How to: Sustainable Diving
Diving on vacation is popular, especially in tropical climes with their colorful underwater panoramas. But exactly these unique marine worlds are endangered in many places due to overfishing, pollution, souvenir-greed or coral graffitis.
Meanwhile, many hotels focus on conscious diving tourism, control the amount of dives and the frequenting of specific areas or dive with beginners in not so sensitive coral riffs. But is this enough?
Here, we introduce three “green pearls” that go one step further and initiate in-house projects for the protection of corals, fish and beach areas.
Sustainable Diving in Thailand
In the Thai Andaman Sea, coral riffs are especially endangered due to pollution and coral bleaching. Guests of the sustainable boutique resort Zeavola on the island Koh Phi Phi can be a part of the project “Coral Freedom” and perform immediate aid.
While snorkelers are encouraged to collect old fishing nets or plastic waste during their tours, divers turn into underwater gardeners.
The voluntary coral protectors first learn the methods of new planting and reconstruction of coral riffs in theory, afterwards the newly studied knowledge is implemented directly underwater. Their probably most beautiful reward for their commitment is that they here enjoy one of the most impressive Asian diving territories.
An underwater paradise in Indonesia
Only one jump from the water bungalow and the hearts of divers already beat faster with encounters of groupers, mandarin fish and gray riff sharks. Misool Eco Resort on the small Indonesian island Batbitim is in the middle of a coral triangle (over 4.6 million hectare size) – here, an own house riff as a deck is as natural as the green in front of the door in our climes.
But noone in the resort takes this underwater paradise for granted. Here, diving enthusiastic guests collect broken off coral pieces in the “Reef Restoring Experience” and add them to existing structures. At least as important is the support of the national park ranger. Around the island, there is a no-take-zone of 465 square kilometers, in which fishing is controlled, as well as the beaches with turtle eggs or cliffs with shark eggs are monitored.
The resort also aims to have only local diving guides in the long-run – this way, the local community can be supported at the same time. A multi-year diving training program enables the consecutive practice units and certifications for interested locals.
Into a magical, Maldivian world with a marine biologist
In the Maldivian resort Coco Bodu Hithi, the connection of hotel business and science is used for the protection of the ocean. Marine biologist Chiara Fumagalli researches the ocean environment of the small island and works on education, information and protection campaigns.
The highlight for all diving fans: she takes guests with her into the magical light blue worlds and sensitizes them during snorkel and diving tours with her extensive knowledge on the fragile flora and fauna.
But that is not all: the employees of the resort collect data on the occurrence, wandering and biodiversity of turtles, manta rays and sharks. With the coral rehabilitation program, they additionally secure the survival of broken corals and monitor their growth.
So, the next time when you want to discover fascinating ocean worlds, why not find out if your hotel offers sustainable diving experiences!