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Thread: Time to Restrict Reef Access?

  1. #1
    TadPole
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    Time to Restrict Reef Access?

    I sometimes see divers over the reef here who skills are, perhaps, a little rusty and who hit the coral with fins, have guages dangling hitting the coral etc.

    Do people think it is time to consider requiring a degree of competence/experience before diving over delicate reef? Is this even possible to consider in terms of enforcement (as opposed to income loss the dive operators would face)?

    Just wondering what everyone thinks really, I am not necessarily saying it should be the case. Could be the best thing would be too make sure dive operators hammered the point home (which they often don't).

  2. #2
    Grouper
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    On the Red Sea thread today they were talking about touching the reef and you would be "bumped" from the remaining dives. I thought that was cool. I would be the first to tip a DM that said to some yo-yo--you can't dive the rest of the day--go back home and practice your skills.

  3. #3
    Barracuda
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    I see nothing wrong with protecting the things we love. If you can't dive without hurting the reefs, then you don't dive. If you can't dive without harrassing and molesting the sea life, then you don't dive.

    No problem at all with this. Get your skills up and be proficient if you want to dive the beautiful reefs.

    If you can't leave the sea life alone, then grow up if you want to dive the beautiful reefs.

  4. #4
    Grouper
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLXM Cayman View Post
    I sometimes see divers over the reef here who skills are, perhaps, a little rusty and who hit the coral with fins, have guages dangling hitting the coral etc.

    Do people think it is time to consider requiring a degree of competence/experience before diving over delicate reef? Is this even possible to consider in terms of enforcement (as opposed to income loss the dive operators would face)?

    Just wondering what everyone thinks really, I am not necessarily saying it should be the case. Could be the best thing would be too make sure dive operators hammered the point home (which they often don't).
    I would be for it! Every diver should take care to avoid this type of thing but I'm sure it happens. If dive op sees a careless diver they could say something like, well you can't dive but we offer a class in the water (buoyancy and common sense things like not letting gear hang everywhere, etc) that will allow you to dive again, if passed successfully. Just my 2 pennies

  5. #5
    Grouper
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    I like self-enforced standards and codes of conduct. It only makes sense that the dive ops would want to protect the reefs, instead of catering to the occational destructive diver.

    I would not like to see ill-informed legislation or some attempt at "scuba police". Best that we all set high standards, dive only with those who have similar standards, and patronize only dive ops with this same view.

    -BW

  6. #6
    Grouper
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    Cmon, most divers do not intentionally damage a reef. I've been trying out different fins lately and I have kicked a soft coral or two while adjusting to longer fins. (think I'll go back to my short fins, BTW)
    If someone "tipped" a DM and I was not able to do dives I had payed for on just their word, I guarantee the "tipster" wouldn't be diving either!
    I believe in MOF!

  7. #7
    Grouper
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    If someone accidently touches the reef, I don't think we need to restrict their diving - all these zero tolerance policies need to be balanced with a little common sense. Conversely, if someone is either showing intentional disregard for the reef, or is just out of control, they should be held accountable.

    I have no issue with a DM or another diver telling someone to stay out of the reef, and if they don't shape up, restrict their diving. I think it is irresponsible for a dive op to ignore consistent bad behavior; ultimately, they will be driven out of business if their reefs are destroyed.
    Underwater photography addict
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  8. #8
    I don't see how you could do it on Cayman. Unless you wanted to shut down Foster's cruise operation and Eden Rock....lol

    Bonaire has the Marine Park orientation/tag program. But ours was mostly a dive site/dive op review followed by getting a tank and diving ourselves.
    Their reminder to check buoyancy/weighting was a good idea, at least it makes you somewhat aware of it.

  9. #9
    TadPole
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    I agree that draconian scuba police is not ideal and goes against the friendly and encouraging aspect of scube diving that I really love. I do think DMs should be more explicit in informing divers of the dangers to reefs though and maybe check the dive operators for their information provision rather than penalise individuals who make the odd mistake.

  10. #10
    Grand Poobah Founding Member
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    ScubaToys Larry's Avatar
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    Every time I take groups to cayman, I have all the divers stay in the sand between the coral heads until they can show they have their techniques down. I tell them at the beginning of the dive, keep looking behind them, and if they are stirring up sand - don't go over the coral heads yet - stay between them. And when they do go over coral - stay 10 feet instead of 5 until they get it down.

    Of course, I'm leading a group of a dozen divers that I will be diving with for a few days down there - I pity the divemasters that have to deal with 30 new people each and every day!

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