Sea turtles are among the most incredible and charming creatures populating our oceans. They have existed for over 150 million years, which is long enough to have seen the rise and demise of dinosaurs. So, it doesn't come as a surprise that swimming with these ancient reptiles is one of the most sought after and treasured experiences for many divers and snorkelers around the world. That being said, it is important to remember, that we are guests in the ocean and should treat all marine life with respect.
Coral reefs worldwide are attracting increasing numbers of scuba divers, snorkelers and freedivers. Unfortunately, those same visitors who come to admire them are often causing damage to corals and the marine life they support. One of the reasons for this is the lack of knowledge and/or proper training. People often forget or don't care to pay attention to the marine life around them. Some don't even realize that corals are living organisms.
Most divers consider an encounter with a marine mammal to be an otherworldly and magical experience. Manatees, for example, are among the most beloved animals that everyone tends to flock to. However, sometimes a desire to interact with them can put these charming creatures in danger. So it is important to follow a few simple guidelines to avoid harassing or disturbing the animals.
The Blue-Ringed Octopus, affectionately called the BRO, is a very special little creature. Its beautiful psychedelic coloring makes this cephalopod a highly sought after subject for many underwater photographers and naturalists. However, behind the adorable exterior is something even more extraordinary - a venom that is 1,000 times more powerful than cyanide and that has earned this shy octopus a spot among the most lethal creatures of the sea.
Whale and dolphin watching tours are growing in popularity, as more people understand that these animals should not be kept in captivity, and so choose to admire them in their natural habitat. Although observing the cetaceans in the wild has a huge potential for good, it needs to be undertaken responsibly to benefit not only the operators and local communities seeking a livelihood, but also the participants, whales, dolphins and the marine environment as a whole.
Manta rays are among the most beloved of all marine creatures. These large beings capture the imaginations of many divers and snorkelers around the world thanks to the grace and majesty with which they glide through the sea. If you are lucky enough to spot the manta frolicking in the surf, or enjoying the skincare treatment at a cleaning station, you will surely be left in awe. Learn more about these beautiful fish, places to see them and guidelines for interacting with them.
There is much difficulty in trying to provide a definition of wildlife harassment, as there exist several different viewpoints revolving around this issue. Hopefully, none of us would purposely destroy a piece of coral or harm a sea turtle swimming by, but how can we know that no harm was done unintentionally, and fully comprehend the consequences of our presence in the water?