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Lionfish43

New Cozumel Regulations

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I don't like to kick someone when they're down but it sounds like new regulations put in place by the Cozumel Marine Park are definitely anti-photographer.

Christi fom BlueXTC wrote:

What distances are we required to maintain from the reefs?

1.5 to 3 meters (3 to 10 feet - same as it was before)

Divemasters have the authority, responsibility, and obligation to their discretion with regards to divers in their groups. If a diver is damaging the reef, touching the reef, not practicing proper buoyancy control, the divemaster CAN suspend that divers privileges and/or require them to stay further away from the reef.

 

Are we allowed to dive swim-throughs?

YES, but the same divemaster responsibilities and discretions apply. Divers that do not have proper buoyancy control WILL NOT be taken through swim throughs. This is really the same as before.

 

Are cameras permitted?

YES. Again, the divemaster has the authority to restrict camera use for those divers/photographers who do not have proper buoyancy control, touch the reef, rest body parts on the reef to get their shot, etc.

 

Here is one catch, and I actually agree with it. Photographers must be in the site of the divemaster while taking photos. WHY? Because the DM is responsible for making sure that the photographer does not touch the reef. I have seen this more times than I care to count...photographers hang at the back, and when they think no one is looking, they do one of the above things. Again, this is a temporary restriction

I also read that divers with cameras would be required to demonstrate proper buoyancy on a dive before they would be allowed to take a camera. All sensible divers want to protect the environment but it sounds like they're placing the responsibility for hurricane damage on u/w photographers. I think that they would be encouraging ALL divers to return. Guess not.

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I have witnessed absolute carnage of reefs and wrecks due to poor diving standards from all walks of life and diving organisations. From beginners to very experienced divers. O.K don't get me wrong I am guilty of having to grab something i shouldn't to hold on in a strong current but I would not dream of it just for a decent bit of footage or a photo. We are guests in this underwater world and just because we think we own everything does not give us the right to crash about like idiots...Visitors with responsibilities..!

 

If you cannot demonstrate decent buoyancy and are liable to crash into a age old piece of living coral then stay away..Go and practise. I welcome the need to look after our oceans no matter what small piece of inconvenience it is to us..

 

WOW !! stop me I'm on a roll..

 

Dive safe & still

 

DeanB

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The new regs don't really bother me. I'm not much for diving anyplace where my freedom is restricted, whether it be bottom time, no diving without a buddy, bee swarm follow the DM dives etc. I read the distance rules as saying: "No macro photography". At least the kind I enjoy. I'll admit to using the 1 finger on the dead coral area but this isn't always allowed some other places too.

 

They should do everything possible to protect the reefs and of course photographers as a group get a bad rap for roto tilling the reefs. Perhaps they see this as an opportunity to tighten rules that may not have been acceptable without the Hurricane damage. I can't imagaine a future announcement saying: "It's now Ok to grab the reef, dive with poor bouancy" or whatever.

 

A premier dive site in Roatan, Mary's Place, was closed for several years due to damage. I wonder if they are as serious about allowing the reefs to recover in Cozumel?

 

There are other places to dive.

 

 

Rand

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<snip>

There are other places to dive.

 

Rand

Exactly.

 

Grand Cayman gets a lot more milage out of the "no gloves" rule, IMHO.

 

All the best, James

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