Last week, the NUS Student Affairs Department invited The Hantu Blog to give a talk about dive conservation to amateur or budding divers.
The two hour workshop also included presentations by dive doctor Dr. Gregory Chan, and Singapore Underwater Federation President Stephen Beng.
I managed a half hour presentation that discussed the various ways a diver interacts with the natural underwater environment and how a diver can adapt an awareness and behaviour that minimises the impact of diving on the ocean environment.
Also discussed were how non-diving behaviour can also have a consequence on the environment such as littering on the coast. Of particular interest was the topic of consumer responsibilities such as choosing an environmentally-responsible diver operator, dive resort or liveaboard.
As a consumer, you have the responsibility to pay for services that are sustainable. Things to be aware of when planning your dive trip should include: Has the dive operator showed commitment towards sustainable diving practices? Does the dive resort discharge effluent fresh water into the nearby coast? Does the liveaboard have a septic tank and proper waste disposal management?
Your conscientiousness can help make diving a more sustainable activity, and your awareness from even before you learn to dive, could help make you a better diver. For example: Have you streamlined your gear so it doesn’t get snagged in coral? Are you proficient in buoyancy control so that you are able to avoid crashing and ‘walking’ on coral? Have you taken a skill refresher course if you haven’t dived in more than a year? How well do you know about the marine life around you so you don’t do anything that my disrupt their natural/wild behaviour?
If you’d like to organise a talk for your school or office, email us!