MARTI Tips for “Reef Friendly” Diving
Of course we know that divers are some of the strongest and most effective advocates for coral reef conservation, but it’s always good to review. MARTI – the Mesoamerican Reef Tourism Initiative – has provided a list of simple guidelines to become a “Reef Friendly” diver. There are also lists for “Prior” to your dive, “Photo and Boat”, and “At Shore” available on the MARTI website.
- Never touch corals; even a slight contact can harm them and some corals can sting or cut you.
- Carefully select points of entry and exit to avoid areas of reef.
- Make sure all your equipment is well-secured.
- Make sure you are neutrally buoyant at all times.
- Maintain a comfortable distance from the reef.
- Practice good finning and body control to avoid accidental contact with the reef or stirring up the sediment.
- Stay off the bottom and never stand or rest on corals.
- Avoid using gloves and kneepads in coral environments.
- Take nothing living or dead out of the water, except recent garbage.
- Minimize contact with marine life.
- Never chase, harass or try to ride marine life.
- Do not touch, handle or feed marine life except under expert guidance and following established guidelines.