You're obviously here because you're interested in protecting the ocean - that's great! So are we!

But let's get straight to the point: having exceptional buoyancy control is a non-negotiable skill for an eco-diver.

Why? Well, let's break it all down in this article. You'll soon understand why we put so much emphasis on buoyancy in our training here at The Fifth Point!



As an eco-diver, you will no doubt want to protect the place you love the most - the ocean!

If you don't work on developing your buoyancy skills, you'll never feel fully in control underwater.

Apart from making your dive harder than it needs to be, you'll constantly worry about your environmental impact.


"I hope I don't bump into the reef."

"Was that me who made that big silt cloud?!"

"Argh I can't get in close enough to complete my conservation work!"


Diver demonstrating the importance of buoyancy and good trim underwater

A diver showcases the critical role of buoyancy and trim in responsible eco-diving.


Buoyancy is a huge deal for an eco-diver.

Environmental Impact - Poor buoyancy will wreak havoc underwater.

Divers who can't maintain neutral buoyancy have significantly higher contact rates with reefs. While we're sure that it's completely unintentional, when it does happen it's bad news for the underwater environment.

Coral reefs are delicate living structures. They are extremely slow growing with some species only growing a few millimetres each year. Any damage caused by an irresponsible diver could take years to repair.

Divers who can't control their position above the sea floor run the risk of disturbing the sediment as they swim over it. The wash from their fins sends sand and silt into the water column. Not only does this kill the visibility, but sediment that lands on corals and other delicate stationary marine life can smother them.

We know that divers who invest more time developing this important skill will rarely cause damage underwater. When you're in complete control, position yourself perfectly to avoid contact.


Diver Safety - Having good buoyancy makes being underwater safer for eco-divers.

You'll have the skills to descend nice and slowly so you can take care of your ears and make sure you're equalising properly on the way down.

You're less likely to find yourself in a situation where you're ascending too fast. That's never good for divers for a number of reasons! Instead of rocketing to the surface, you'll be able to hold your safety stops on the way up with ease.


Diver Efficiency - mastering buoyancy makes being underwater effortless.

Divers with good buoyancy control expend less energy. This in turn leads to better gas consumption. Eco-divers can stay underwater longer! When you've got good buoyancy and nice trim, you're more streamlined. You reduce drag and glide effortlessly through the water.

There's a good chance that as an eco-diver, you'll not just be underwater taking in the sights - you've got a job to do! You might be removing ghost nets, counting fish species or monitoring coral health. When your buoyancy control is second nature, you'll avoid being task-loaded and you can concentrate on the good work you're doing.



Now that we've established that having exceptional buoyancy skills is something every eco-diver should strive for, let's look at some real diving activities where buoyancy control is a game changer.

  • Dive Against Debris Surveys - picking up litter underwater might sound pretty straightforward, but it can be a really delicate operation. You need precise buoyancy control to hover over the seabed, grab the debris, and place it in your collection bag, all without disturbing the surrounding marine life and habitats.
  • Marine Life Surveys - When you're laying transects, or hovering while you record data on your slate, buoyancy is your best friend. It allows you to maintain a stable position while you jot down observations, moving slowly and methodically through the survey area. Your data will be much more accurate and reliable.
  • Coral Conservation - this is where buoyancy becomes an art form. You need to stabilise yourself in one place for long periods of time as you attach delicate corals to your nursery frame. Once you've populated your frame, that's not the end of the job. You'll return regularly to clean them, removing algae with a toothbrush. This gives your baby corals the best chance of survival as you make sure they aren't smothered by algae preventing photosynthesis.
  • COT Control - The crown of thorns starfish is an important part of many tropical reef ecosystems. They graze on corals, making room for new growth. However, on some reefs COT numbers are out of control. As you swim over the corals, you'll notice huge patches of white, dead reef. When populations explode, eco-divers take action to reduce numbers by injecting the starfish with vinegar. As you can imagine, this precise work takes a lot of buoyancy skill - especially as a sting from one of these critters is crazy painful!
  • Photography and videography - If you're capturing images or videos for research or awareness campaigns, good buoyancy is essential. With high control, you'll be able to handle your camera with ease and get close, clear shots that can make or break your project.
Diver holding an old crisp packet underwater, highlighting the importance of buoyancy in eco-diving

A diver with excellent buoyancy control picks up an old crisp packet, demonstrating the skill needed to interact with the environment without causing disturbance.



When it comes to eco-diving, buoyancy isn't just another skill to master; it's a practice that requires dedicated time and effort. That's why our eco-diver training allocates extra time specifically for buoyancy control. Unlike standard PADI courses that treat buoyancy as just another box to tick, we make it the cornerstone of your training.

Why? Because buoyancy is the key to being a responsible and skilled eco-diver. Good buoyancy control allows you to hover effortlessly, reducing the risk of damaging delicate marine life or stirring up sediment. It's not just about looking good underwater; it's about minimizing your impact on the environment.

Developing excellent buoyancy skills is an investment in your future as an eco-diver. Mastering buoyancy now will make every subsequent dive more effective, safer, and honestly, more enjoyable. By investing time in this skill at the beginning of your journey, you're setting yourself up for a lifetime of responsible and fulfilling diving experiences.



Ok, it's time to address the elephant in the room. We know that our training and diving costs a lot more than most other dive centres both here in the UK and abroad.

There's a few different reasons for this (we pay our staff, we keep group sizes small and many more that you can read about here). But the reality is that it takes more than a bog standard PADI course to become an eco-diver.

We use the PADI curriculum as the blueprint for your training, but you'll go above and beyond the requirements of typical PADI training.

We don't sell qualifications. There's no time limit to pass.

We have an eco-diving standard, and we will help you reach that bar. But we want you to know that it will be an investment in terms of your time and money - a very good investment and we promise you'll have an absolute blast during your adventure - but the way we do things is very different to most other dive centres you've seen.

Just like when you learn to drive a car, your driving instructor won't send you for your test before you're ready. This just sets you up to fail. We won't send you to the big blue before you've mastered everything in our training tank. Our programs have been designed based on our experience and understanding of what the "average" diver needs to develop into an eco-diver.

If you were to compare a bog standard PADI course to a Fifth Point Eco-Diver course, you'll see that there are lots of extra sessions built into your schedule.


Duration 3 - 4 days At least 7 days
Theory paper manual Custom built eco-diver portal including:
PADI elearning
PADI AWARE Specialty course
Human Factors in Diving Essentials course
Pool Sessions 5 8+
Dives 4 5+
Focus on Buoyancy
(just another skill to tick off)

(all other skills revolve around this)
Conservation Activities
real-world conservation tasks into your training. This gives you a chance to practice your buoyancy in scenarios you'll actually encounter as an eco-diver.
Price UK average £506 (2022 study) £1k+


Not everyone achieves the standard initially. It may be that you need (or want!) additional sessions to build your confidence and skill levels required to enter the ocean. The Fifth Point is a psychologically safe space where you and your diving team can talk openly about your progress. Feedback works both ways and you will develop action plans with your dive team to achieve your goals.



Buoyancy isn't just a skill; it's a responsibility. As divers, we're guests in an underwater world, and good buoyancy is our ticket to being a welcome guest. Our Eco-Diver Course goes the extra mile to ensure you master this critical skill, not just for your benefit but for the greater good of our oceans. So, invest in your skills, become an eco-diver, and let's make a positive impact, one dive at a time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *