100% agree with this.
please, please, please be careful with those... They can be a great tool but are often used for all the wrong reasons.
If used for positioning, maybe this diver could follow a technical dive course to learn new finning techniques. Finning backwards and helicopter turns are a good alternative to poking the bottom and damaging corals or lifeforms hiding in the sand.
If used for banging on your tank, consider this: divers who are interested in what you show them will look if you merely point. Making noise makes the fish flee and (di)stresses other divers.
If used to reposition fish, then you should really consider not diving since you have 0 respect for the wildlife underwater.
Some sticks can be used to measure fish and objects underwater, which is useful and causes no damage.
We used steel rods in Lembeh
We call them balance rods, If you've dived Lembeh straits before you know that no part of you should touch the "soft sandy sloping bottom".
There are some very dangerous little critters about.
Gently resting your fin tips on the bottom and then gently placing your balance rod into the sand as something to steady you whilst you watch/wait for the critters or take photo/video is a safe option, it keeps you off the bottom, and minimises the chance of stirring up muck.
A good technique for lift off is to inhale slightly more than usual until you are clear of the bottom.
Having said that if you are in danger of bumping into the reef you're balance stick can stop you from doing more damage, next time don't get so close.
Just some friendly advice :-)
Edited by sharkbaitdiver, 11 February 2013 - 06:02 AM.