Five tips for planning a sustainable diving holiday

Scuba diving is a great underwater experience to explore the beauty and nature that lies beneath the ocean. However, this pastime can have profound effects on coral reefs and marine life.

It is estimated that 88 percent of divers have at least one harmful contact with the reef during a dive from stepping on corals with flippers and kicking them and destroying boat anchors, especially if you dive with a company that is not environmentally conscious.

Such damage makes corals less likely to survive other stressors: overfishing, plastic waste, runoff from land containing pollutants, outbreaks of coral disease, and bleaching.

Ecotourism, when done right, can have positive environmental and social impacts, according to the Reef-World Foundation, the international coordinator of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Green Fins Initiative. The Green Fins initiative aims to protect coral reefs through eco-friendly policies that promote a sustainable diving and snorkeling industry.

Leticia Carvalho, Chief Coordinator of the Marine and Freshwater Division at UNEP, said: “Tourism is an important economic force whose development can have fundamental impacts on society and the environment, both positive and negative. Governments, citizens and the private sector all have a role to play in making tourism more sustainable. I hope the following tips will come in handy when you go on summer vacation.”

Here are some tips recommended by the Reef-World Foundation for planning a sustainable dive vacation when you decide to visit coastal locations.

1. Travel locally or fly responsibly and offset CO2 where possible

Travel locally or fly responsibly and offset CO2 where possible. Photo: Unsplash / Philip Myrtorp

When planning a trip, it can be easy to go to an island as far away as possible. However, there are many advantages to traveling locally. Rising sea temperatures due to climate change is one of the biggest threats to coral reefs, so we need to focus on how to reduce our carbon footprint. Staying closer to home can reduce your carbon footprint and save you money

So try to find a great destination near you so you can travel by ferry or bus. If you must fly, try direct. It’s tempting to book multi-stop trips when they cost less, but these routes often have higher levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

If you fly often, make it a habit to offset your emissions. Carbon offsetting means supporting clean energy projects to give something back to your greenhouse gas production. Some airlines allow you to do this when booking flights, but you may find other alternatives, e.g. B. buying carbon credits, where you have the flexibility to choose where your money goes.

Try to be aware of how individual airlines are working to do their part for the planet – this may include whether they are trying to reduce noise pollution, plastic waste and CO2 emissions.

Ultimately, while offsetting is a crucial measure in the clean energy transition, ultimately we need to reduce our overall carbon footprint by flying less and switching to renewable energy sources in our homes and mobility.

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