You will be interacting with new and intriguing underwater organisms. Some will swim up to you curiously, while others will flee. You may be swimming through kelp forests, through overhangs and passages, or over coral beds. 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.
Divers approaching fish can scare them away. Photography flashes can disturb fish, especially if they are resting in caves and overhangs. Move quietly and gently to cause less disturbance.
Making physical contact with the reef can cause it to break its protective mucous-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. If you are doing surveys or research and need to actively interact with the marine life, the interaction needs to be done in a responsible and protective way so that you cause only minimal disruption to the environment and organisms.
Chasing, grabbing, touching, turning over marine animals, and generally disturbing them in their natural environment can be very harmful and is generally 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.