Connect with us
background

Marine Life & Conservation

Curacao’s leading sustainable dive tourism operators become Green Fins Members

Published

on

The Reef-World Foundation has launched a new online platform, the Green Fins Hub, which will assist Curaçao’s leading sustainable dive tourism operators as Green Fins Digital Members in developing best environmental practices for marine tourism.

These leading sustainable dive tourism operators (Ocean Encounters, The Dive Bus, Scubacao and GO WEST Diving) in Curaçao have all become Green Fins Digital Members to reinforce the absolute need to create change in order to provide future generations with an opportunity for a healthy and sustainable environment, both above and below the waterline.

“From a private sector point of view, Dive Curacao is incredibly proud to support sustainable dive tourism and these leaders of the Curaçao Dive Tourism Industry to create change. Afterall, if we do nothing to support the environment, we will eventually have an unsustainable dive tourism industry in Curaçao. This will lead to an inability to deliver exceptional dive travel and vacation experiences in the future. Bottom line is that apathy can no longer be embraced”, says Bryan Horne, Founder of Dive Curacao

Why should responsible Curaçao Dive Tourism operators become a Green Fins Members?

The most important reason why Curaçao Tourism operators should become Green Fins Members is, of course, to support the environmental component of Curaçao. Coral reefs in Curacao comprise 104 square kilometers of extremely bio-diverse systems and therefore represent a high economic value.

Consequently, it is important to protect the dive sites and snorkel sites to ensure the sustainable growth of this valuable industry. The same way these dive operators take part in certification programs to raise their service level, The Reef-World Foundation developed the assessment system to measure compliance to the “Green Fins Code of Conduct” that was co-created with UNEP. The Green Fins tools and resources also support industry compliance to Sustainable Diving and Snorkelling ISO standards that address the needs of the industry to meet the rapid shift in demand for sustainable tourism plus the mounting threat towards the marine environment.

Accordingly, initiatives like this combined with government support for progressive marine management legislation will change, legitimize and strengthen the position of the dive tourism industry in Curaçao. As recent studies have shown, their contribution to the Curaçao economy is of great value.

“Marine tourism plays an important role in Curaçao’s economy and as the industry grows, it is critical to establish practical approaches to protect the marine environment. By adopting Green Fins, dive operators are taking vital steps in ensuring Curaçao’s dive market is sustainably managed to increase corals and marine life’s resilience to wider global threats and protect the valuable marine ecosystems for future generations.” said JJ Harvey, Director at The Reef-World Foundation

About the Green Fins Hub

The Green Fins Hub is the latest development by The Reef-World Foundation to meet the growing industry demand for environmentally friendly underwater sports. The foundation recently surveyed more than 2,400 dive tourists and professionals, 75% of whom said they are willing to pay more for marine tour operators with a firm commitment to sustainability.

Created in partnership with UNEP and industry key players such as PADI, PSS, RAID, DAN, ZuBlu and PADI Travel, the Green Fins Hub hosts both the existing Certified Members and registrants to its new digital membership program.

The Hub includes a Community Forum where members can discuss solutions and other topics related to sustainable marine tourism with like-minded operators, NGOs, governments and industry partners; a Solutions Library with information on how to implement best practices; and an Action Plan Tracker to track, collaborate and improve operation’s conservation efforts.

It is hoped the new global digital platform will increase Green Fins uptake, not only in Curaçao, but globally, from the current 700 Green Fins certified operators in 14 countries to a potential 30,000 operators worldwide.

The Green Fins digital membership is available to dive, snorkel and liveaboard operators around the world, in which they will receive environmental scores based on a detailed online self-evaluation of their operation’s environmental practices and most importantly, solutions and actions to the results of their self-evaluation.

This process is seen as the first step to implement Green Fins in Curaçao on a national level with a government-led team to enable dive operators to become Green Fins Certified Members where they will receive annual in-person assessment, on-site training for staff and consultation to help the business develop and implement best practice to improve the sustainability of the marine tourism industry.

Operators that have registered, successfully completed their online self-evaluation and developed their own action plan will be provided with a digital certificate enabling tourists to identify operations that have committed to taking steps to reduce their environmental footprint whilst carrying out their activities.

For more information about Green Fins and the new digital membership, visit www.greenfins.net/digital-membership/

Header Image: Frank Do

Bryan Horne wasn’t born in Curaçao; he’s a Canadian native, drawn to the Island “out of a passion for scuba diving and the underwater world.” Moving was always going to be a life-changing decision, but in diving, Bryan had found his calling. As the founder and owner of Dive Curaçao, he spends his days showing off Curaçao’s hidden undersea treasures – and does his part to preserve them for future generations.

Marine Life & Conservation

The Big Shark Pledge: Shark Trust’s new campaign kicks off with a call for support

Published

on

With the ink still drying on last week’s landmark listing of nearly 100 species of sharks on Appendix II of CITES, the Shark Trust insists that this is not the time for shark conservation to take a break. The UK-based NGO this week launches its biggest-ever concerted campaign to tackle the overfishing of oceanic sharks. They are calling on people across the world to join the call for stricter controls on high seas fisheries.

The Big Shark Pledge is at the heart of an ambitious set of campaign actions. Working to secure science-based catch limits on all sharks and rays affected by the international high seas fishing fleet. The pledge will build the largest campaigning community in shark and ray conservation history to support a raft of policy actions over the vital years ahead.

Many of our best known and much-loved sharks make their home on the high seas. In our shared ocean, these oceanic sharks and rays face a very real threat from a huge international fleet of industrial-scale fishing vessels. Research published in early 2021 confirmed that over three-quarters of oceanic sharks and rays are now at risk of extinction due to the destructive impact of overfishing. They have declined by 71% over the last 50 years.

The Shark Trust is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year and has a long history of securing positive changes for sharks, skates and rays. The Big Shark Pledge will build on the success of their NoLimits? campaign which underpinned landmark catch limits on Blue Sharks and Shortfin Mako in the North Atlantic.

While the listing of so many species on the CITES trade agreement is certainly a positive step, there remains a huge challenge in ensuring that sustainable practices are embedded in international fisheries.” says Shark Trust Director of conservation, Ali Hood. “Sharks on the high seas face extraordinary pressure from excessive fishing practices. This has to be addressed through international agreements such as those secured for Blues and makos.”

There is hope and a feeling of momentum in the shark conservation community. Just last week, in addition to the new CITES listings, the Shark Trust, working with partners in the Shark League, secured the first-ever international quota for South Atlantic Mako at ICCAT meeting in Portugal. The new campaign from the Shark Trust aims to push forwards from here, engaging a wave of support through the Big Shark Pledge to bolster policy action.

This will be a long-term international and collaborative effort. Forging a pathway to rebuild populations of high-seas sharks and rays. By putting science at the heart of shark conservation and fisheries management. And making the vital changes needed to set populations on the road to recovery.

Shark Trust CEO Paul Cox says of the Big Shark Pledge “It’s designed to give everyone who cares about the future of sharks the chance to add their voice to effective and proven conservation action. By adding their name to the Pledge, supporters will be given opportunities to apply pressure at key moments to influence change.

Click here to sign the Big Shark Pledge

Continue Reading

Gear News

Fourth Element X Sea Shepherd

Published

on

This year on Black Friday, fourth element announced their new partnership with Sea Shepherd, encouraging people to move away from mindless purchasing and to opt-in to supporting something powerful.

For 40 years Sea Shepherd, a leading non-profit organisation, has been patrolling the high seas with the sole mission to protect and conserve the world’s oceans and marine wildlife. They work to defend all marine wildlife, from whales and dolphins, to sharks and rays, to fish and krill, without exception.

Inspired by Sea Shepherd’s mission, fourth element have created a collection of fourth element X Sea Shepherd limited edition products for ocean lovers and protectors, with 15% of every sale going to the Sea Shepherd fund to help continue to drive conservation efforts globally.

“Working with Sea Shepherd gives fourth element the opportunity to join forces with one of the largest active conservation organisations in the world to try to catalyse change in people’s attitudes and behaviour. Fourth Element’s products are designed, developed and packaged with the intention of minimising our impact on the ocean environment, and with this partnership, we will be supporting the work of Sea Shepherd, in particular in their work on dealing with the twin threats of Ghost fishing nets and plastic pollution.”

Jim Standing fourth element co-founder

Read fourth element’s Sea Shepherd Opinion Piece HERE

Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!

Competitions

Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. Great value for money and perfect for small groups of buddies. Price NOW from just £1195 per person based on sharing a twin cabin/room including: Flights from Gatwick to Hurghada with 23kgs baggage 7 nights in shared cabin 3 meals a day, soft drinks, red wine with dinner 6 days’ diving, guide, 12ltr tank & weights, Marine Park fees and port departure fees Free Nitrox Booking deadline: Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price. Alternative departure airports available at a supplement. Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk. More Less

Instagram Feed

Popular