Divers: Do they do more harm than good? Draft#2

This discussion topic submitted by Lynn Anderson (Lynn.anderson@miamioh.edu) on 6/1/98.

This discussion will lead through some of the adverse impacts that recreational divers can have on coral reefs. It will thewn lead on to look at the strategies that are in use in order to minimise this damage, ending with a brief summary of factors that we as divers/snorkelers must take into consideration

Divers can create a lot of damage to the reefs as discussed in the articles listed below
Hawkins J & Roberts C.M., 1992,, Efffects of recreational SCUBA diving on the fore reef slope communities of coral reefs, in Biological conservation, Vol. 62, pp.1711-178.
Prior M, Ormond R., Hitchen R. & Wormold C., 1995, The impact on natural resources of activity tourism: A case study of diving in Egypt, in International Journal of Environmental Studies, Vol. 48, pp. 201-209.
Talge H., 1992, Impact of recreational divers on scleratinian corals at Looe Key, Florida, Proceedings of the Seventh International Coral Reef Symposium, Guam, Vol. 2, pp. 1077-1082.

Different methods can be used to try to minimise the damage caused by divers as discussed in these articles:
Medio D., Ormond R.F.G. & Pearson M., 1997, Effects of divers briefings on rates of damage to corals by scuba divers, in Biological conservation, Vol. 79, pp. 91-95.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 1996, Strategy for Stewardship: Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary: Final Management Plan/Environmentalk Impact Statement, Vol.1-3.
Hunter C. & Maragos J., 1992, Methodology for involving recreational divers in long term monitoring of coral reefs, in Pacific Science, Vol. 46, pp. 381-3382.

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