Scuba diving is an incredible sport that can help you develop a deeper appreciation of your environment. However, it is important to be aware of the potential negative impacts that diving can have on coral reefs and marine resources. The main negative impact of individual diving tourists is on the biophysical conditions of coral reefs. Divers can touch and kick coral reefs, causing them to break and be damaged.
Sand can be disturbed, covering and suffocating reefs. Chemicals can also damage and destroy coral reefs, so it's important not to dump anything harmful into the ocean. Divers with different levels of specialization have different impacts on coral reefs. In addition, there are risks associated with diving, such as decompression sickness (DCS), air arterial embolism, and drowning.
Nitrogen narcosis can also contribute to these problems. However, careful training and preparation make these events very rare. The diving industry is responsible for some damage to the marine environment, but if done ethically, it can be beneficial to the marine environment. Changes in ocean temperature and other human-caused damage are directly responsible for many coral discolorations.
The scientific literature is full of research on the negative impacts of diving tourism on coral reefs and marine resources. These include impacts on the condition of corals, the abundance and diversity of fish and marine life; water quality; the participation of stakeholders in decision-making; economic returns and livelihoods; law enforcement; the durability of institutions in changing leadership; the role of the private sector in carrying out tasks; and the recognition of traditional marine tenure. The diving industry, as well as travel-related services, can have a negative impact on the environment and actively increase the carbon footprint and emissions. As divers, we can educate others about human impacts and the importance of the marine environment.
This is the most powerful tool to raise awareness in society about these issues.