The Effects of SCUBA Diving on Coral Reefs

R. Marsman \ Oceans First, Issue 2, 2015, pgs. 33-41.

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Coral reef habitats are in danger of destruction due to the carelessness of divers. Stony coral, the foundation from which coral reefs are built, have proven to be the most easily damaged by SCUBA divers in the Caribbean and Red seas. Through observation of the behaviour of divers around coral habitats over ten minute intervals, researchers were also able to determine that the dive frequency of an area and the level of experience of the SCUBA divers are extremely important factors influencing how much damage is being done to corals. Overall, it is the areas of high dive intensity and the diving groups with the least experience that cause the most damage to all coral types. Aside from improving education of divers, it is important to monitor them and lessen the frequency at which certain sites are being dived in order to preserve the fragile balance of diversity within these habitats.