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Introduction | Identification | Impacts | Causes | Actions | More Info

Why do divers, snorkelers, and reef walkers damage corals?

Though divers, snorkelers, and reef walkers may not intend to injure corals, they can often cause significant damage to reef surfaces. Gathering of shallow reef resources for subsistence or income can break or overturn corals as fishers seek and harvest animals. Tourists can also cause damage by standing on or kicking living coral, and collecting souvenirs. Neither tourists nor fishers may be aware of the long-term harm they are causing to the physical structure of the reef. It is therefore important to educate the public on the cumulative damages that can be caused by careless walking, diving, snorkeling and gleaning in reef environments.

Are diver and walker impacts related to other issues that affect coral reefs?
Yes, diving, snorkeling, and reef walking activities are often linked to other issues that affect the health of local coral reefs. To better understand how diver, snorkeller, walker impacts are related to, but different from, other issues, refer to this Flowchart Diagram
Sitting on reefs causes considerable damage to corals and other organisms. Location: Ile des Pins, New Caledonia Photo by: M. Kochzius (from ReefBase: http://www.reefbase.org)

For more information about the issues that are related to Divers/Walkers, click on the following links:

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