Protect Maldives’ coral reefs with reef safe sunscreen

16 Jan 2020

The Maldives is well known as one of the world’s top scuba diving and snorkelling destinations – the coral reefs and abundance of marine life make a trip here unforgettable and at Prodivers we are very fortunate to be placed at the very heart of it. The coral reef is an incredible, yet fragile, environment and we want to do all we can protect it and you can help by choosing reef-safe sunscreen.

When packing for a holiday in the sunny tropics, one of the first items on the list is usually sunscreen to protect against the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays but chemicals within many of these products are harmful to coral reefs and marine life. Lotions applied to the skin don’t stay there when you are in the ocean, even if they are ‘water-resistant’, they wash off and any remaining particles will be rinsed off in the shower, ultimately finding their way into the water. Once in the ocean, the chemicals build up in corals, contributing to bleaching, damaging DNA and ultimately kill the organism. Fish and dolphins are amongst other species at risk of harm from a build-up of harmful chemicals in the ocean too.

The chemicals known to be harmful to marine life include: Oxybenzone, Benzophenone-1, Benzophenone-8, OD-PABA, 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor, 3-Benzylidene camphor, nano-Titanium dioxide, nano-Zinc oxide.

How can you protect yourself from UV rays at the same time as protecting the coral reef?

  • Wear protective clothing when snorkeling – such as rash guards
  • Wear a wetsuit when diving
  • Seek shade when the sun is at its strongest – a long lazy lunch perhaps?
  • Wear a hat to keep the sun off your head and face
  • Buy reef-safe sunscreen and skincare products

There is no greater joy than introducing our guests across the Maldives to the incredible coral reef ecosystems and, we invite you all to join us in becoming guardians of the reef by ensuring your products cause no harm. Prodivers stopped selling sunscreen that was thought to be harmful to the reefs in 2017 and since then has only sold reef-friendly sun lotions and creams in its dive shops.