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Marine Life & Conservation

Reef-World announces launch of the updated Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course

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The Reef-World Foundation – international coordinator of the UN Environment Programme’s Green Fins initiative – is pleased to announce the launch of the updated Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course: new contents in Green Fins’ free online course designed to teach dive professionals about the marine ecosystems in which they work and to help build on their existing scuba diving knowledge to conduct more environmentally friendly dives.

Diving-related damage to sensitive coral reefs remains an increasingly significant issue. According to the GCRMN’s The Sixth Status of Corals of the World: 2020 report, “reducing local pressures on coral reefs in order to maintain their resilience will be critical while global threats posed by climate change are addressed”. The Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course continues to equip dive professionals with the knowledge to manage this important issue.

Reef-World initially created the Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course in 2019 with the support of Professional SCUBA Schools International (PSS) but since 2021, the course has been independently hosted on the Green Fins website. Reef-World created the course to enable individual dive professionals to be part of the Green Fins network without their operation being a Green Fins member. To date, the course has enrolled 1,827 dive guides and instructors who have learnt how to maximise their ability to influence diver behaviour and better manage their guests to prevent them from causing damage to marine life, notably coral reefs. The Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course is still the only environmentally accredited course for dive professionals to learn best environmental practice.

The updated course now has an extended marine biology section, including lessons about coral reefs and other marine ecosystems, the latest updates in marine conservation and environmental threats; and the actions to help prevent them. Upon completing the course, there is an option to pay $25 to receive a personalised electronic certificate. All funds will be used to support Green Fins’ work worldwide to make sustainable diving the social norm. Each certificate has a validity of two years to encourage dive professionals to remain educated with the latest information.

Reef-World recommends that dive professionals retake this course every two years in order to refresh their skills and stay up to date with the latest environmental and dive industry knowledge. Just like refreshing their safety skills, refresher courses help to keep important knowledge fresh and current. Those who have completed the course can display the certificate to inform their guests that the guide is aware of reducing the environmental impacts of diving, making divers more confident about the guide and centre’s standards.

This is the first update since the course’s inception in 2019, with Reef-World now planning to update the course content annually, whilst making minor modifications throughout the year to match dive and conservation industry news and incorporating feedback from dive professionals who have taken the course.

JJ Harvey, Director at The Reef-World Foundation, said: “As global tourism slowly restarts, it’s crucial to stay up to date with the latest environmental knowledge. To protect coral reefs and minimise local threats to allow them to be more resilient and the chance to recover from other wider stressors effects such as climate change. Reef-World aims to continue providing dive professionals with the latest marine conservation and dive industry updates to help preserve the coral reef ecosystems, which many rely on for food, coastal protection, and income from tourism and fisheries.”

The Andrea Leeman Green Fins Dive Guide Scholarship Fund is still available for those who cannot afford the certificate personally or through their employers. This is funded purely from generous donations from the general public. Those that would like to support and sponsor a dive guide can do so by visiting: https://greenfins.net/sponsor-a-dive-guide.

Green Fins is the only internationally recognised environmental standard for dive and snorkel operators, established through a partnership between the UN Environment Programme and The Reef-World Foundation. Green Fins uses a unique and proven three-pronged approach; green certifications of dive centres, strengthening regulations and environmental education for dive staff, divers and government.

For more information, or to sign up for the Green Fins Dive Guide  e-Course, please visit: https://greenfins.net/green-fins-dive-guide

Marine Life & Conservation

The Shark Trust Great Shark Snapshot is back

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The last week of July will see the return of the Shark Trust’s citizen science initiative, The Great Shark Snapshot. It invites divers and snorkellers, all around the world, to record the sharks and rays that they see. This year it takes place between the 20th and 28th July.

The event is back for its 3rd year, and it is happening in “Shark Month”, more commonly known as July! To coincide with a series of events that celebrate all things shark and ray.

Divers, their clubs, dive centres, charter boats and liveaboards are all encouraged to show their support by organising dives and events through the week. As well as gathering vital data, the event will provide a chance to celebrate the incredible shark and ray species that live in our ocean.

Information about the species and numbers of sharks and rays the participants find over the week will be added to the Shark Trust’s Shark Log. This global shark census will, over time, allow shark scientists to build a picture of species distribution and any changes that occur

Caroline Robertson-Brown, Marketing Manager at the Shark Trust said “It is great to see this popular citizen science event back for its 3rd year. Whether you are diving your local dive site, or on a trip of a lifetime, we want divers to join in on the Great Shark Snapshot in July. I cannot wait to hear from the divers and dive organisations about the species of sharks and rays that they see. And where in the world they see them.”

It is easy to join in. Just go diving between 20th and 28th July and record every shark, ray and skate that you and your dive group sees. If possible, take photos and some video footage too. Then make sure that you record your sightings on the Shark Trust Shark Log recordings website or by using the Shark Trust app.

The Great Shark Snapshot is a way for divers to get together, go diving, and do something to help shark conservation. Why not dive in?

Find out more here: www.sharktrust.org/snapshot

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The Ocean Cleanup to Complete 100th Extraction Live from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

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the ocean cleanup
  • The Ocean Cleanup marks 100th extraction of plastic pollution from the Pacific Ocean by livestreaming entire cleaning operation from start to finish.
  • Occasion brings together supporters, partners, donors and followers as the project readies its cleanup technology for scale-up.
  • Founder and CEO Boyan Slat to provide insight on the plans ahead.

The Ocean Cleanup is set to reach a milestone of 100 plastic extractions from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Extraction #100, scheduled for 28 or 29 May 2024, will be the first ever to be livestreamed direct from the Pacific Ocean, allowing supporters and partners around the world to see up close how the organization has removed over 385,000 kilograms (nearly 850,000 lbs) of plastic from the GPGP so far – more than double the bare weight of the Statue of Liberty.

the ocean cleanup

The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to rid the oceans of plastic. To do this, the non-profit project employs a dual strategy: cleaning up legacy floating plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (the world’s largest accumulation of floating plastic), while stopping the flow of plastic from the world’s most polluting rivers.

The Ocean Cleanup captured its first plastic (the first ‘extraction’) in the GPGP in 2019 with System 001, following years of trials and testing with a variety of concepts. Through System 002 and now the larger and more efficient System 03, the organization has consistently improved and optimized operations, and is now preparing to extract plastic trash from the GPGP for the 100th time.

the ocean cleanup

Extraction #100 will be an interactive broadcast showing the entire extraction procedure live and in detail, with insight provided by representatives from across The Ocean Cleanup and partners contributing to the operations.

This is an important milestone in a key year for The Ocean Cleanup.’ said Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup. ‘We’ve come a long way since our first extraction in 2019. During the 2024 season, with System 03, we aim to demonstrate that we are ready to scale up, and with it, confine the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to the history books.

the ocean cleanup

The livestream will be hosted on The Ocean Cleanup’s YouTube channel and via X. Monitor @theoceancleanup for confirmed timings.

www.theoceancleanup.com

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Experience the Red Sea in May with Bella Eriny Liveaboard! As the weather warms up, there’s no better time to dive into the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea. Join us on Bella Eriny, your premier choice for Red Sea liveaboards, this May for an unforgettable underwater adventure. Explore vibrant marine life and stunning coral reefs Enjoy comfortable accommodation in our spacious cabins Savor delicious meals prepared by our onboard chef Benefit from the expertise of our professional dive guides Visit our website for more information and to secure your spot: www.scubatravel.com/BellaEriny or call 01483 411590 More Less

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