Green sea turtle hatchlings – photo Inflatable Film Maui
Responsible and Respectful Practices for Reef Users
- Take only photos, leave only bubbles – do not collect shells or organisms.
- Observe animals exhibiting their natural behaviors rather than stimulate them to entertain.
- Do not feed wildlife.
- Do not grasp coral, stand on it, or kick up sediments.
- Practice neutral buoyancy and train others to do so.
- Keep gauges, fins and other accessories from dragging on the bottom.
- Handle wildlife as little as possible, if at all.
- Do not harass protected species.
- Give sea turtles at least a 20-foot radius of approach.
- Give monk seals at least 100 foot radius of approach (law).
- Give dolphins at least 50 yard radius of approach.
- Give whales 100 yard radius of approach (law).
- Practice sustainable fishing techniques and obey size and catch limits.
Best Management Practices for Dive/Snorkel Sites
- Cooperate with other divers to reduce or rotate human numbers and vessels at dive sites.
- Communicate with other vessel operators to locate and share moorings.
- Voluntarily rotate sites that are becoming degraded, letting them “rest.”
- Support the establishment and usage of artificial reefs in appropriate locations to lessen the impact on existing natural sites.
- Obey the laws.
- Participate in local conservation efforts (e.g., beach clean-ups and water conservation).
- Use best management practices on land and sea (e.g., reduce use of fertilizers, properly dispose of toxic wastes and recycle).
- Use mooring pins properly and assist the Coral Reef Network in maintenance through donating time, materials and funds.
- Participate in projects that assess the health of the reefs and support such efforts with donations of time, materials and funds.
- Get involved in local and state government processes such as public hearings and commenting opportunities on Draft Environmental Impact Statements for projects that may affect reefs.
- Use your citizen power to praise the government when they have done a good job in conservation and speak out when they do something not in line with marine conservation.
- Know the laws and rules designed to protect the environment and report illegal activities.
- Support establishments that show care and respect for the ocean’s inhabitants.