Chapter 9: ENJOYING MARINE LIFE
One of the most exciting aspects of snorkeling is the opportunity to get close to and observe different types of marine animals. Almost anywhere you can snorkel there will be interesting animals to observe.
Most marine creatures are quite shy and tend to be afraid of people, particularly if you splash and make lots of noise in the water. However, some animals will allow you to approach them very closely while other creatures will actually take the initiative and approach you.
No matter how friendly a marine creature may appear, you must always remember that these are wild animals and their behavior is unpredictable. Although you may think of dolphins or whales as “friendly” or harmless creatures, these are large, powerful animals that are capable of hurting you, either accidentally or intentionally if they become annoyed or frightened.
Even “cute” creatures such as sea otters and sea lions have sharp canine teeth that can inflict painful bite wounds. During mating season, marine mammals such as whales, dolphins, and sea lions can become extremely territorial and aggressive. Female marine mammals are also quite protective of their young.
Marine mammals in the U.S. are protected by the Federal Marine Mammal Protection Act which outlines specific guidelines on human interaction with marine mammals in U.S. waters. It is illegal to harass marine mammals in any way.
This section has been made available by www.SnorkelingCourse.com for your enjoyment and better understanding of the wonderful world of snorkeling. Please visit www.SnorkelingCourse.com for more information and to sign up for the complete online Snorkeling Course!