Colorful entrance to Uxua Casa Hotel and Spa, Trancoso, Bahia, Brazil photograph by Adrian Gaut
“The only boutique hotel in the historic main square of Trancoso, Bahia, Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa has
become the stay of choice in this beautiful seaside village. The
Brazilian elite, not to mention style-savvy visitors from the US and
Europe, flock to its 10 private casas all year round, drawn by its
stunning beachside location, dedication to sustainable tourism.“
Whether you are just starting out as a new diver, or have logged thousands of dives already, scuba diving still brings the same sensations and star-struck feelings every time. However, it is important to remember a few good, ocean-friendly practices while you are diving to best protect our marine environment.
Do not stand up on your fins, especially on corals. Practice good finning and buoyancy to avoid accidental contact with the reef or stirring up the sediment. Many coral species and smaller animals are very sensitive, and you will be killing them instantly if you stand on the reef.
(Do not stand on the reef. You will cause physical damage to creatures that have taken years to get to that size. Photo source: Wikipedia.)
Do not touch anything. First of all, you never know what you may be touching, and it can sting you or be extremely poisonous. You might even come in contact with powerfully venomous fishes such as scorpionfishes, who blend in extremely well with their surroundings. Second of all, you touching corals can harm them, transmit bacteria or diseases, or stress them. You may transmit diseases or remove protective coatings on fish, mammals, invertebrates and other species.
On that same note, do not chase or harass marine life. I have witnessed people chasing poor turtles and hanging on to them while the poor animals were trying to go up to take a breath. Keep clear of free-swimming animals (such as turtles, whales and sea snakes). In particular, do not chase, ride, grab or block the path of these animals. Even if you think it’s cool, do not ride a turtle (they also might bite you!). Do not cowboy a manatee. Do not hold on to the fin of a dolphin or a shark. Look but never touch and try not to get too close.
Do not leave your diving gear dragging on the reef, such as pressure gauges or regulators. Keeping gear close to your body reduces drag and the chances of entanglement. Sea life is everywhere and can be harmed by the kick of a fin, bump of a tank, or knock of the hand.
Do not wear gloves. Or at least when the temperature allows you not to. Gloves only bring you a false sense of security which may lead you to holding on underwater. This can cause corals to break, or allow you to get too close to marine life by holding onto rocks and can lead to you harming yourself as gloves will not actually provide reliable protection against dangerous marine life.
(Refrain from wearing dive gloves, as they may give you a false sense of security and you will be more likely to hang on to the reef. Photo source: Greenpeace)
Do not bring anything up to the surface, other than recent trash. Similarly, don’t buy souvenirs of corals or marine life – this encourages people to remove tons of alive or dead marine life from marine ecosystems each year for selling to tourists. If we didn’t buy it then people wouldn’t collect it. Leave it where it belongs.
Do not feed the fishes. Feeding fish or any other species can lead to them becoming reliant upon that food source. It makes fish more aggressive towards divers and can lead to species interacting with others which they wouldn’t naturally come into contact with.
(Pick up any recent trash you might encounter. Photo source: Project Aware).
Do pick up trash, plastic bags or any other recent littered items.
Do respect the marine environment, only observe the sensitive and fragile species that live within it. All divers should refrain from intrusive and damaging interactions such as handling marine life or manipulating it.
Do learn about the local ecosystem before your dive, and what animals you may be able to spot while diving.
Do practice good buoyancy and refrain from touching the bottom with your fins and body. Practice buoyancy control over sand patches before approaching a reef - test buoyancy whenever you’re using new equipment such as new wetsuits, buoyancy control devices (BCDs) and cameras. Remember to always lift your feet up!
(This is the ideal diving position you would like to maintain throughout your dive. A streamlined horizontal position, keeping your feet up, and your hands to yourself will give you low water resistance! Photo source: Ilios Dive Club)
Do patronize reef-friendly dive shops, hotels and tourist operators that promote eco-friendly practices.
Do lead by example. Remember that other divers may look up to you. If they see you touching or manipulating sea life, they will assume it is alright to do so. Similarly, if they see you pick up trash, they may start doing it in their future dives. Be an ambassador for good, eco-friendly diving practices.
Do stay humble. You are in their world for a limited amount of time. Enjoy the wonder and amazement that is our marine life, and do not act like you own the place and can do whatever pleases you.
Have fun! Every dive is different and a chance to discover more natural wonders.
En el otoño del 2016 pocos días cayó agua, el invierno del mismo año, está teniendo una historia similar. Los cielos de Dichato están mas románticos que nunca, rosados/morados colores invitan a caminar disfrutando del abrigo de un abrazo y el calor de una mirada. El cielo nos invita a desconectar nuestra insignificante realidad para contemplar algo que ha estado presente desde la formación de nuestra atmósfera.
No Land? No Problem. If Barcelona-based Forward Thinking Architecture has its way, farms of the future will operate autonomously as they float on the open sea. Stretching eco-friendly concepts to the limit, the ambitious design firm has come up with the idea of Smart Floating Farms, large triple-decker agriculture barges that feature fish farms down below, hydroponic gardens up top, and solar panels on the roof to keep things running. They don’t exist yet, but they’re certainly providing plenty of food for thought.
The concept hits all the current buzzwords: preservation of arable land, local organic food sourcing with less “food mileage,” environmental protection, self-sufficiency and sustainability.