LONGITUDE 181'S INTERNATIONAL CHARTER FOR RESPONSIBLE SNORKELING

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1

PREPARE YOUR TRIP

Travel agents and accommodation providers don't all offer the same services. Some make an effort to protect the environment that you're going to discover, and share natural resources more equally with the inhabitants of the host country. It's expensive for them, and for you, but together you will contribute to our planet's sustainable development. Don't make the price of your trip or absolute comfort your only selection criteria.
- Choose a travel agency that follows an ethical charter.
- Find out about the marine eco-systems that you are going to discover.
- Find out about the inhabitants of your host country: traditions, economy, resources...
- Find out about any possible protected marine areas: follow the access and visiting instructions, forbidden zones, permitted activities...

2

BEFORE SNORKELING

- Find out about the site you are going to discover, it'll make your snorkeling more enjoyable. You will no longer be a passive spectator in a world where you don't speak the language, you'll be able to read the first words in the big book of marine life. Because you'll be able to identify the animals, you'll know how they behave, you'll know where to find them to discover them. You'll know how to spot incredible hidden fauna.
- Find out about the ecology of the most common species you are going to encounter.
- Know how to recognise endangered species and protected species.
- Never throw anything into the sea, not even cigarette filters.

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3

ACCESSING THE ENTRY POINT

- Respect paths leading to the sea.
- Avoid trampling all over the entry point and the sea-bed if it is covered in grass, coral or seaweed.
- Enter, if possible, from a sandy or stony beach, less "sensitive" than areas covered in grass, coral or seaweed.

4

WHEN SNORKELING

- Swim as early as possible, so your fins do not make contact with the bottom.
- Adjust your buoyancy to neutral.
- Be careful not to kick your fins into stems.
- Avoid grabbing the sea bed, animals or plants (e.g. posidonia).
- Watch but do not bother the animals that you come across.
- Do not feed the animals.
- Do not break anything and do not collect any living organisms.
- Do not lift or move the stones or rocks, they shelter many micro-organisms that do not tolerate these movements.
- Do not follow large animals: dolphins, turtles or whale sharks. Take your time, stay calm, they will trust you. Let them come to you and do not touch them.
- Collect any bags, plastic objects, waste that you find whilst diving or around your entry point.
- Use underwater identification boards to recognise marine species.
- Use underwater blackboards to write down and draw what you see.

5

AFTER SNORKELING

- Ask your guide about what you have seen, using your notes and drawings from your outing.
- Find out more from marine biologists, marine reserve guards, etc.
- Report your observations on BioOBS to share and capitalise your observations.

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DURING YOUR STAY

- Do not throw anything into the sea, pick up all your rubbish.
- Keep your used batteries and put them in a recycling bin, take them home with you if you can't find one.
- Use reusable plates, glasses and cutlery instead of disposable plastic.
- Use biodegradable soap and maintenance products.
- Put your suit on in the water if it is warm to avoid using soap and water.
- Rinse your equipment quickly if you use it regularly, only rinse thoroughly before you leave.
- If you can avoid it, do not rinse in drinking water.
- Save the shower water (rinse yourself off with your equipment at your feet!)
- Don't buy seaside souvenirs: shark's teeth, shells, coral, turtle shells, etc. Boycott restaurants that serve turtle soup, fins, fish caught with cyanide or dynamite, protected or endangered species...
- Refuse all useless packaging.

longitude 181 underwater fauna flora protection association

Want to learn more about the Longitude 181 association ? And perhaps become a member of the association ? Check out their site and their work to protect the sea environment !

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                ARTICLE CO-WRITTEN WITH

                erika retail assistant decathlon marseille longitude 181 member
                Erika, retail assistant at Decathlon in Marseille

                I'm a retail assistant at Decathlon in Marseille and passionate about snorkeling. I also have my PADI Open Water certification. As an active member of the Longitude 181 Nature association, I'm delighted to contribute to this association's efforts to protect our oceans and their flora and fauna and if at my level I can help change things,raise the awareness of even a single person, I think that it's worth the trouble. Longitude 181 is an association of enthusiasts, which is what I like!

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