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Wildlife Rules: The Do’s and Don’ts with Aquatic Creatures

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By: Lauren Kieren

When I was asked to write an article on “the do’s and don’ts with aquatic creatures,” I thought to myself… Sure, that’s easy. The entire piece can be summed up like this:

You can hurt it; it can hurt you; don’t touch it.

It really is that simple. However, I understand that may not be the most informative approach to this topic so I’ll give it another shot! When we descend below the surface, we’re venturing into a completely new world. We’re weightless, gliding through the water, often observing the beautiful marine life swimming along reefs, wrecks, rivers and springs.

We are a guest in this alien environment

We are there for the simple pleasure of experiencing a different world that does not belong to us; it belongs to the creatures that live in it. Like any respectable guest, we should be courteous and considerate, not create messes, break things or hurt those who live there. Here are a few reasons why…

You can hurt it  

Most aquatic creatures and coral have a mucous lining that protects them and keeps them healthy. If we harm that protective lining, we expose them to risk, infections and diseases.

It can hurt you

The reality for aquatic creatures is that they are either the catch or the prey.  Since this is the way their world works, they have built in defense mechanisms to protect them from being the catch of the day.

These defense mechanisms come in many forms such as spines, sharp fins and certainly sharper teeth.  Some creatures are also packing major heat in the form of poisonous chemicals in their spines such as lion fish, rock fish and scorpion fish.

If you get handsy with aquatic creatures, understand if you get cut or stung – you are exposing yourself to not only a painful experience but also bacteria present in the water that can make your healing process extremely difficult.  In addition, you’ve stressed the aquatic creature and likely changed its natural behavior to avoid humans in the future.

The bottom is off limits

Whether you’re diving a reef, wreck, river, spring, etc., it is extremely important to remember the bottom is off limits because it is the home for a lot of aquatic creatures, even if you can’t see them.

Kneeling or laying on the bottom, even if it looks like a clear sandy area, can destroy the home of an aquatic creature such as garden eels, jaw fish, various crustaceans, isopods and more. Touching or bouncing off the coral can destroy it after it has taken years to form and may never return back to its original state.

I will never forget a dive where I saw a lettuce sea slug knocked off the coral, tossed up into the water column and spun in a spiral motion back down after a diver simply swam near it.  The diver didn’t touch or kick the bottom but they were not aware that their finning technique was disrupting the environment and creatures present.

Being in control of your hands and feet while swimming is crucial to avoid disrupting the environment.  Just because you’re off the bottom, does not mean you aren’t interfering with it.  Make sure the thrust of your fins is pushing the water up and behind you versus down to the bottom.

Lastly, always remember, you are a guest while visiting the underwater world.  Look but don’t touch; be courteous and considerate, do not create messes, break things or hurt those who live there.


To find out more about International Training, visit www.tdisdi.com.

From its humble beginning in 1994 to today, the group of training agencies Scuba Diving International (SDI), Technical Diving International (TDI), and Emergency Response Diving International (ERDI) form one of the largest diving certification agencies in the World – International Training. With 24 Regional Offices servicing more than 100 countries, the company today far exceeds the original vision the founders had when they conceived the idea on a napkin, sitting at a kitchen table in the early 1990’s.

Dive Training Blogs

Dream Dive Locker Build Out. Part I: Demolition (Watch Video)

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It’s finally here! Time to start building the greatest dive locker the world has ever seen! Part I: Demolition! #dreamdivelocker

This is the first of a series of videos showing the evolution of building out my dream dive locker. My dream dive locker needs to be dive gear drying and storage, dry storage, workshop, office, editing suite, You Tube studio and classroom. That’s a lot of functions for a small space!

The first step is planning out the space and demolishing the laminate flooring. Then I taped up the walls to get a feel for the space. We have a lot of work to do!

But finally we will have a purpose built space to house all of our dive equipment! Subscribe to our channel to follow our progress! 

Thanks for watching, Team!

James


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Dive Training Blogs

5 Ways To Use Less Gas When Scuba Diving

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5 Ways To Use Less Gas When Scuba Diving. There is no magic wand to having an amazing SAC rate. You have to do the work!

We’re covering how to perfect your core skills as a scuba diver to help you use your gas more efficiently, plus how the art of zen can help you breathe less gas whilst scuba diving.

How can I breath less gas whilst diving? A very common question I get asked all the time and on the subject of breathing itself. There is a right way and many different wrong ways to breath whilst scuba diving. I’ll explain the difference.

Thanks for watching, as always! D.S.D.O James


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