One of the many benefits of Freediving is that we have the opportunity to be one with marine life. The lack of bubbles and noise from freedivers allows for closer encounters, a more organic experience, and an insight into natural marine behaviour.
Here at Freedive Blue Marine we always want to ensure that we are acting in the best interests of both ourselves and our environment when we are underwater. This will keep us safe from unintentional harm, and also it will ensure the conservation and protection of our oceans and reef life.
Follow these step while freediving:
LOOK BUT DON’T TOUCH
Refrain from chasing or touching the marine life. Touching or harassing marine life is completely unacceptable behaviour. It can harm both the animal, and well as yourself. Always act with responsibility and respect when visiting the underwater world.
Corals have a natural barrier that protects them from disease. If you touch the coral, you break this natural biofilm, leaving them open to infection. Many divers think gloves give them free reign to touch everything – gloves do not protect coral.
Not only can touching sea life be harmful to the creature itself, but also to you. Much of the marine life you find around the Gili Islands (and in the ocean in general), have defence mechanisms, meaning that if you accidentally touch, or provoke them, they may defend themselves using these defences which can lead to injury, or even death.
BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR FINS & NEVER STAND ON THE REEF
Corals grow slowly and are fragile – they are easily damaged and take a long time to recover. One accidental scrape from you fin can result in either permanent coral damage, or best case scenario - damage that will take years to repair. The same goes for standing, sitting or resting on the corals. Having the correct buoyancy will help you with this.
WEAR ONLY REEF-SAFE SUNSCREEN
It is estimated that 4,000–6,000 tonnes of sunscreen washes off our bodies and onto coral reefs every year. Certain ingredients in sunscreens are toxic to corals and reef fish, and can cause coral bleaching. There are now reef-safe varieties that use alternative compounds that are much less detrimental to the marine environment. Do your research.
TAKE NOTHING BUT PHOTOS
If it is found there, it should stay there. Do not collect shells or corals. The same applies for shells on a beach. These provide homes for a wide variety of marine life including crabs and octopuses. You should also dispose of litter properly – leave nothing in the ocean, and only footprints on the beach.
THANKS FOR READING AND HAPPY FREEDIVING
Freedive Blue Marine, Gili AIr Freediving Centre...
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