Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mass tourism can harm fragile reef ecosystems

Indonesia offers some of the best diving spots in the world. But these reefs are under a lot of pressure, from pollution to overfishing, and now by mass tourism that brings hundreds of inexperienced divers underwater. It is not only dangerous for the divers, but they inadvertedly harm the reefs, breaking corals with their fins, leaving traces of sunscreen in the water and disturbing resting animals.

The video below shows the Mola Mola fish, famous for it's pokemon shape, resting in Crystal Bay, one of Bali's top diving spots. The fish comes here to use the cleaning stations, where other fish and invertebrates come eat the parasites off the Mola Mola's skin.

Then the divers, as many as a few dozens at the same time, invest the area and scare the fish off.

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