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Environmental marine tourism standards in Egypt now available nationwide

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Marine conservation charity asks tourists to look for Green Fins when planning their holiday

The Reef-World Foundation and Chamber of Diving & Watersports (CDWS) are pleased to announce Green Fins – a UN Environment Programme initiative which provides the world’s only internationally recognised standards for diving and snorkelling – has now been expanded to be available to all dive and snorkel operators nationwide across Egypt.

Green Fins was piloted in South Sinai Governorate in September 2019 and has now been expanded nationwide, following a week-long training for six new Green Fins Assessors in Red Sea Governorate (23 to 29 February 2020). Through the implementation of the Green Fins initiative nationally, the Egyptian marine tourism industry is playing its part in protecting coral reefs from the negative impacts associated with diving and snorkelling.

Following the recent lifting of UK flight restrictions to Sharm el Sheikh, and the resultant increase in tourism to the already popular country, The Reef-World Foundation is reminding tourists of the importance of protecting the reefs they visit; urging them to follow environmental best practice and book with a Green Fins operator wherever possible. The CDWS is rallying more dive centres to sign up to the Green Fins initiative to help improve their sustainability and prove they are following environmental best practice.

Diving related damage to sensitive marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, makes them less likely to survive other local and wider stressors, such as overfishing or plastic debris as well the effects of climate change, such as rising sea temperatures. Green Fins is a UN Environment Programme initiative, internationally coordinated by The Reef-World Foundation, which helps identify and mitigate these risks through environmentally friendly guidelines to promote a sustainable diving and snorkelling tourism industry.

Chloe Harvey, Director at The Reef-World Foundation, said:

We’re proud to be helping protect Red Sea coral reefs by expanding Green Fins nationwide across Egypt. Congratulations to the Green Fins Hurghada Assessor team members who are now certified to recruit, train and conduct robust assessments to evaluate the environmental impact of dive and snorkel operators in the country. They will also provide training about the ecology and threats to coral reefs and offer practical, local and low-cost solutions to these threats. Through their one-to-one consultations, the Green Fins national team in Egypt will play a vital role in helping the country’s marine tourism industry improve its sustainability; ultimately, protecting the Red Sea’s precious coral reefs for future generations.”

Hesham Gabr, Chair of the Chamber of Diving & Watersports, said:

To date, nine Egyptian dive and snorkel operators have already joined the global network of nearly 600 trained and assessed Green Fins members, with significant interest from other operators who are awaiting their training and assessment. In the coming year, we aim to certify 30 marine tourism operators, train 150 dive guides and raise awareness of sustainability best practice among 30,000 tourists. Green Fins is a critical part of our ambitious action plan to strengthen sustainability within the marine tourism sector across Egypt and we are excited to see the continued results.”

Amr El Ezabi, Director of the Egyptian State Tourist Office (UK and Ireland), said:

This is the kind of partnership I value and search for. Based on respect, exchange of knowledge, building capacity and at the end realise the targets through sharing the culture. It fulfils all the requirements of sustainability. We are building a community together. Marketing the Red Sea on this basis is solid and sustainable. We are very happy about the implementation of Green Fins in Egypt.”

While Green Fins is usually adopted by a government body (which integrates the programme’s activities with their annual plans and absorbs associated costs), in Egypt the industry has collaborated to bring Green Fins to the area through the CDWS. CDWS is a non-profit organisation and Egyptian operators pay an annual CDWS membership fee of 5,500 Egyptian pounds (LE) to cover costs associated with audits. For those who would like to voluntarily participate in Green Fins, an additional fee will be charged to cover the associated costs of the programme. The Ministry of Environment is CDWS’ main counterpart in the implementation of Green Fins Egypt. The country is the first in its region and 11th worldwide to officially adopt Green Fins.

The Green Fins approach includes proven assessment criteria to identify and mitigate high-risk practices both above and below the water. Green Fins members are evaluated annually based on a 15-point code of conduct, which measures the company’s impact on coral reefs: of a possible score of 330, the lower the score, the lower its impact. The assessment then enables Green Fins assessors to offer practical alternatives to the most pressing threats posed by that business. To ensure its members are fully compliant with the Green Fins Code of Conduct, the CDWS will introduce a minimum environmental impact benchmark of for Green Fins certification; a world first for Green Fins.

The launch of Green Fins Egypt was made possible thanks to financing support from the United Nations Development Programme through its project “Mainstreaming the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity into the tourism development and operations in threatened ecosystems in Egypt.”


For more information, please visit www.reef-world.org, www.greenfins.net or www.cdws.travel.

Egyptian dive and snorkel operators interested in signing up to Green Fins can contact the Green Fins Team at CDWS (egypt@greenfins.net).

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Mares & SSI launch new promotion

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SSI expands financial support to SSI Members worldwide. 

2020 has been an unusual and challenging year for the entire world, especially the diving and travel industry!  To weather the crisis, SSI immediately jumped into action to help Training Centers and Professionals around the world.  

In response to COVID-19, SSI launched the No Water, No Problem Campaign, put Final Exams online, and held hundreds of Webinars to train Professionals on how to use distance learning to teach the dry Specialties online. The FREE SCIENCE OF DIVING promotion resulted in SSI Training Centers worldwide register over 50,000 FREE DIGITAL KITS, funding more than $3.5 MILLION IN RETAIL VALUE. Additionally, SSI introduced an aggressive DOUBLE PRO REWARDS incentive to help SSI Professionals compensate 2020 Renewal Fees and reduce those for 2021. Currently, the WE WANT YOU Crossover promotion aims to fill the industry need for instructors and strengthen the entire SSI Professional community.

Now, in conjunction with Mares, SSI is launching the GO DIVING – PROTECT YOURSELF. OWN EQUIPMENT Promotion, which includes a FREE SSI EQUIPMENT TECHNIQUES DIGITAL KIT. This new campaign strives to motivate divers worldwide to go diving and buy equipment. Look for more information on this next retail support campaign within the next few days.

“These are just a few examples of how we have supported and are continuing to support our Training Centers, Professionals, and divers worldwide. To provide even more economic security and help in business recovery, WE WILL NOT INCREASE PRICES FOR 2021. While travel was restricted and some key resort areas completely locked down, SSI mainly focused on supporting domestic markets with retail-driven incentives. Now, in this next re-opening phase, we need to shift gear and assist resort markets that have no local diving community and are 100% dependent on the traveling diver. Therefore, SSI will grant certain special conditions and delayed payment options to specific resort markets which have been locked down for longer than six months or suffered from closed borders,” stated Guido Waetzig, SSI CEO.

Guido Waetzig, SSI CEO, explains further, “To financially support these needed investments which directly benefit SSI Members and to protect the health of our valuable members and staff, we will forego all 2021 Trade Shows over the next 12 months. Despite international uncertainty, every time we experience one of these events, the entire SSI Network emerges stronger and more resilient. Be assured, SSI is your trustful partner within the Diving Industry!”

For more information about SSI visit their website by clicking here.

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Photo Gallery: Shark Diving in The Bahamas

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In our Gallery feature, we let the photos tell the story… Each Gallery showcases a selection of outstanding images on a chosen theme, taken by our Underwater Photography Editor Nick and Deputy Editor Caroline of Frogfish Photography. This time they look at Shark Diving in The Bahamas.


The Bahamas offers some of the very finest shark diving experiences in the world. The islands have protected sharks in their waters creating one of the first Shark Sanctuaries in the world. Several species of shark can be seen and photographed, with each island offering a different type of shark diving, making this destination the perfect place for a multi-island, multi-shark trip of a lifetime.

Great Hammerhead Shark diving in Bimini

Bull Sharks in Bimini

Tiger Shark off Grand Bahama

Oceanic Whitetip Shark off Cat Island

Nurse Shark off Abaco

Caribbean Reef Sharks off New Providence

Lemon Sharks off Grand Bahama

For more images from The Bahamas and around the world, visit the Frogfish Photography website by clicking here.

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