Hawaii is More Than Just An Underwater Playground
Hawaii has a unique underwater environment, and also a rich culture and history above the water. Please feel free to ask our staff about the geography and ecology of any of our dive destinations, as well as the culture and history of the islands. If we don’t know the answer to your question, we can refer you to other educational materials.
The Hawaiian green sea turtle (honu) is a threatened species protected by the Endangered Species Act, along with the Humpback Whale and Hawaiian Monk Seal. You may be lucky enough to see these beautiful creatures during your dives, or on the beach – please do not harass them or touch them. If they swim around you, remain neutrally buoyant and enjoy their natural movements. Under state law, fines for harassing these amazing marine animals are serious – fines for touching a honu range from $250 to $2,000 for the first offense and possible jail time.
Coral reefs support an estimated 25% of all marine fish species and provide food, protection, and income for more than 100 cultures around the world. But coral reefs in 93 countries have been damaged or killed by human activity. Climate change is turning the oceans increasingly acidic, which will eventually cause entire reef systems to collapse. Overfishing has led to the over-exploitation of 70% of the world’s coastal fish stocks and an estimated 90% of the largest fish have been killed. As many as 73 million sharks are killed worldwide each year because of the inhumane finning trade – where sharks’ fins are cut off and they are left to die – and the number is escalating rapidly. Large sharks have been functionally eliminated from the east coast of the U.S., and as sharks decline, so does the health of our entire ecosystem. Whales continue to be under threat from habitat destruction, sonar, and illegal whaling.
The importance of preserving and understanding our ocean environment is a part of every class we teach and every dive we make. Our goal is to create a community of highly-trained, educated divers who have a love of the ocean, a passion for exploring it, and a dedication to saving it for future generations.
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