Project AWARE Courses
Project AWARE Speciality courses aim to familiarize everyone - divers and non-divers alike - to the issues facing our oceans and what we can all do to protect them.
As divers, it is our duty to protect our waters in all the ways that we can, and here are our top 10 tips for scuba divers to do so:
Become a Buoyancy Expert
It’s important for us divers to remember that marine plants, corals and animals are far more fragile than they may seem.
Unfortunately it is possible to destroy decades’ worth of coral growth and progression with even the slightest touch.
Becoming a buoyancy expert involves streamlining all your gear and being AWARE of your surroundings so as not to mistakenly bump into things or swipe your fin which might disrupt, damage or harm things around you.
Avoiding contact with the natural underwater environment is of paramount importance, so it’s always a good idea to keep your photographic equipment close and perfect your techniques for capturing the perfect shot.
You should also keep your diving skills up-to-date and fine-tuned so that buoyancy issues are not a concern.
Become a Role Model
Where ever you go and where ever you dive, it’s always important to set the right example for other divers whether it’s under the water or on land.
New divers are trained and certified every single day, and having good role models to look up to will help them to become better divers themselves.
Take Photos, Leave Bubbles
It’s important to remember that even the tiniest disruption can have an impact on the ocean's delicate balance – removing a shell, animal or piece of coral is not an isolated incident and will have an effect.
A diver’s motto should be to take only photos and leave nothing but bubbles.
Protect All Underwater Life
Divers should always be aware and respect the local environmental laws as well as the underwater life around them. Make the right choice not to chase, touch, handle or feed the underwater life as this could scare, aggravate or disrupt them.
Actively Remove Debris
Unfortunately there is a vast amount of waste that finds its way into our ocean’s depths and it can destroy habitats, injure or kill marine life and threaten our own health.
Ignoring waste whilst underwater is a waste of a dive – report and remove anything that shouldn’t be there. It’s also helpful to make smart purchases – firstly buy less, buy locally and buy green, eco-friendly products.
Choose Seafood Responsibly
As a seafood consumer, you play a vital role in the seafood industry and the impact it has on our oceans.
Harmful fishing practices and overfishing have terrible impacts on certain fish species, so it’s important to choose fish that is sustainably sourced.
It’s also important to encourage restaurant owners, shop owners and the general public to choose sustainably too.
Take Action, Now!
As a scuba diver you are one of the best and most powerful advocates for ocean protection there is.
Take action, take a stand and campaign for change – governments and the public will only take notice if you stand up for conservation.
You can raise AWAREness by sharing your own underwater pictures, sharing these tips with friends and family and reporting damages or illegal practices to the correct authorities.
Become an Eco-tourist
When travelling to a new place, make informed decisions about where to stay.
Many accommodation options will advertise their eco-friendly nature but be sure to do your research to examine exactly how the organisation is trying to be green.
Things to look out for include energy reduction efforts, water conservation, correct and efficient waste disposal methods, respect for local laws and cultures and the correct use of mooring buoys to prevent damage.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Before attempting to reduce your carbon footprint, make sure you understand and are AWARE of all the practices that can contribute to a heavy carbon footprint.
Also, look for ways to offset what you’re unable to reduce – we only have one planet and we all need to work together to look after it.
Whenever possible, try to fundraise or donate funds to aid the protection of our oceans – these organizations do a great job but they need all the help they can get.
The ocean is an excellent investment for divers as we all want the beauty of our underwater world to be visible to the next generation.
Donations can help grassroots efforts or even contribute to policy changes which will help to keep our ocean healthy and clean.