Scuba diving found to threaten coral reef systems

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Scuba diving found to threaten coral reef systems

Post by Hurghada Lady »

Scuba diving found to threaten coral reef systems

Higher number of broken coral heads

In an abstract from a paper produced by the Department of Marine Biology in the University of Vienna, studies on the impact of scuba divers in the northern parts of the Red Sea demonstrate how scuba diving threatens coral reef systems.

The paper says that reef systems in Dahab, Egypt, are among the world's most dived reefs (30,000 plus a year). The scientists from this university compared frequently dived sites, to sites with little or no diving. It says that benthic (bottom) communities and the condition of corals were examined by the point intercept sampling method in the reef crest zone (3 meters) and reef slope zone (12 meters). Based on a visual census method, there was an abundance of corallivorous and herbivorous fish. Zones subject to intensive Scuba diving activity showed a significantly higher number of broken coral heads and also a lower population of coral. The reef crest coral communities were significantly more affected and up to 95% of the broken coral was branching coral.

For the moment, the abundance of fish did not seem affected however the report says that continued high impact of scuba divers will endanger coral cover in the long term which will in turn affect the fish population.

It was suggested that the number of dives per year be reduced and also the introduction of ecologically sustainable dive plans would be essential to conserve the aesthetic and ecological properties of these dive sites. It was also mentioned that education of dive guides and the recreational divers will form an essential part of a programme of sustainability.

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Post by Spike »

I agree with this,

It is great to see the wonders beneath the sea but at what cost?

Education is the key factor to preservation, i often see snorkellers and divers who have no knowledge on the reef system and those that live on it. Diver's qulaify to easily and have very poor buoyancy breaking of fragments of coral with their fins.

Let's hope that the certification agencies such as Padi crack down on passing every "paid" course as a merit and experience only and not just because they have paid for the certification.
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Post by Susue »

I've noticed the reefs being destroyed over the years -
Too many inexperienced first-time divers, not being trained properly-
and too many snorkellers, just walking on top of the reefs!
Dive and snorkel centers do a lousy job of educating their clients-it breaks my heart!
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Oh well

Post by Davesalasa »

I love scuba diving anyways!
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