Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Remember what lies beneath

Are you planning on going away on holiday soon? Perhaps to a idyllic location with beautiful white beaches and tropical waters? 

If you are, make sure you prepare fully before you go, and we are not just talking about packing sun-cream and your snazzy Hawaiian shirts. We want you to prepare mentally. 

Did you know, in 2014, over 80% of participants in our survey who visited Perhentian last year went snorkeling. That is a staggering proportion of people, and highlights the attraction the marine life has to us. I am also pretty sure that if you go on holiday to a beach location, you will be getting in the water for a swim or snorkel.

With this in mind, we would like you to take some time to consider just what lies beneath. In a coral reef ecosystem, you can find thousands of animals and species all hunkered together, working and living in balance. Some of these species, like corals, can take years to grow, living in colonies and working in symbiosis with algae, helping remove carbon from the atmosphere, and providing a home to thousands of important fish and marine species. 

Corals, although they look like rocks, are fragile and very susceptible to stress and change. You might notice broken corals lying on the floor, often broken by natural causes, but commonly by carefree tourist behaviour, those that are white are also at risk, either bleached or already dead they have expelled the algae that provides the majority of sustenance and are on the verge of (or are already) dead.

We ask simply that you remember what a coral is and when you head out into the sea to snorkel, you don't need to stop and stand up, even if you think you are standing safely, there are loads of different varieties of corals, and even some species of fish and invertebrate that camoflage themselves and can be painful for you. 

Yesterday we went snorkeling, our hearts died a little bit inside. Even after people were told of the impacts, they continued to do it. Don't be one of the crowd, look closely and in one square meter you will see so much life. Imagine a giant foot coming down on London or New York City, it might not kill everything, but the stress caused could be irreparable. 



or, alternatively...

Please think twice when you are out in the waters, so much damage can be avoided!