Monday, October 1, 2007

Women divers better than men – it’s official

Do we have any regulatons on divers and lake malawi bodiversity protection. Yes we do not have coral reefs to destroy, BUT what about the bowers or nest of cichlids in the sandy shores habitants? AND do I hear ou well, OR someone is saying what about the slimy algae on the rocky habitants YES that food for the colourful mbuna??

Makes me think some policy issue here between all stake holders, Fisheries Dept and Parks Dept, YES include tourism DEPT as well.

Should we say only women should be diving in Lake Malawi??



SOURCE: University of Hull website

Yes your are right thats me underwater Lake Malawi

Increased diving activity means that environmental damage is becoming more of a problem, but research done by the Scarborough Campus at the University of Hull suggests that men are more to blame than women Recreational scuba-diving is increasing in popularity, with holidays to exotic locations providing the perfect opportunity to explore life underwater.

The experience can be enjoyed for as little as £200, bringing money into areas where it is badly needed. The down side is that divers cause damage to reefs by accidentally breaking off bits of coral when they are swimming over it – ironic when the very thing that attracts divers to the reef is their beauty and the fish that congregate around them.

Diver damage occurs due to a lack of buoyancy control, which causes sediment disturbance, covering the reef and suffocating it. But how do divers achieve good buoyancy control?

According to Mandy Shackleton, a Masters student from the University’s Centre for Environmental and Marine Sciences, relaxation and a good breathing technique are key to maintaining control and minimising damage. Mandy has spent the last three years in Kenya, where she observed 500 divers and measured their impacts on coral reefs.

Mandy, a qualified dive master, created an underwater tick sheet to assess the different types of damage caused by male and female divers. Mandy says, “When men go diving, they experience ‘sensation seeking’.

This triggers a chain reaction of hormones: the first to be released is the stress hormone cortisol, then testosterone – the hormone linked with aggression – and finally, adrenalin. The combination of these three results in erratic, dangerous diving. By contrast, female divers have better orientation underwater: they have a greater awareness of what is going on around them, they are more conscious of safety and therefore dive with greater care.”

Dr Magnus Johnson, Head of the Centre of Environmental and Marine Sciences says, “Mandy’s research is particularly interesting because above water, men are usually cited as having better spatial awareness than women. It is perhaps a good job that men don’t have to parallel park or change lanes underwater. They would lose their no clams bonus!”

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