Everyone loves a beach holiday. Relaxing on the beach while soaking in the sun, building sand castles and exploring marine life through snorkeling and diving activities. Indonesia, a nation with thousands of islands, is popular for its beach destinations and resorts.
Lots of human activities happening in these tourists spots can disrupt the nature and marine ecosystem there and lead to gradual degradation of habitat. To prevent this from happening governments usually make regulations and special protected areas to conserve the environment. Non governmental organisations like us also help in preserving the pristine nature of Anambas through its programs ranging from marine conservation, forest conservation and community development.
As a visitor you also have a role to play in keeping our oceans and beaches clean and safe for every living creature. Here are a number of things that you need to keep in mind:
1. Pay attention to and follow the rules
Several tourist spots in Indonesia are listed as conservation areas. Conservation areas are generally managed based on a zoning system where each zone has different rules. For this reason, it is important to understand which activities are allowed or not allowed in the area.
2. Use adequate equipment
Don’t use tools or gears that are no longer working properly, this is to prevent any mishap or malfunction challenging activities like snorkeling or diving. If the tools you’re using create a slight discomfort to you while you’re in the middle of the ocean, chances you’re going to panic and make uncontrollable movements that can potentially damage your surrounding like hitting coral reefs with you diving fins, and you can also hurt yourself.
3. Avoid physical contact with marine creatures
Especially coral reefs, they are sensitive creatures and touching them will disturb their mucous membranes. Other creatures like Stonefish, Lionfish and Scorpionfish have body parts that are poisonous and will cause serious injury if touched.
4. Don’t litter
Waste is a serious problem in Indonesia and globally. Waste that is dumped into the ocean destroy marine ecosystem and disrupt the food chain of marine creatures. Plastic waste is one of the biggest threats for animals like sea turtles, the scents accumulated from bacteria and algae and the shape of plastic that resembles jellyfish attract sea turtles to eat it.
5. Use environmentally-friendly products
Sunscreen products that contain chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate are harmful for coral reefs because they make corals more susceptible to bleaching and cause DNA damage. Always use products that are environmentally friendly and made from natural ingredients.
6. Know your own capabilities and limits
Being aware of your own capabilities and skill levels in diving and snorkeling are important. If you are not good at swimming use a life vest and swim with a professional. If you are keen on taking photos or videos, always remember the safety of yourself and marine creatures. Make sure you don’t disrupt coral reefs and sea creatures in order to get a good underwater photo or video.