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Discover Our Coastlines - DOC
Dear fellow snorkelers
Over the last 13 years we have noticed that most first-timers to snorkeling stood in amazement at what lies at very shallow depths along coasts worldwide. DOC’s main objective is to create an awareness of this beauty and splendor by involving people with well-developed social networks commensurate with programs getting the youth into the water. We want people young and “young of heart” to talk about their snorkeling experiences and thus empower them to start exerting pressure on local governments and industry to do more in protecting the World’s coastlines.
We are currently developing this concise webpage at: www.greenislandadventures.com/DOC.htm ,to share our views and experiences with all willing participants; as well as offer discounted and free snorkeling gear to all who wants to get more involved in this initiative around the world to give away to disadvantaged youths along coast lines around the world with emphasis on Afrca and Asia. We know that it is much harder to convince adults to change their fishing and sea harvesting habits and that by exposing the youth to the beauty of the ocean and exposing them to snorkeling this might lead to better managed reefs in future..
We are not an organization requiring nor asking for any financial assistance , we just want people to enjoy themselves, talk about their experiences under water and believe that nature’s beauty will do the rest to sensitize them and others to protect and preserve our coastlines from exploitation and polluting. If you want to donate masks and snorkels used and new to us we will send them to areas where we already established contacts with local dive shops and resorts.
Don’t dive when You feel uncomfortable with ocean conditions and also tell a friend or family member where you will dive – better still take them along and share your experience. The golden rule is never to go snorkeling alone.
“What’s up DOC?”
Respect the reef
If it bothers you that the dive boat crew litters the ocean; if it saddens you that a boat uses its anchor and not mooring buoys; if it irritates you that other divers touch coral; if it frustrates you that the dive brief doesn't include conservation guidelines then it is down to you to help set an example for good diving practices.
It is all too easy to imagine that most if not all divers have an inherent respect for the ocean. However we know that this is not entirely true these guidelines are a sensible and timely reminder to all divers and dive operators to take increased responsibility for preserving the precious coral reefs.
In the water
Avoid all physical contact with corals and marine life; even the slightest touch can crumble sponges or remove the surface of corals and do damage that takes corals years to recover from. Whilst touching marine life is an unforgivable intrusion into the underwater world. e.g. puffing up 'puffer fish', riding turtles, collecting shells.
Do not feed fish; Numerous studies have shown that feeding fish disrupts their normal normal feeding patterns and his harmful to the fish.
It leads to a reduced ability to capture natural food, makes them dependent on people and they lose their natural wariness of people, leading to aggressive behaviour.
It may also be harmful to divers especially when attempting to feed fish with poor eyesight but a strong sense of smell! e.g moray eels, groupers, they might easily mistake your hand for the food!
Don't litter the ocean; even biodegradable items such as banana skins and orange peel can be mistaken by fish and marine mammals and shouldn't be thrown overboard. Worse still are plastic water bottles, snack wrappers, cigarette butts and waste food. Take a carrier bag with you and offer to collect rubbish for safe disposal. How many times have you seen divers and boat crew throwing their cigarette buts into the ocean?
Take nothing out of the sea, except recent litter; use your judgment - most floating items pose a threat for marine life - for example plastic bags cause a significant hazard to turtles that confuse them for jellyfish, ingesting them and then dying. However some older debris (old tires, dead sea shells) may already have formed habitats for some marine life.
Practice good buoyancy control; peak buoyancy control is key to enjoying a relaxed underwater encounter minimising the risk of contact with corals or rock formations.
Adopt appropriate finning techniques for the conditions; mid water column diving might warrant a regular kicking motion whilst a frog-kick or gentle flutter kick could be more appropriate for closer proximity to corals and the sea bed to avoid kicking up sediment.
Ensure all equipment is well secured so that it doesn't drag or catch on corals; being able to locate your gauges and octopus without looking is not only sensible diving practice it avoids items knocking or snagging on corals.
Adhere to all local dive rules and regulations; each dive location may have separate rules that should be acknowledged. Find out and adhere to these guidelines for safe and enjoyable diving.
On land / boats
Encourage and support the use of dive moorings; choose and reward dive operators that use fixed moorings at dive sites. Dropping an anchor overboard can cause monumental damage to coral reefs and the surrounding environment.
Learn more about coral reefs, fish and marine creatures; the more you learn, the more fun you can have sharing your knowledge and identifying items underwater and, chances are, you'll understand more how precious these creatures are.
Don't buy souvenirs that feature items taken from the sea; corals, sea shells, starfish and sponges have been pilfered from the sea to make gaudy souvenirs and trinkets. These items belong in the sea, not in the bathroom.
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