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“Dive gloves are not allowed” Believe it or not, there are tropical dive sites where the use of dive gloves is prohibited, such as Bonaire and Red Sea. In the following article, we consider the goal of this standard and how effective it is.
Dive gloves are a piece of equipment with a double function. On the one hand, in cold waters, they protect the diver from low temperatures avoiding losing heat through the hands. That’s right, but makes no sense in tropical waters.
On the other hand, they minimize the risk of cuts and hurting yourself if something scrapes, bites or stings you. In this case, whether you are on a sunken wreck or diving among jellyfish, dive gloves protect the diver. So…
Why Are There Places Where Dive Gloves Are Forbidden?
Coral reefs are a threatened ecosystem. The aim of dive gloves prohibitions is to minimize the damage that divers can cause to them. So, in some places, divers who wear diving gloves are severely sanctioned. Even the operators who have allowed them to dive with gloves can be fined.
The logic of this rule is that since people are afraid of damaging their bare hands, they will avoid touching the reefs. But let’s think twice. Only thinking that a diver touches the reef for pleasure, ignorance, or evil; this rule will be effective.
However, this is not realistic. Most divers are nature lovers, so we avoid touching the coral whether we are wearing dive gloves or not.
For the detractors of this measure, the only thing it achieves is that divers are unprotected. Other experts argue that the dive gloves only offer a false sense of security that ultimately damages the reef when the solution is about divers improving their scuba skills.
The goal is good, but is the strategy so good? That’s the question.
Diving Gloves Versus Buoyancy Control
Most of the damage that divers can do to reefs is because of occasional mistakes. These errors are generally related to loss of buoyancy control. When this happens, the diver clings to the reefs or collides with them.
Another plausible reason is that the diver is over ballasting. Then, he or she will need to move the fins constantly to raise the legs and maintain a horizontal position. Due to the downwards flutter, the diver can damage the seabed and corals.
There is often a need to slow down progress during drift diving, and some unskilled divers use their hands to hold onto the reefs.
In none of these cases, the dive glove ban avoids damage to the reefs. However, the diving gloves may promote a diver’s disability. What is the solution? Without a doubt, training is the answer to solve the problem.
Divers will stop clinging to reefs if they improve their buoyancy control, learn to ballast better, and train for drift diving.
Better training as a diver safeguards coral reefs.
So, the diving world faces a dilemma, is wearing dive gloves a risk for the reefs, or is it a risk for divers not to wear them? Share your comment on Facebook.