Look but don’t touch: reasons not to touch marine life

It is very tempting for a new diver during his first dive to touch the fish and the large number of marine animals that exist. But it is very important to keep in mind that such behavior can have negative consequences for marine life. It is necessary to clarify that no marine creatures are aggressive; what they want is not to be disturbed, they are in their natural habitat and if someone tries to touch them they will feel attacked, therefore, they may defend themselves.

There are ways to respect and protect life underwater and we have a responsibility to do so. Diving is a privilege and it should be taken into account that when you are underwater, what you see around has been patiently built for dozens of years by tiny creatures. Therefore, we should avoid damaging, breaking or touching anything.

Most of these marine creatures have a very thin and fragile skin, covered by a layer of mucus that protects them from infections and dehydration, so petting and thinking that it gives pleasure is false, because you could remove that protective layer and cause them damage.

With the sunscreen and bacteria we have on our skin, we harm marine fauna without knowing it. When you touch a fish, bacteria spreads to the coral and kills them in the long term. The diver should use a biodegradable sunscreen that is much less harmful to the environment.

Be aware of caring for biodiversity and make the preservation of marine flora and fauna the duty of each diver ... now open your eyes (behind the glass of your mask) and enjoy the show.

Cesar Vargas

Journalist