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Reef-World Foundation and CDWS call for protection of Egypt’s coral reefs



Following the recent announcement of UK flight restrictions to Sharm el Sheikh being lifted, and the subsequent rush of operators to resume selling holidays to the region, The Reef-World Foundation and Chamber of Diving & Watersports (CDWS) are calling for tourists and operators to remember the actions they can take to protect the country’s precious coral reefs.

With UK flights to Sharm el Sheikh restarting, business from the UK to Egypt, which increased by 30% between 2017 and 2018, is now expected to rise even further. As a result of this expected influx of tourism to the region, Reef-World – the international coordinator of the UN Environment Programme’s Green Fins initiative – and CDWS – which implements the initiative in Egypt – are urging people to remember the importance of protecting the reefs they visit.

Chloe Harvey, Director at The Reef-World Foundation, said: “We’re proud to be working alongside CDWS helping protect Red Sea coral reefs through Green Fins – but we can’t do it alone. Everyone has a part to play, which is why we’re asking tourists to reduce their negative impact on coral reefs by following a few simple guidelines, as outlined by the Green Fins Code of Conduct. Reducing diving and snorkelling-related damage to coral reefs helps make them more resilient to other stressors such as those associated with climate change. If we all make an effort to act as a responsible tourist, we can protect Egypt’s beautiful coral reefs for many years to come.”

The Green Fins guidelines recommend that divers and snorkellers:

  • Don’t step on coral: Divers and snorkellers can easily break coral with their feet or fins. This can cause injury and kill coral reefs
  • Don’t touch or chase marine life: This can lead to stressed and scared animals that will swim away, leaving nothing for guests to see. Sharks species, in particular, should be left alone as our presence can influence and disrupt their natural behavior
  • Don’t stir the sediment: Careless divers and swimmers who stir up the sand can cause damage and spread disease on reefs
  • Do not buy souvenirs of shell, coral or other marine life: This encourages people to take marine life from the ocean, removing the beautiful creatures people have travelled so far to see
  • Do not take marine life – dead or alive: Removing species that would normally break down and be recycled into the sea leaves other animals without nutrients and elements they need for growth. Even empty shells on the beach play an important role in the wider ecosystem. Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but bubbles.
  • Don’t litter: Throwing trash in the ocean kills marine life, poisons seafood and can cause injury – minimise your use of single-use plastics and recycle or dispose of your litter properly. You can also pick up any litter you see in the ocean or on the beach
  • Don’t wear gloves: Gloves can encourage tourists to touch things underwater, which could cause fatal injury and damage marine life. In Egypt, the use of gloves is not permitted
  • Don’t feed the fish: This can make fish sick or aggressive, especially with sharks, causing them to attack and injure humans. Fed fish are also more likely to leave their nests empty and vulnerable to predators
  • Dispose of litter responsibly: Throwing trash in the ocean kills marine life, poisons seafood and can injure tourists. Encourage recycling and proper disposal
  • Wear reef-safe sunscreen: Some chemical components in sunscreen – including Oxybenzone and Octinoxate – may have a negative impact on coral reefs. Help protect coral from harmful chemicals by using alternatives which are reef-safe and covering up with clothing when in strong sunshine.
  • Report environmental violations: If you see any destructive practices or violations of environmental laws, tell your dive guide, dive operator or government officials. By informing key authorities, you are being part of the solution as your actions can lead to appropriate action.
  • Participate in conservation projects: By taking part in conservation projects, you can have a positive effect on the environment and help educate others.

The Green Fins initiative aims to protect coral reefs through environmentally friendly guidelines that promote sustainable diving and snorkelling. The only internationally recognised environmental standards for the diving and snorkelling industry, it has a robust assessment system to measure compliance.

Green Fins was piloted in South Sinai Governorate in September and will be expanded to be available to all dive and snorkel operators nationwide by March 2020. Egyptian marine tourism operators who sign up to the programme are playing their part in protecting coral reefs from the negative impacts associated with diving and snorkelling. The CDWS is rallying more dive centres to join the Green Fins initiative to help improve their sustainability and prove they are following environmental best practice as a way of attracting eco-minded tourists. Interested operators in the region can sign up by contacting the Green Fins Team at CDWS by emailing

Hesham Gabr, Chair of the Chamber of Diving & Watersports, said: “We are lucky to be the custodians of a naturally rich and beautiful environment. It is so important that we protect and preserve the Red Sea’s exquisite marine life for future generations. As such, we’re appealing to Egyptian dive and snorkel operators to learn how to improve their environmental best practices and reduce their negative impact on coral reefs by signing up to Green Fins.”

The Reef-World Foundation leads the global implementation of the UN Environment’s Green Fins initiative, which focuses on driving environmentally friendly scuba diving and snorkelling practices globally.

Dive and snorkel operators interested in signing up to Green Fins can find the membership application form at:


Mares & SSI launch new promotion



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



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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