Scuba diving and sedentary fish watching: effects of photographer approach on seahorse behavior
A new paper from LECAR Lab is online in Journal of Ecotourism. We investigated the behavior of scuba divers
during seahorse watching to verify if by getting closer images, photographers are causing more behavioral
disruptions to the species. Photographers were getting closer and caused significantly more behavioral
disruptions, mainly those using extension poles, common equipment among users of action cameras. These
repeated disruptions may result in negative effects to seahorses, such as lower reproduction potential and higher
susceptibility to predation. We recommend management initiatives to improve photographers behavior such as the
establishment of a code of conduct including a minimum distance approach, in-water interventions by dive leaders
and the use of educational pre-dive briefings.
Reference: Giglio VJ, Ternes MLF, Kassuga AD, Ferreira CEL. 2018. Scuba diving and sedentary fish watching:
effects of photographer approach on seahorse behavior. Journal of Ecotourism.