cleaning Cloth.
Ikelite TTL dual flash sync cord attaches two strobe’s to the underwater camera housing.
DUI heavy duty dry suit gloves with yellow liners available in sizes: S, M, L, XL
13-inch inflatable dive buoy with a 12 by 11-inch scuba diving flag surface marker
Bare SB System Mens Full Under-layer
Ikelite aluminum digital camera tray with dual handles
The Hydra 5000 WSRU is an all in one photo and dive light with wide, spot, red, and UV modes
Black Mares Cruise Roller Tauchen bag, perfect for scuba diving and traveling
Bare Sports 5mm men’s wetsuit made with elastek full-stretch nylon-2 and neoprene celliant liner infrared technology.
3PC curved armband glow in the dark slate.
Black Mares Dragon Scuba Diving BCD
Black scuba diving turtle fins
Scuba diving 4ft neon yellow surface marker signal tube with “Diver Below” print
Canon Macro Lens EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM – non Image Stabilised
Capture amazingly smooth shake-free video with the GoPro Karma Grip
Flexible Lightweight Portable Tripod for Projector DSLR Cameras and Go Pro
GoPro HERO6 Black Camera
Ikelite Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1 underwater camera housing in white
Bare drysuit trek boots designed for rocky shore entries, boat decks, and boat ladders
Bare drysuit drawstring scuba gear bag the perfect alternative for transporting a dry suit to-and-from the dive site
AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod and Bag with adjustable-height legs and rubber feet
Dry glove lock system that accommodates all hand sizes
GoPro dual battery charger conveniently charges two HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black, or HERO camera batteries simultaneously
SHOOT 6″ Underwater Dome Port for GoPro Hero 6/Hero 5/Hero(2018) Black Camera Diving Lens Hood Housing Photography with Waterproof Case Accessories
Bare 5mm evoke women’s full suit designed by Bare’s all-female design team. The suit has technically, innovative celliant infrared technology which increase circulation, body warmth and performance.
Rechargeable Ikelite NiMH battery pack compatible with Ikelite’s DS125, DS160, and DS161 strobes.
Ikelite underwater macro lens casing is comprised of an acetyl body with glass front and can hold lenses of 4.37 diameter x 3 inches (111 x 76 mm)
Suunto Vyper Novo wrist scuba diving computer with USB
Diving lens filter kit for GoPro HERO 5/6 which enhances colors for underwater video and photography conditions
Suunto SK-8 wrist compass with bungee straps, faster stabilization, and enhanced readability
Bare 7mm thick elastek dry suit hood
Ikelite photography strobe DS161 with NiMH rechargeable battery pack
If you’re not quite ready for the expense of big lights, this little video light goes perfectly with any GoPro setup
Ikelite compact ball arm for quick release handle
Capture amazingly smooth GoPro footage in the air with the GoPro Karma Drone
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens