The Jakarta Post
A snorkeler gliding underwater near metal structure with planted corals in Biorock restoration area in the village of Pemuteran, Bali. (Shutterstock/-)
Diving and snorkeling are said to contribute to coral reef damage as many divers and snorkelers have reportedly kicked, stepped on, touched or taken the coral, according to a study by the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB) released earlier this year.
The study, which was conducted on Panggang Island in Thousand Islands regency, showed that snorkeling had contributed to the damage of coral reef by up to 8.2 percent per year.
Concerning the aforementioned study, you do not have to be an irresponsible diver or snorkeler to be able to enjoy the breathtaking views of the seascape. Below are eco-friendly tips to practice when snorkeling, according to WWF and kompas.com:
Maintain safe distance
Do not swim too close or touch the underwater biota. The same rule applies if there is an animal that approaches you. When it comes to the coral reef, it is best to watch your feet. Do not step on or kick them because it can destroy their growth.
Always follow your snorkeling guide’s instruction whenever you are in the water.
Avoid contact with marine life
It does not matter how tempting or cute they are to be brought home as a souvenir, never remove seawater animals or plants, unless it is a trash that does not belong there.
Also, avoid having contact with marine animals, especially feeding them if it is not part of the snorkeling program that you are joining in.
By swimming well, you will be able to control your movement underwater and not stepping on the coral reef. Always make sure that your snorkeling gear is adequate and comfortable.
Those who have never snorkeled before may want to consider wearing a life vest.
Show some support
Support the conservation project in the area you are snorkeling. Aside from donating to the project, you also can participate in their beach cleaning activities. (wir/kes)