By guest blogger Lowri James
When you descend below the surface, you are welcomed into an underwater world filled with colour, life and beauty. As divers, it is our duty to treat this world with the utmost respect and consideration as we are, in effect, ambassadors for ocean conservation. There are over 1 million known species of plants and animals in our oceans and it’s believed that there may be as many as 9 million species still to be discovered. The life of a scuba diver is certainly one of exploration and discovery.
I have been lucky enough to dive in some amazing places during my diving career so far, from quarries in Wales, to diving with Manta Rays in Indonesia. Everywhere has something unique to offer which attracts divers. I will never forget my first open water dive in a beautiful haven in West Wales and seeing some large crabs scuttling their way along the ocean floor, I had never seen these kinds of animals in their natural habitat before. For me, I am in awe of what lies beneath the surface and how marine life comes in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and colors, and lives in all kinds of different environments, adapting to them perfectly. You can dive a site hundreds of times and still see something new and, sometimes, unexpected.
As a history fan, I enjoy doing my research on a dive site prior to diving it, especially when diving a ship wreck for the first time. It’s thrilling, descending onto a piece of history and seeing what was once floating on the surface is now a haven for the local marine life, meaning that the ship, in one way, still lives.
It is a dream come true to now be working in the scuba diving industry and I enjoy teaching others about the ocean and how important it is to protect it. Seeing people experience the underwater world for the first time is an incredibly rewarding experience and they are often surprised at the variety and diversity of the marine life that they see. I am consistently cutting tangled fishing lines, picking up any bits of debris that may be around and ensuring that I am playing my small part in a very large group of ocean ambassadors, looking out for and protecting this amazing place every day.
Every diver will have something that they feel the most passionate about whilst diving, whether it’s shipwrecks, underwater topography, marine life or all of these combined. Whatever the reason for diving, it is a privilege to be able to explore 71% more of the world than those who do not venture into the blue.
‘The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul’. Robert Wyland
Learn more about how you too, can take action against marine debris on the Project AWARE website.