Divers don’t harm sea life
Scuba diving allows you to enter and explore a whole new world of colorful corals, critters of all shapes and sizes, cute looking fish that can seem to be curious about you too. Of course it is tempting to interact and touch. Nonetheless what many divers might not realize is that their interaction with the marine life might have a very negative effect. In general the interaction with marine life is allowed, BUT to a very limited extent. Minimum interaction helps us prevent ruining the fragile marine ecosystem not only when diving in Padangbai but in any other area. Unless you have legal authority to interact with anything underwater, it is totally unacceptable to touch, poke, take, or make any physical contact with underwater animals and plants.
Scubadiving with respect
Irresponsible interaction with aquatic wildlife can distress the creature and may result in serious harm not only to the plant or animal, but also the diver. One of the common purposes of scuba diving is to witness the beauty of underwater life. When divers come across interesting animals, it can be difficult to resist the temptation to touch or interact with them. Even worse, a diver grabs them for the sake of seeking popularity. There are unfortunately plenty of videos on the internet of ignorant divers who in pursuit of attention seriously harass octopuses and other sea critters by dragging them out of their holes, cornering them and so on. Such behavior is however absolutely out of line. It is dangerous to the critter as well as to the diver.
Feeding the fish during a dive is another example of irresponsible behavior. For most people, it is an entertaining experience but this is actually disrupting the balance of aquatic environment. Some factory-made fish foods are difficult for fish to digest, leading to intestinal dysfunction and bloating. Fish feeding has been proven to alter fish behaviors. The fish learn to associate the presence of divers with availability of foods. If a diver does not bring any foods, the fish may show aggressive behaviors.
It gets worse when a dive guide offers services more than fish feeding. Some allow their customers to lift turtles or sting rays above the water in order to take photographs. Stingrays and most aquatic animals cannot breathe above water, so such divers are basically torturing the animals. This is the main reason why it is illegal to take stingrays out of water in many countries. We at OK Divers in villge of Padangbai care deeply for the underwater world. Our diving instructors put great effort into making responsible divers of our Open Water Diver students and set a good example for all diving guests.
Scuba diving is not meant to disrupt the aquatic environment. It is an exciting activity that allows you to discover and enjoy the beauties of underwater life. Be a responsible diver and avoid interactions with animals and plants as you may harm them and yourself. Take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but bubbles.