[Coral-List] Divers and coral reef damage and a a two meter distance

brucewda at rogers.com brucewda at rogers.com
Wed Aug 7 09:58:43 EDT 2013

Dear coral-list readers,

I am a snorkeler of many years and recently, 2011, a scuba diver.  I too find myself getting really close to life on the reef for pictures.  Some rather amazing shots are all over a reef.  I have been on one reef, and I don't recall which one it was, where the rule getting off the boat was no gloves allowed.  When I asked why I was told that without gloves people touch so much less.  These guys are right.  I've never used gloves and I always dive in a shorty wetsuit.  Yes, I admit that once in a while I might brush, ever so lightly against a fragment of coral and I receive the nastiest of paper cut like injuries.  I'm not being silly here, these little things are more than annoying, they sting and last for days.  They are clear motivation to extend every effort to stay off the corals, don't touch anything.  Wearing gloves and a full wet suit might will allow me to survive being clumsy, no gloves and a shorty and you bet I'm keenly aware of my
 every movement near the corals, and everything else. This practice of no gloves could be extended to no full style wet suits allowed.I advocate the no gloves and shorty wetsuits along with effective buoyancy control.  Respect the reef or come back with raser cuts that won't heal for a week.

The ability of coral to cut, and other things to sting you is no mistake in evolution, it is to these delicate creatures survive by creating an incentive for other creatures to not disturb them.  Let's get that incentive working for their survival along with all the other protective and restorative actions we might find appropriate.

Bruce Davenport
Niagara Falls, Ontario


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