Become An Ocean Gardener 1 – Respect The Garden

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Our oceans suffer. We are loosing their underwater wonders. More and more the number of their inhabitants vanishes as if, pursued by a curse, nothing could be done to avoid a fateful destiny. Some Organizations state that without a change, in 2050 the oceans will be empty of life, full of plastic. It seems that the battle is already lost. Reports on the state of the oceans are becoming more and more negative. Is there anything we can do? Is it in our hands to change that destiny and help the oceans recover?

Why to become Ocean Gardener?

We divers have been given the unique opportunity in history to explore a new world that until few years ago was totally unknown for human kind. This gift bring us certain responsibilities. The oceans need us. They need protectors who understand that the value of their beauty goes beyond any economic value. And those protectors are the divers. We have to take on the role of ocean gardeners. It is our duty to care of our garden and protect it so no one destroys our most beloved treasure. It is our responsibility to preserve it for future generations.

If on the other hand, you do not care about the state of the oceans, you still have a reason to fight. Be selfish. The better the oceans are, the better dives you can enjoy. More full of life, coral, small fish and sharks ... So whether to defend the oceans or to enjoy better dives, the only option is to stop exterminating the underwater life.

 What can be done?

From Scuba Legends we aim to convince as many divers as possible that the change is in our hands. In the future we would like to look back and feel proud to be divers. We would like to feel part of those divers who said enough! And led a change in the dramatic fate of the environment. Thus, step by step, we will convince you that at the individual level, with little effort and little time, we can generate a great change at a global level. Today, our first step is: 

If you do not want to actively help,  at least you should commit yourself not to worsen the situation. 

The NGOs that protect the environment have great support thanks to Social Media. And this is very good for our oceans. Nowadays, the complaints and the social movements seem to be more efficient when they arise from the internet rather than the demonstrations in the streets. So, we would like to encourage you to like / share / support... any campaign that you see online, including this one. 

oceans are suffering

Sadly, many times, the good intentions that we have in the Social Media disappear as soon as we begin our immersion

Sadly, many times, the good intentions that we have in front of the screen of our telephone or computer disappear as soon as we begin our immersion. We like it or not, we all have to accept that we divers damage the oceans. It is very important to understand which are those harming attitudes.  Only by getting the majority of divers to understand how important it is to avoid such attitudes, the change would begin to move forward.

Let's see how: 

1-Nothing happens: This is the worst threat to our oceans. The attitude of "nothing happens, it's not that dangerous, it will not be that bad ..." This is precisely the attitude that has destroyed our environment. You have to understand that no matter how small, each of our actions adds up to all the small actions of millions of divers around the world. In both directions. If we destroy a little bit each, together we destroy a lot. If we protect a little each, together we protect a lot. So don't excuse yourself with "nothing happens". Don't allow anybody, diver, instructor or guide to excuse himself with the nothing happens. Yes, it happens.

2- Bottom contact is forbidden: In how many of your dives have you seen divers kicking the bottom? If you are not able to control your trim or your buoyancy and you are diving over a sensitive bottom, please, stay away from it. The amount of corals and other inhabitants of the bottom killed by fins, tanks, knees or hands is scary. Of course global warming or dynamite fishing are some of the major reason for the destruction of our corals. This doesn't mean that because others do worst is fine if you just do a little bad.  

3- Don't touch: Touching is one of the worst behaviours ever. You can kill, let undefended or stress poor beings. Life for them is very hard. Every day they must fight for their survival. We divers are there to look, not to touch. Touching animals or coral can be as damaging in the long term as intentionally killing or catching them. 

4-Don't feed: There was a case of those poor Napoleon Wrasse in the Red Sea that were feed with boiled eggs and started dying of cholesterol. It's a fact, feeding kills fish. It changes fish behaviour and it is harming for the whole ecosystem. Think that each fish has a particular and very important role on the delicate ecosystem. Please, don't feed the fish, they are not pets. You have to realise that you are visiting the wild, not a zoo.

green fins

Feeding kills fish. It changes fish behaviour and it is harming for the whole ecosystem. Each fish has a role on the delicate ecosystem.

Image by Green Fins

5-Don't take souvenirs home: Whatever you find underwater is there for a reason. Apart of the rubbish, that you can take as much as you want, everything there has a porpoise and you can easily break a survival chain of some animals just by taking a nice shell home. Although individually these actions may seem small, if everyone did the same the ramifications would be devastating

The most important: 

Sadly, most divers are not clear about these points. Every day we have to remind them in our briefings. Paradoxically, the most difficult barrier in convincing divers about this attitudes are many of our fellow instructors. Since they also touch, feed, destroy and excuse themselves with "nothing happens". We receive criticism of the type: you are too strict, you are wrong, this is not so, it is not as bad, etc. There are  many dive centers that have as usual  business procedure to feed the fish, put in the student's hand some poor defenceless animal and other similar practices. Only a few other divers reprimand these attitudes to professionals.

So if you find yourself in a situation where professionals break any of these points, please take action number 6:

6-Report it: Don't allow it to happen. Complain to the boss. If no one cares, write a review on their Facebook or Tripadvisor page. Leave written that the dive center supports harmful attitudes for the oceans and their inhabitants. So other divers will be warned. Again, your little action may not lead to anything. But many small complaints will surely change the attitude of such professional or dive center.

So we have given you 6 small attitudes that will help not to worsen the delicate situation of the oceans. As you will observe they are not great actions that require of you a great effort. But they are small attitudes that at least do not overturn the work of other activists who dedicate their efforts daily to save the greatest wonder of our world, the Oceans.

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