Photography has a unique way of sparking a new level of interest by capturing people’s attention. Underwater photography can, therefore, help many to understand the complexity of the ecosystem. Many divers travel in exotic places to obtain the best pictures of marine life- big or small, rare and common. But sometimes they come across depressing conditions like damaged coral reefs, polluted waters, illegal fishing, and criminal tourist activities. The big question is what underwater photographers can do to conserve marine life and save the environment. The best thing is to capture those images and environmental issues to raise awareness. With photographic proofs, it is easier to stimulate remedial actions. Here is how underwater photographers can save ocean life.
Exposing Illegal Fish Markets
Divers who enjoy shooting the oceanic wonders never go far without coming across fish markets. It is quite shocking that some fishermen are a huge threat to fishes. They even sell juvenile sharks. A smart underwater photographer can save the endangered species for sale by politely talking to the sellers to allow taking photos of the fish. In many parts of the world, dried shark fins and seahorses are sold in seafood shops. These are also good spots to shoot marine conservation images. Of course, not many sellers like the idea of their sale items being photographed. Once again, the photographer should use a friendly tourist approach to get the shots.
Rescuing Endangered Sea Creatures
The leatherback turtle is one of the endangered species and is often hunted by fishermen. It is shocking to see turtles being slaughtered. Underwater photography can be used to intervene and stop the horrendous act by exposing the wrongdoers. Some fishermen, in a bid to catch reef octopuses, use hazardous fishing methods like poisoned baits. In other instances, turtles are injured and left for dead by malicious poachers. Photos of these creatures encourage environmental conservation organizations to take rehabilitation measures. The injured animals are treated and released to their natural habitats.
Saving Coral Reefs
Often, water vessels are major culprits of damaged coral reefs. This is a common problem in the tropics that scuba divers can relate to. Sometimes, ships are grounded on the shores in protected areas, and these must be held responsible for damaging the environment. The reef damage can also be a result of illegal dynamite fishing. Images of dilapidated reefs make tourists and watersport enthusiasts become conscious of their activities. Photographic evidence of both underwater and shoreline damages can be used to prosecute the culprits. Boat captains and fishermen start anchoring correctly to prevent further damage to coral reefs.
Marine conservation images are often shot with wide-angle lenses. It is worth documenting striking scenes and human-related issues on marine life. Telling a story is also an important part of underwater photography. For example, dried shark fins, dead sharks, and shark fin soup for sale can strike a lot of interest. Threats to coral reefs must also be published with human elements that readers can relate with. Shooting with marine conservation can be hugely rewarding since it shows that the photographer is not just doing it for fun but also for the planet.