The hard coral in Cozumel and many other places in the Carribean are expriencing white band coral disease which turns the hard coral white and kills them. Be especially careful to not touch anything underwater, as that can spread the bacterial disease.
Cozumel is famous for its spectacular reefs and due to their intensive use and ecological importance and fragility, most of the reefs surrounding the island and lagoons on its south side were declared as the “Arrecifes de Cozumel” National Park in 1996.
One of the greatest threats to this world renowned dive destination is tourism itself. With an average of 1,500 visitors a day we all must do our part to keep the reefs healthy. There are many things you can do as a responsible diver to promote sustainable use of the reefs such as:
Choose dive operations that contribute to reef conservation by giving thorough orientations, and use clean motors on their boats.
Avoid all contact with corals and other marine life, never feed fish, avoid stirring sand and never stand, rest or hold on to corals. View all wildlife from a distance. Don’t use gloves or knives and use only biodegradable non-oily sun block.
Bearing in mind that just one careless kick can destroy 20-40 years of coral growth, please watch your BUOYANCY CONTROL If you are new to the sport and have not yet mastered this important skill, try to stay at least 3 feet above the reef and be aware of what your fins are doing. Likewise, following correct diving procedures, your instrument consoles should be secured to your B.C. and not left dragging along the reef.
Make sure all your dive buddies understand and comply with reef friendly practices.
Congratulate your dive guide for enforcing good practices. Refuse to buy souvenirs made from coral, starfish or other marine life.
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