Being a Responsible Dive Tourist

Responsible Diver Preserve their Environment

When planning your holiday, choose resorts and liveaboards that have environmentally conscious policies; look for any awards they may have received. Ask: Do they actively contribute to the sustainability and preservation of topside and marine environments?

Encourage your guides to act responsibly; often they are simply over-zealous in their desire to please.

Be sure to streamline your equipment, ensure you are correctly weighted, and watch your buoyancy when diving near a coral reef or other sensitive environment. Be careful not to kick sand onto, stand on, or touch coral.

Educate yourself about seafood and the source of the seafood that you eat. Check Do not patronise restaurants that serve Shark Fin Soup and Napoleon wrasse. Be aware that any live reef fish have often been caught using sodium cyanide – poisonous to you and to the reefs.

Buy your dive gear from manufacturers that contribute to the welfare of the ocean. Contact the company directly if you are unsure.

If you see pictures showing animal harassment or articles that are ecologically offensive, please write to the publisher. They exist because you pay to see or buy their products so tell them when they are wrong.

Research and educate others on the issue of captive dolphins and whales.


Increase your knowledge of the environment, above and below water, by attending (marine) ecology programmes. Participate in eco-tourism and research diving expeditions.

Use operators who employ local people thereby providing them with education and training, as well as bringing direct and indirect benefits to their communities.

When you have the opportunity to meet local people, talk to them about environmental issues that affect the area, while ensuring you show respect for their traditions and culture. All grassroots efforts start from just one or two people having an idea.

Never throw anything into the sea and set an example by not removing shells, corals or fish (alive or dead). If you collect rubbish while diving, be careful it hasn’t already been adopted by local marinelife such as an octopus in a broken bottle.

Report environmental damage, or practices that could be damaging, and encourage responsible behaviour such as the use of permanent moorings, even if it means a longer surface swim.

Donate time and/or money to conservation efforts at home and overseas. Support Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) such as Marine Parks.

Tell others about your experiences, good and bad; never be afraid to lead by example.


Remember: More than seven-tenths of the world’s surface is covered by water; we need it for our very survival. All education, for yourself, for children, for anyone, is an investment for the future.

“In the end, we will conserve only what we love,
we will love only what we understand,
and we will understand only what we are taught.”
Baba Dioum, Senegalese Conservationist

Diving with Mola Mola (Ocean sunfish)

Diving with Mola Mola (Ocean sunfish)

In the past, aggressive divers routinely disturbed Ocean sunfish at cleaning stations. This resulted in them spending less time near shore and greatly limited the number of sightings. Records from the early ‘90s show that Mola-Mola were seen in far greater numbers, were more at ease, and remained stationary at cleaning stations for longer periods. This allowed divers to enjoy their natural behaviour with longer encounters with the mysterious Ocean sunfish.

AMD-B’s Mola-Mola Code of Conduct is designed to provide an enjoyable and safe diving experience while ensuring the lowest impact on Bali’s Ocean sunfish. The aim of our Code of Conduct is to ensure they can settle onto cleaning stations without being disturbed. Once settled, they remain for longer periods offering better quality interaction for divers. We hope they can rebound to their previous high numbers.


Mola-Mola CoC Relevant to AMD-B Divers

If Mola-Mola are entering the cleaning station, do not approach until cleaning has begun and they are stationary for minimum 1 minute.

Maintain a minimum of 10 metres when MM are approaching the reef and not yet cleaning.

When at the cleaning station, maintain a minimum of 3 metres from the closest Ocean sunfish.

You will remove mucus protecting it from infection.

Approach Mola-Mola slowly within its field of view.

Do not swim behind an Ocean sunfish as this can startle it.

Do not swim under an Ocean sunfish as your bubbles may disturb cleaning behaviour.


Do not block its escape route off the reef or pathway onto a cleaning station (it will leave!).

If a Mola-Mola approaches, remain still.

Do not use flash photography.

Do not make loud noises (including tank bangers and similar).

AquaMarine restricts group sizes to a maximum of 4 divers and 1 guide. For more than 1 group, entries will be staggered to avoid overcrowding.

To be courteous to other divers, AMD-B will restrict viewing time to 5 minutes when other groups are present.

Always follow the directions of your AMD-B dive guide.

Our Nusa Penida trip is now focusing on Mola-Mola sites. So, if you are aiming for Mola-Mola this year, contact our Dive Travel Consultants and get yourself signed up. In addition, make sure you don’t miss out our Mola-Mola special offers.