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Scuba Diving in Seychelles and Coral Bleaching

Scuba Diving in Seychelles and Coral Bleaching

Most visitors to the islands of Seychelles never get to experience the wonders that await you when you go scuba diving or snorkeling there. They stay on the beach and marvel at the incredible sands and do not think much about whence it came.

Seychelles is a group of 155 tropical islands scattered around almost one million square miles of sea in the Western Indian Ocean. It is well known for its gorgeous white coral-sand beaches but its underwater beauty and abundance of fish is still relatively undiscovered and unknown.

Scuba diving in Seychelles is as good as ever. People are talking about “coral bleaching” and coral dying in Seychelles like it were a new phenomenon that somehow should be stopped and reversed if possible. That’s because people are not being given all the facts especially by those who should know better. Coral bleaching is only nature’s work in progress. And those that have been diving around these islands for 10 years or more know differently. And it’s not all bad.

But some scientists may have their own agenda. So you end up not knowing all the facts. Put in a nutshell, the death of corals has been happening for thousands of years in Seychelles. As Charles Darwin put it best, it’s all about evolution, survival and adaptation. Do corals die? Absolutely, but should we be concerned? Definitely not! Not in Seychelles anyway.

In Seychelles the resultant dead corals provide more pasture for herbivores like surgeon fish and parrot fish, which saw an increase in numbers after the so-called coral-bleaching event of 1998. Those who study it seem to recognise that it comes in a cycle, every 10 to 12 years linked to the El Nino effect. So it’s a natural phenomenon.

At that time the weaker ones die. The law of natural selection kicks in. The strong survive and propagate and the world carries on turning. So it’s not the end of the world. And the reef is as good as new after a relatively short period of time of 2 to 3 years. And during that time some fish species increase in numbers due to increased forage provided by new algae growth. And it will come again…

When I go scuba diving in Seychelles and notice some coral bleaching happening again in 2010 it reminds me of the nature of life – growth and decay, life and death, adaptation and survival, and evolution through natural selection. But more importantly it reminds me that this same process has been happening for thousands of years. So why all this fuss now?

It also reminds me that this is the reason that we have such beautiful white beaches in the Seychelles. It’s all part of the same process. Some of the bleached coral will eventually add to the sand store on the beach, a thousand years from now. So it’s all good.

Would I campaign to try stopping the cyclic coral event? Absolutely not! Why would I want to fight nature? How would you fight it anyway? It sounds like a recipe for failure. When I see this I actually enjoy it. It’s like the winter snow. And I know that when the “sub-marine spring” comes, just as certain as the next sunrise it will be even better and more beautiful.

Look at it with a fresh pair of eyes. Let nature do its work and get pleasure from it next time you go scuba diving in Seychelles. And when I get back to the beach I know that nature has been good to us. How can anyone fault it when you see the amazing white coral sands of the Seychelles?