Being a Responsible Diver

The beauty and diversity of Koh Tao’s coral reefs have made it one of the world’s top destinations to snorkel or learn diving. Whether we realize it or not, all tourist activities have an impact on the coral reef ecosystem, either positive or negative. As divers and snorkelers we have an inherent responsibility to be stewards of the environment we use for fun, inspiration, and income.

Save Koh Tao’s Marine Branch has received many reports of people intentionally harming marine life, and it should be remembered that this is not appropriate in any context.

Picking up NetsThe following list is a guideline for responsible diving/snorkeling on Koh Tao:

  • Don’t Stand or kneel on corals
  • No Gloves- Remember that under SSI, PADI, CMAS, and NAUI you are not to touch anything living. Very simple, unless you are on a clean-up dive you will not need gloves on Koh Tao.
  • No Lobster sticks- (see not touching things) if you need a pointer, use a light or Laser pointer, and please keep ‘tank banging’ to a minimum. NEVER stick anything into cracks or holes in the reef.
  • Do not take OW 1 & 2 divers over corals
  • Do not collect, spear, kill, or otherwise take anything
  • Please take care when in large groups and ask for more assistance if necessary

Coral FragmentsBy caring for and protecting the areas we love, we can ensure their survival for the future. Some things you can do to make a positive impact include:

  • Cleaning up rubbish-we all see it, but few of us take the time to pick it up, try to take one piece of rubbish back with you from every dive or walk on the beach.
  • Perfect your buoyancy skills before fun diving, and wear a life jacket if you are new to snorkeling
  • Learn to be an Eco-diver or take a reef conservation course with a dive school on the island
  • Contribute to our monthly clean-up and restoration activities with either time or money
  • Inform yourself, positive action begins with positive thought
  • Help spread the word about environmental projects and other positive activities

There are no underwater police, so it is up to us all to watch ourselves and each other. As a professional diver, it is your job to teach proper diving practices and coral reef awareness to your divers. Remember, we all impact the coastal environment in some way, make the choice as to what impacts you will leave behind.