Course Outline

You will be interacting with new and intriguing underwater organisms. Some will swim up to you showing curiosity, while others will flee. You may be swimming through kelp forests, over coral heads, and beside schools of fish. But wherever you are, you carry a responsibility to the ocean realm. Interacting with the marine animals and sea life can be fun; however, here are a couple of points to remember.

Passive Interaction

Divers approaching fish can scare them away. Camera flashes can disturb fish, especially if they are resting in small crevices in the coral and rock overhangs. Move quietly and gently and try to cause the least disturbance possible.

Active Interaction

Making physical contact with the reef can cause it to break its protective mucus-like barrier. Foreign material and bacteria then can form, which will eventually kill the coral.

Making contact with fish by frequently feeding them different foods that are not usually in their diet can alter their behavior and can even stop them from feeding on their normal prey. Marine scientists, who need to actively interact with the marine life when doing surveys or research, do so responsibly and in a fashion that causes only minimal disruption to the environment and the organisms that call it home.

Chasing, grabbing, touching, turning over marine animals, and generally disturbing them while in their natural environment can be very harmful and is frowned upon. Remember, we are visitors to their ocean realm.

Nearly all injuries involving aquatic life result from human carelessness. It takes only a little understanding and care to help avoid potential problems.

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