DIVING IN PARADISE: BAHIA SOLANO (good diving practice recommendations to prevent any more damage to the ecosystem)
By Laura Andrea Mejía Escobar – Instructor & Pro Diver
The area of the Colombian Pacific is rich in biodiversity where species of fauna and flora, coral reefs, an incredible fishing wealth and a unique cultural mosaic abound. Not surprisingly, it is one of the regions with the greatest biodiversity on the planet and according to WWF (the World Forum for Nature) this area is considered one of the 17 priority sites for the world’s conservation. One of the main tourist attraction is diving, which has not been fully exploited and this guys at Afloat with its operation Acumba Diving are going to set the bars high.
Initially the diver must be certified as Open Water or basic course which has a depth limit of 18 meters or 60 feet and must not do night dives. If each diver wishes to advance and deepen their knowledge and access deeper sites or do night dives, they must adhere to the PADI academic plan (or whatever their organization is internationally certified) to be certified in courses such as advanced, rescue, among others.
To be certified as a diver, you must initially have a medical assessment and be 12 years old or older, if a child who does not reach the minimum age to be certified wishes to have his underwater experience, he may do so with the strict accompaniment of a diving instructor or professional in a course called Bubblemaker.
While diving is a recreational activity that generates awareness by sensitizing those who practice it, if not done within the appropriate margins it could become another factor that threatens marine ecosystems.
Among the diving practices are:
Exceed the carrying capacity: It is related to diving with large and inexperienced groups which can negatively impact the marine ecosystem.
Buoyancy and flutter patterns: Neutral buoyancy is the goal of proper diving technique to achieve it requires experience and practice. If a diver fails to have a perfect neutral buoyancy which goes hand in hand with a frog-like flutter pattern to avoid maximum contact with corals, it will end up damaging the reefs and all the benthic life of the underwater world.
The use of anchor without precaution: Dive sites that are not marked with buoys suffer from the anchoring of the boats. When the anchors are thrown to the dive site, corals and marine life suffer an impact that could take years to recover, in bahia Solano the guys at Acumba Diving are marking the dive sites to prevent damage of marine ecosystems.
Human alteration of ecosystems and marine life: Practices such as actively interacting with marine animals, feeding them and / or changing their normal feeding cycle affect the safety of divers and the natural behavior of aquatic animals.
Passage of boats near the reefs: It represents a direct irrigation with the safety of divers and the health of marine reefs.
The habits of the diver: A diver must have sustainable practices that make him a role model, otherwise the garbage generated in the diving zone impacts the ecosystem, tourism and consequently the economy of the community.
The extraction of marine resources: It directly affects the live stock of the reef. Due to the value of coral decorative items and other organisms, they are extracted from the environment, thus constituting an unauthorized and unsustainable extractive activity.
Fortunately this guys at Acumba Diving are implementing good diving practices and making sure that this paradise called Bahia Solano continues giving us all who want to enjoy the wonders of nature more years of joy.
Special thanks to Laura Andrea Mejía Escobar.