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Impacts of Recreational SCUBA Diving on a Natural Area in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

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Arts, Education and Humanities Department, Centro Universitario de la Costa, Universidad de Guadalajara, 48280 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico
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Biological Sciences Department, Centro Universitario de la Costa, Universidad de Guadalajara, 48280 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Colin Michael Hall
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6249; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116249
Received: 24 March 2021 / Revised: 17 May 2021 / Accepted: 18 May 2021 / Published: 1 June 2021
Despite the protection status of the marine area in Los Arcos, it has experienced reef deterioration associated with tourism activities. Therefore, this study aimed to analyze SCUBA divers’ impacts by quantifying and typifying their contact with the seabed, and to determine if the diving leader’s performance is related to the behavior of the divers being guided. The number and type of impacts on the seabed were counted and categorized as intentional and non-intentional. A total of 9811 contacts were made by 101 divers. The highest frequency type of non-intentional contact identified was “lifting sediment”, following by non-intentional—fins. The “hands” intentional contact type was found to occur most often. The highest frequency of total contacts per diver was “very high” (31.7%). By analyzing the profile of the divers related to their certification level, number of dives, SCUBA center attended, and leader, it was possible to establish a relationship between the number of contacts made by the leader and the number of contacts made by the divers guided by each leader. Our findings suggest the need for a joint approach of key players toward good practices to highlight the important role of diving leaders on their clients’ behavior, and thus preserve the ecological and aesthetic qualities of the dive site. View Full-Text
Keywords: SCUBA diving; tourism; responsible diving; reef SCUBA diving; tourism; responsible diving; reef
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MDPI and ACS Style

Balzaretti Merino, N.; Bravo-Olivas, M.L.; Chávez-Dagostino, R.M.; Medina-Rosas, P. Impacts of Recreational SCUBA Diving on a Natural Area in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Sustainability 2021, 13, 6249. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116249

AMA Style

Balzaretti Merino N, Bravo-Olivas ML, Chávez-Dagostino RM, Medina-Rosas P. Impacts of Recreational SCUBA Diving on a Natural Area in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Sustainability. 2021; 13(11):6249. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116249

Chicago/Turabian Style

Balzaretti Merino, Natalia, Myrna L. Bravo-Olivas, Rosa M. Chávez-Dagostino, and Pedro Medina-Rosas. 2021. "Impacts of Recreational SCUBA Diving on a Natural Area in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico" Sustainability 13, no. 11: 6249. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116249

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