Hawaii Islands Are An Oasis Easy To Love To Death
The Hawaiian Islands have an abundance of marine life and other wildlife to experience in their natural habitat, a habitat which is precious and unique. This is the reason scores of visitors come to the islands every day of the year. There is an ever-increasing number travelling here to enjoy the natural beauty. Visitors to the Big Island spend a good part of their vacation time scuba diving, snorkelling, sailing, fishing or just buoyantly relaxing in the warm waters of the Pacific. Whatever the activity, it is important for visitors to understand how to protect the natural beauty and the sea life of Hawaii Islands while enjoying them, so the nature will remain intact for everyone to cherish and experience.
As a visitor, it is important to learn about and understand the risks your well-intended visit may pose to the environment, to the wildlife, and the marine life. Protecting the environment is everyone’s responsibility. It’s easy and all it takes is becoming aware of how to lessen the impact of your visit on the nature by remembering a few simple rules.
So, when visiting Hawaii please remember….
- Do Not Feed The Fish
Feeding fish to attract them and draw them closer may give you some great “Kodak Moments” to take home with you. But, this senseless practice can result in some serious health and safety problems for the fish after you depart. Fish may eat “people food” but they can not digest it. If they become bloated from food they can’t digest they may not eat what they should.
Remember, it is not only you who may be feeding the fish, but many other visitors may be doing so as well, especially in the popular snorkelling areas. After weeks or months of feeding, the natural behaviour of the fish will be affected while they become used to being fed. Overall, they will cease looking for their natural food on their own which could lead to disease and ultimately to their death. The coral reefs will suffer too as as result of your feeding the fish. The fish will stop eating the algae that live on coral. The whole ecosystem becomes upset and out of balance.
- Coral Is A Living Thing And Not Just Colorful Rocks!
Coral draws fish for food and shelter. Coral is very slow growing and it takes many years for a piece of coral to grow back and replace itself after getting kicked by a snorkel fin or walked upon by swimmers. Coral branches easily break off from the main formation when swimmers walk across it to get to deeper water.
Without the coral, marine stocks will disappear as it both supplies a food source plus places to hide for the sea life. Coral is very fragile not only to physical damage but also to water pollution. It is the nutrients in the water that the coral feeds on, and if coral starts to die there is a strong chance that the water has had a chemistry change, usually caused by a pollutant.
- Green Sea Turtles And Monk Seals Are Protected By Law!
Hawaii’s Green Sea Turtles and Monk Seals are endangered species. It is against the law to approach them, that goes for dolphins as well. Sea Turtles may actually approach YOU while you are swimming or snorkelling. So, if they get close to you, just keep your hands still and move slowly. Do not reach out to touch them. Only observe and enjoy them in their natural habitat.
If we don’t all strive each day to live in harmony with nature, eventually there won't be anything wild left to observe in it's natural habitat!
Attention all snorkelers, divers, swimmers and kayakers....
Please take 7 minutes to watch this entertaining video on coral reef etiquette.
Photoes by freelance underwater photographer George Keoki Stender