Lately we have blogging about fantastic snorkeling and diving destinations throughout the world’s oceans that we would love to spend time discovering. Open-water excursions often involve several other people, either consisting of your own crew or other near-by boats, each individual having an impact on the health of the reef. In the Florida Keys alone, there are more than 700,000 snorkelers and divers year round exploring this magnificent destination. It’s important to follow proper etiquette at all times to help maintain the life and beauty of reefs.
The number one most important thing you can do to protect the reefs when snorkeling or diving is never directly touch or make contact with the reef. Just lightly touching the reef can cause damage to the coral, and surrounding ocean life. Many people forget but you can become cut or stung by specific species of coral. Also, pay close attention to where your fins are at all times, they can stir up sands that will suffocate the corals and animals living among them.
Before jumping into the water, ensure that all equipment is secured. If snorkeling or diving equipment were to become loose while in the water, and make contact with the coral, it could have life threatening effects to the coral and its animals.
Never ever touch, capture, feed or ride the marine species living at the reef. Any one of these actions will not only stress the animals, but can also disrupt the entire reef ecosystem. It’s important to keep a safe and comfortable distance from the reef, and animals living there.
What do you think are the most important etiquette rules to follow when snorkeling and diving? Let us know your thoughts on our Monterey Boats Facebook and Twitter pages, or in the comments section of this blog!
And don’t forget, before entering the water, locate proper points of entry and exit for the reef! This will help ensure the safety of the reef, and its snorkelers and divers.