Using an educational video-briefing to mitigate the ecological impacts of scuba diving

Vinicius J. Giglio, Osmar J. Luiz, Nanette E. Chadwick, Carlos E.L. Ferreira

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Recreational scuba diving is rapidly increasing, and the negative impacts to marine reef biota are of conservation concern. Educational approaches have been tested to mitigate diver damage to benthic organisms, but logistical constraints impede their implementation in many locations. We investigated the behaviors of scuba divers in terms of their contacts with benthic organisms, and assessed how an educational video-briefing caused changes in diver behavior. The video provided environmental information to divers, and enhanced their use of low-impact diving techniques. Divers who received the video-briefing exhibited significantly lower rates of contact with and damage to the benthos, than did divers who did not receive a briefing. The level of diving experience did not correlate with the rate of benthic contact in either group of divers. Male divers and photographers both contacted the benthos significantly less, and female divers and photographers both caused significantly less damage when they viewed the video-briefing prior to diving. Our findings highlight the importance of easily implemented, standardized educational approaches such as the use of video-briefings to mitigate the impacts of scuba diving. This study adds to the framework of tested strategies available to support the sustainable use of marine areas by the diving tourism industry.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)782-797
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
    Volume26
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2018

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