Diving in Utila Honduras can be Disappointing

 Diving in Utila and Roatan (conducted February and March 2016) is very similar, but Utila stands out the most of having a decimated fish population, and degrading coral system. Direct observation during the dives, and review of videography of the excurssion was jaw dropping... the adult fish population is nearly non-existent, and the coral system is under stress.

Internet research seems to confirm that the human factor is destroying this ecosystem. What was once a jewel for diving, is becoming an aquatic life dessert. Perhaps it can recover over time, but locals did not seem to think any major actions were being taken to reverse what is happening.

Utila has no waste treatment facilities; therefore raw sewage (fecal matter, urine, and anything else that goes down drains) is dumped directly into the ocean.  If you do a shoredive near a dive shop, chances are that raw sewage is entering the water just a few meters away. Tourists bring a desire for seafood, thus local fishing, and to some degree commercial fishing, has decimated the fish population.  Algae blooms were everywhere, and often the water had low visibility and a signifcant green color.  Since many fish species are algae eaters, the lack of fish likely contributes to the algae problem.

The people are friendly, and there are several good dive training facilities, but the reef ecosystem is highly stressed and its health in serious decline. If you go to Utila expecting the ultimate dive experience, you will likely be disappointed.