Pulau Hantu - A celebration of marine life

Secret lives and secret worlds hidden in Singapore's most popular coral reef.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Reflections of 29 May 2005

In March 2004, just over a year ago, I made my first dive at Pulau Hantu, and it was the most dispiriting dive I'd ever had for a few reasons - 1)There wasn't a guide to show or tell me anything, 2)Everything was covered in silt, including the animals, 3)I had no idea where I was going, the zero vis at 12noon was unexpected.

I re-lived this event on 29 May 2005. After nearly eight months of frolicking in clear waters, who'd have thought it'd take so little, and barely an instant to take all that splendour away.

My first Hantu dive

The fact is that those who impair our oceans aren't those who seek pleasure from it, and even if they did, it'd be merely a superficiality or in blissful ignorance. Which is why the diver should know better.

Divers are ambassadors to our world's oceans. Dive after dive, we look forward to standard favourable conditions: great vis, suitable currents, outstanding creatures. But why is it that one dive holiday after another, it takes an immense realisation to want to consider protecting it?

The dive industry holds a particular obligation, since it draws income directly from the ocean. Without beautiful seas and wonderful animals, who'd go into the sea? Yet the irony is that some dive operations directly impact our oceans with mal-equipped resorts and irresponsible instructors/dive masters that act as paltry role-models.

However, the most important player in the industry is you, the consumer. Be wise. Know the role you play and the power you have in making decisions and influencing market trends. Be active. Stay ahead of the industry and the issues by keeping tuned to dive and environmental news. Be responsible. Remain true to yourself and the environment. You know right from wrong. Don't give in to compromise, especially at the expense of the environment.

Don't let up. Even when it seems that all beauty has been restored and there is enough existance, remember that everything beautiful can disappear as swift as a shadow. Make your opinions heard. Let policy makers hear you. It can begin with a simple conversation, an email, an sms.

Only when the last tree has died
and the last river been poisoned
and the last fish been caught
will we realise we cannot eat money.