Information for Snorkelers
Snorkelling is a great way to observe Ko Lanta’s beautiful coral reefs and stunning underwater life in a natural setting without the equipment and training required for scuba diving. Pretty much anyone can snorkel as it requires no special training, only the ability to swim and to breathe through the snorkel.
If you are not a strong swimmer, Scubafish have experienced staff on hand who can provide you with a lifejacket so that you can just float and admire the underwater tropical marine life with the minimum of effort.
In terms of marine life, water clarity and abundance of coral, Ko Haa and Ko Rok offer the very best snorkelling around Ko Lanta.
Snorkelling is a great introduction the underwater world and can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. Over 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, so you need to get wet to discover many of the greatest sights our world has to offer.
Be an environmentally responsible snorkeller – There are many practical things you can do to help protect Thailand’s Coral Reefs:
*Snorkel carefully over fragile aquatic ecosystems such as coral reefs. Many aquatic organisms are delicate and can be harmed by the bump of a knee, camera, the swipe of a fin or even the touch of a hand. By being careful you can prevent devastating and long-lasting damage to magnificent diving and snorkelling sites.
* Be careful that you do not bang into the bottom or parts of the reef whilst snorkelling. Be aware of your body placement to avoid accidental contact with the reef, and never touch, stand on, or collect coral.
* Consider how your interactions affect aquatic life. Resist the temptation to touch, handle, feed and even hitch rides on any aquatic life. Your actions may cause stress to the animal, interrupt feeding and mating behaviour or provoke aggressive behaviour in normally non-aggressive species.
* Be a role model for other snorkellers in your interaction with the environment. As a snorkeller, you can see the underwater results of carelessness and neglect. Set a good example in your own interactions and other snorkellers, divers and non-divers will follow suit.
* Do not touch any living organism under the water. Coral takes a long time to grow and forms a delicate ecosystem, which can be damaged by even the gentlest touch. Never stand on or hold on to any coral. Some completely healthy corals may look dead or even just like rocks, so never assume you can touch anything. Fish have a protective layer. If you touch them you can damage this protective layer and cause them skin infections.
* Do not put anything into the water, or over the side of the boat. Feeding fish can disrupt their natural feeding habits and even affect their behaviour. Sergeant Major Fish now come to snorkel sites & dive boats in much larger schools that they ought and act more aggressively, constantly searching for food and sometimes nipping at snorkellers. This is a direct result of large numbers of snorkel boats throwing bread and rice over the side to attract fish for the snorkellers to see.
* Do not collect shells, or coral as souvenirs. Taking a shell from a beach can deprive a hermit crab of a home. Dive sites can be depleted of their resources and beauty in a short time. If you want to return from snorkeling or diving with souvenirs, consider underwater photography. Avoid purchasing souvenirs made from coral or any threatened or endangered marine species.*
* Do not fish at dive sites. Thailand’s national park regulations clearly state that no marine live is to be removed from their parks. If you hunt and/or gather game, obey all fish and game laws. Local laws are designed to ensure the reproduction and survival of these animals.
* As a diver or snorkeller, choose tour operators that use mooring buoysor drift diving techniques whenever possible rather than anchors that can cause reef damage.
* Learn more about the underwater world and share your knowledge with other people. The more people understand and care about coral reefs, the more likely they are to help protect and care for them. And, don’t forget you can make a difference every day. Dispose of waste properly and collect debris each time you dive or visit the shoreline.