It is often difficult for beginners to stay away from the surrounding sea creatures during his first dives and to avoid to touch them. Indeed it’s very tempting, especially when your partner wants to take pictures as a memory! It is therefore necessary for a diver to know that his or her behavior is not without consequences for marine life. That’s why he or she should be aware of the followings reasons.
Many marine creatures are very delicate.
Sea cucumbers, starfish and corals are very fragile animals. Just by touching them, we can damage their tiny structures. To prevent this from happening, some creatures know how to defend themselves but it always comes with a price. Sea cucumbers, for example expel their intestines when being manipulated which is dangerous for them especially when they have to do it several times.
Men can spread diseases
With protective sunscreens, most divers cheerfully abuse of, and our own bacterias, we unknowingly damage marine wildlife. When we touch a fish, the bacterias propagate to corals and after a while, ends up killing it. As a small reminder: do only use sunscreens with mineral filters, less harmful to environment.
The protective layer of fish mucus
Many fishes secrete mucus to the surface of their skin, which serves as a barrier against external environment. By touching sea creatures, men alter this protection and therefore make the fish more vulnerable to contamination. At the end the fish loses its natural ability to fight against infections, weakens and dies.
Careful with the venomous fishes
Some fish, to defend themselves or to hunt, do not hesitate to use their venom. Some of them are extremely dangerous for humans. Only push in a shell is enough to end completely paralysed! So be careful, if you care about your life, do not touch them!
For all these reasons, just enjoy the pleasure of watching wonders of the sea and don’t hesitate to take beautiful pictures. As a diver you have the duty to preserve marine flora and fauna for the next generations, so keep in mind that a simple caress, a small gesture apparently so trivial, can be fatal to nature and sometimes … for mankind!