read more arrow
Ocean Lovers

Diving for Coral and Critters

Dive deep into stories from the underwater world.

Photo: Vadim Kurland / flickr
Down Arrow

Surveying the Ocean

Just another day at the office, diving with the sharks of Howe Sound

Meet Stewart Sy: Diver, Rule-Breaker

Stewart Sy's family didn't understand his need to dive, until he brought back pictures from below.

Watch More Down Arrow

How To Be Reef Responsible

Want to go reef diving or snorkelling on holiday? Sounds amazing — just follow these top tips.

  1. Do Your Research

    next arrow
  2. Don't Feed the Fish

    next arrow
  3. Size Really Does Matter

    next arrow
  4. Look Don't Touch

    next arrow
  1. Do Your Research
    close

    Tour in Peace

    As long as it’s done responsibly and sustainably, reef tourism is a good thing. It provides a powerful incentive for communities to protect their reefs. Choose tour operators that use mooring buoys or drift diving rather than anchors, which cause devastating damage.
  2. Don't Feed the Fish
    close

    More Chips for you

    Some divers and snorkelers are tempted to scatter food to draw fish out. Not only does this harm — or even kill — the fish, but adding food to the coral reef increases nutrient levels, which in turn increases the growth of harmful algae that damage corals.
  3. Size Really Does Matter
    close

    Go Small

    It’s best to opt for a small-group tour operator. Overcrowding at dive sites leads to jostling and too much activity around the reef, causing damage and stirring up coral-suffocating sediment.
  4. Look Don't Touch
    close

    Hands Off

    Take only pictures and leave only bubbles! Keep those fins and hands off the coral. They’re delicate and the tiniest touch can leave an impact. Wear a wetsuit rather than sunscreen to avoid leaving behind chemical traces that lead to bleaching (AKA death).
Photo: NOAA's National Ocean Service

Coral is Cool

Thought it was just pretty? Think again.

  1. Jellyfish In-Laws

    next arrow
  2. Stinging Sensation

    next arrow
  3. Algae Tenants

    next arrow
  4. Built-In UV Protection

    next arrow
  1. Jellyfish In-Laws
    close

    Whadda Family Tree

    Corals aren’t plants; they’re colonial organisms, meaning they’re thousands of individual animals, called polyps, connected by living tissue. Coral polyps are tiny organisms, related to jellyfish and anemones, that form a reef by leaving behind their limestone skeletons.
  2. Stinging Sensation
    close

    Let Us Prey

    Corals are badass. Each polyp has a stomach with a mouth surrounded by tentacles. Their tentacles have stinging nematocyst cells that inject a liquid venom into their prey, which might be a microscopic zooplankton or a small fish, depending on the polyp size.
  3. Algae Tenants
    close

    Symbiosis FTW

    Microscopic algae, called zooxanthellae, live within the cells lining the polyp’s stomach. The algae uses the coral’s nutrients for photosynthesis, while the coral provides protection (like ecological mafia!) and draws 90% of its energy from the algae’s photosynthesized food.
  4. Built-In UV Protection
    close

    Colour Us Impressed

    When exposed to intense sunlight some polyps increase their production of pink, purple and blue protein pigments, becoming even more vibrant. Changing colour is essentially a form of sunscreen, protecting the coral — and the algae living inside it — from UV rays. Nice.

Our Work

Discover more about Ocean Wise, and what we do.

Pass on the coral love, and this story!

Photo: Vadim Kurland / flickr

Meet Jessica Schultz: Biodiversity Booster

Learning about underwater critters gives Jessica Schultz new inspiration for every dive.

Meet Lee Newman: Water Warrior

Every weekend, Lee Newman disconnects from the world above by diving down below.

close
1 of 7
Scroll Down Arrow

Make like a dolphin & flip

Please turn your device to portrait orientation to get the best video experience

Rotate Icon