Coral reefs are one of the world’s most spectacular marine habitats and snorkelling is an excellent way of exploring them. As coral reefs face an increasingly uncertain future, snorkellers and other coral reef visitors can play an important role in helping to protect these fragile habitats. Follow these simple guidelines to help protect the coral reefs you visit.
The key for successful snorkelling is relaxation in the water. With practice, you will improve your snorkelling skills and become more comfortable. A relaxed snorkeller sees more and gets greater pleasure and appreciation of the underwater environment.
Some helpful hints for your safety and enjoyment whilst snorkelling:
- Make sure your snorkel equipment fits properly before you go in the water.
- For entering the ocean whilst wearing fins shuffle backwards or side ways, or a better method is get in the water till waist high, and then put your fins on.
- Either use a commercial Defog or spit in your mask (both lenses). Then use a forefinger to rub around and rinse out to avoid mask fog.
- The most efficient way to snorkel is by using your fins (not your hands) in a slow and relaxed manner. Slow down and relax. You can even try to just float in the water so you can just watch the marine world go by.
- If you are worried about flotation or are a poor swimmer, wear a life jacket.
- Protect yourself from the strong sun while snorkelling by wearing a high protection sunscreen or a T-shirt.
- Snorkel with a friend, never alone.
- Know your personal limitations and never push your limits. Water condition may vary and will affect your snorkelling experience. Have a practice in the pool before snorkelling in the sea.
- Learn all you can about the marine environment.
The coral reef is a fragile ecosystem, please look but do not touch. Avoid all contact with corals and other marine life for your safety and the corals’.
Please do not take shells as they may still be alive or a vacant home for a marine organism.
If you get tired and want to rest, return to the beach, or find a patch of sand away from the reef on which to stand. Please do not stand on the reef as the damage can take decades to recover.
Being a coral friendly snorkeller not only helps protect coral reefs directly, it also helps to raise awareness for coral reefs. Remember, we are visitors in the underwater world so be polite and leave it as you found it.