Today is the 17th day that we have lived in Labuan Bajo, and there are so many beautiful place we’ve seen here, especially the ocean.

Today it was Irianies and William’s turn to share information about manta ray ecology and behaviour. They joined Dive Komodo to give a manta briefing and introduce everyone to the manta code of conduct. The divers all seemed very interested, and their first manta briefing was a success!

Irianes and William give a manta briefing

The important thing to remember when diving or snorkelling is to protect our ocean life. There are many ways to protect ocean life, including by following the manta code of conduct. But there are other simple things that you can do as well.

For example, did you know that a 2015 study found that oxybenzone and octinoxate — ingredients commonly found in sunscreen products — cause genetic damage to coral and other marine organisms at concentrations as low as the equivalent of one drop of water in six-and-a-half Olympic-sized swimming pools! These ingredients can cause stress to corals, resulting in coral bleaching.

We need to use sunscreen to protect ourselves from harmful UV rays. But there are some simple steps we can take to protect our marine life. Always apply your sunscreen at least 30 minutes before entering the water. Most importantly look for sunscreen that do not contain oxybenzone or octionoxate, and choose mineral-based sunblocks that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide instead.

Take a look at this list of sunscreens that are safe for the environment, publishers every year by Haereticus Environmental Lab. You can also see a large number of sunscreens and moisturisers rated by the environmental impact in this review by the Environmental Working Group.

Chatarina Rika

Chatarina Rika

Diver with a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Skilled in Food Processing, Food Safety Management System, Public Speaking, Food Technology, and Scuba Diving. Strong operations professional with a 2015 focused in Food Technology and Processing from Universitas Gadjah Mada.