Scuba Diving Holidays
Diving is a global activity, with divers
travelling all over the world to swim in the best locations,
particularly the coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef and the
Maldives. Sadly many dive sites are under significant threat
-rising sea temperatures from global warming, pollution, destruction
fishing practices have all taken their toll and there is now
serious damage to nearly a quarter of the world's reefs.
There is great awareness of environmental
issues amongst divers -try a search for the term 'Eco Dive' and
see how many Dive Centres come up. It is a shame then that many
do not even publish an Environmental Policy -if you ask to see,
and even challenge the policy, it is one way of raising awareness
of key environmental issues. There is a good list of Operators
following Eco Operator Guidelines at Project Aware.
Here are a few suggestions on
ways to make your diving more sustainable, and hopefully more
rewarding and enjoyable too:
- Record what you see and log
it with Earthdive
-a global research project in association with the United Nations
Environment Programme for recreational scuba divers to log sightings
of key indicator species.
- Utilise your diving skills by
volunteering for marine conservation and clean-up projects. The
Aware Foundation is a good starting place to find out more.
- Don't damage marine habitats,
especially slow growing coral, which you should avoid touching
at all costs. Practice neutral buoyancy so that you can keep
a safe distance from reefs, and choose entry and exit points
with care. Be careful not to disturb sediment when kicking out
with fins. Above all do not take home pieces of the living reef
or shells as a souvenir (and neither should you buy souvenirs
made from living marine organisms).
- Try not to disturb wildlife
-being calm and keeping a reasonable distance will encourage
animals to behave normally in your company. Particularly, do
not feed animals -it changes behaviour and brings risk of disease;
it also encourages them to approach humans, not all of whom have
their best interest at heart.
- It goes without saying that
you should never throw rubbish into the sea -it can cause problems
if it gets in the food chain, and trap or cause injury to animals.
Having said this, what do you do if you find someone else's rubbish?
If it has obviously been in the sea a while it is probably best
left, as it is most likely now home to a number of organisms.
Finally, before you jet off to
the Carribean or the Indian Ocean, a few thoughts on diving in
the UK -the waters around Britain are inevitably not as warm,
or clear as in the tropics, but nonetheless there are a fantastic
number of excellent dive sites around the coast of Britain. There
is a huge number of wrecks,
and a great diversity of marine environments and animals can
be found in the waters around this island.
The biggest threat to tropical
coral reefs and other underwater habitats comes from rising sea
temperatures as a result of global warming, and it is long distance
flights that do the most to cause this, so why not consider taking
your next dive holiday in the UK?
- World Wildlife Fund
Useful Resources -UK
Sub Aqua Club -the club
for sub aqua enthusiasts has been going for over 50 years.
-information, clubs, courses and discussion forums on sea diving.
- Divenet -online version of the UK magazine.
Diseases Research Centre
-DDRC is a charity which aims to promote and take part in the
medical treatment, training and research associated with the
use of hyperbaric oxygen in the treatment of diving diseases
and other medical problems.
-UK charity dedicated to caring for the seas, shores and wildlife
-it campaigns for clean seas and beaches, sustainable fisheries,
and protection for marine life.
- PADI -the way the world learns to dive.
Aware Foundation -set
up by PADI, the Foundation aims to conserve underwater environments
through education, advocacy and action. The organisation works
with volunteer divers and water enthusiasts involving them in
hands-on environmental activities such as International Cleanup
Day and The International Whale Shark Project.
- Rescue the Reef -work by the Nature Conservancy to save coral
Flow Diving Holidays
-based in Stromness -scuba wreck diving holidays in Scapa Flow,
Orkney. Dive on the wrecks of the scuttled German High Sea Fleet.
- Wrecksite -a huge database of wrecks around the
and Coastguard Agency
-round the clock distress and emergency cover for the waters
Useful Resources -worldwide
not-for-profit organisation running expecitions to support marine
conservation, education and sustainable development in tropical
- Cameldive -Red Sea diving holiday hotel and club
at Sharm El Sheikh.
Cay -use your diving
skills by volunteering for marine expeditions in the Pjilipines
Alert Network (Europe)
-DAN's mission is to operate and maintain an international network
of alarm centers, making specialised emergency assistance available
to any diver, anywhere in the world.
Bermuda -extensive guide
to diving in Bermuda -training courses, guides to reefs, beaches
-volunteering including marine conservation projects in places
like the Seychelles, Costa Rica and Mexico.
Dive Bali -located in
the remote fishing village of Amed, this centre is owned by two
PADI instructors -they offer dive trips to the best sites in
Bali and focus upon preserving the natural beauty of Bali.
- Ocean Realm Expeditions -US company that organise eco adventures
for divers in locations around the world -a proportion of all
sales goes towards supporting the Ocean Realm Society.
Hughes Diving -leading
provider of livaboard diving cruises around the world.
Frink's Journal -amazing
underwater photography from Steven Frink.
- Wild and Free Dolphin Swims -swim in open water with dolphins in their natural
environment while staying at beachside eco lodges on the coast
of the Red Sea in Egypt.
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