I am a diver. And there were days when I felt super proud, saying this. Today, I’m not so sure about this anymore.
Every time I go out there, I see people crashing into corals and just shrugging their shoulders upon the caused damage. They come out of the water proudly showing their pictures around. Beautiful shots of nudibranches, crabs, sea stars and the occasional bottom dwelling fish. But where are the pictures of sharks, where those of large schools of Big Eyed Travellies, those of Tunas and all those other famous hunters? Gone. Nowhere to be seen.
The power of diving instructors
Today, I’m an instructor and I have the possibility to make a difference, to teach my students a different way of thinking. I show them respect for nature and how to treat it with care.
I’m not proud of this, it’s merely my responsibility as an instructor. Nevertheless, I do it with all my heart.
But not every diver is an instructor, and certainly not all had the chance to study marine biology. But this can never be an excuse for ignorance.
We, divers know better. All of us!
So what can be done?
First of all, everyone of us can perfect his and her technique. But it mustn’t stop at this point, it’s rather only the beginning. As divers we see things most people never see; not in their entire life. This simple fact brings responsibility along; it is a privilege. The responsibility to stand up and providing the ocean with a voice, your voice. So next time, you see a diver crashing into the corals with his fins, talk to him. I know this is hard and it is certainly no pleasure to make yourself unpopolar, but who will talk to this person, if you don’t?
If we want to continue enjoying the oceans and its riches of life, we must get active. Actively promoting and financially supporting marine conservation. But not only once to clear our minds from guilt, but every single day.
Conservation, or better, maintaining a healthy ocean, is an ongoing process that constantly requires financial support. Unless, of course, we manage to stop polluting, stop excessive fishing, stop throwing our trash in the seas and generally stop taking the environment and it’s resources for granted and limitless.
This planet has borders and it won’t grow bigger. Unless we don’t get a grip on our population development and hence ever increasing demand of natural resources, we will not survive the consequences of our own actions.
This task is not a question of capitalism vs communism, not of rich vs poor, not of Islam vs Christianity, it is a matter of naked survival and old mindsets vs acceptance of nature as an integral part of ourselves. And divers can and must make a stance in its favour, if we want to survive.
Read you next time and don’t forget: Giving up is for pussies,