Underwater Photographers Disrespecting Nature Cause Trouble for All of Us

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Pregnant Seahorse Overly Stressed by Photographing SCUBA Divers

This just makes us mad! Most nature and underwater photographers love and respect nature–but these guys give us all a bad name!

pregnant seahorses photo from sciencenutshell.com

Seahorses are amazing and fascinating creatures. They actually come in a wide variety of shapes and colors and sizes, all under the name “hippocampus” or commonly referred to as ‘seahorses.’

It is the male seahorse that becomes pregnant and carries the young.

On a recent dive in Dauin, Negros Oriental, the Phillipines, a group of of divers were observed ‘manhandling’ a pregnant seahorse causing it undue stress.

Danilo Ocampo is a staunch environmentalist. He and a diving instructor friend, Laura Pearce witnessed the event and reported it to the authorities last month.

The incident took place in a marine sanctuary. An underwater photographer and guide were picking up the seahorse and repeatedly placed it on a mirror in order to take their pictures. The pair attempted to signal the offenders but were ignored. They surfaced and let another underwater photographer who is a friend know of the activity. The friend, Dragos Dumetriscu, reported it immediately to the authorities.

Ocampo and Pearce continued their dive, only to discover the disrespectful photographers at it again, this time with a nudibranch.

“We followed them and they repeatedly did this with other marine creatures. The mirror broke and they placed the broken pieces on the sand, on the rubble or anywhere they can put it to take pictures of other marine critters and their reflection”, Ocampo said.

They tried to stop the two again but they were simply ignored, Ocampo added.

underwater photographers harassing wildlife

Most divers are there because they love nature and respect the fragility of a hard life under the sea. There has been an outcry from the dive community condemning the errant underwater photographers and urging all to practice “responsible and ethical behavior underwater.”

It is believed that by holding offending divers responsible for misconduct a strong message will be sent to divers, dive shops and resorts.

Take photographs, of course, but all nature deserves us to observe a large “do not disturb” sign.

do not disturb sign


Read the complete article on The Visayan Daily Star

pregnant seahorses photo from ScienceNutShell

photo of underwater photographers harassing wildlife from Danilo Ocampo

Thanks for sharing our love of nature photography!
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