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Marine Life & Conservation

Reef-World launches Green Fins materials in Bahasa Malaysia

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The Reef-World Foundation – the international coordinator of Green Fins – and Reef Check Malaysia are pleased to announce that Bahasa Malaysia-speaking dive and snorkel operators can now benefit from environmental resources in their first language.

The Green Fins programme is resuming in the country after a pause due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The newly translated Green Fins posters and guidelines are designed to help marine tourism operators understand their impact on the environment and empower them to adopt more sustainable practices.

Diving related damage to sensitive marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, is becoming an increasingly significant issue. This damage makes them less resilient to survive other local and wider stressors, such as overfishing or run-off from land containing pollutants and plastic debris and the effects of climate change, such as rising sea temperatures.

Dive and snorkel operators being able to understand the issues faced and educate others is hugely important to the local environment and community, especially when Malaysia is a part of the Coral Triangle as well. Having access to readily available materials in their first language will help Bahasa Malaysia speakers learn how to protect coral reefs by adopting sustainable tourism behaviours and empower local guides to teach best practice to their guests whatever their level of English.

JJ Harvey, Director at Reef-World, said: “We’re thrilled that our educational materials are now available to Bahasa Malaysia speakers. With Green Fins being a global initiative, it’s important for us to communicate and educate as effectively as possible and translating materials into Bahasa Malaysia allows us to reach even more people than before leading to greater impact.”

Samantha Craven, Programmes Manager at Reef-World, said: “The face-to-face environmental training sessions given by the Green Fins national teams to dive shop members in their local language are invaluable to building the environmental knowledge of their staff and crew. That’s why we’re delighted to build on this by providing our suite of tools and resources in Bahasa Malaysia to help even more marine tourism operators improve their sustainable practices.”

Alvin Chelliah, Senior Programme Manager at Reef Check Malaysia, said: “Many local boatmen, compressor boys, snorkel guides, divers and snorkellers aren’t fluent in English. Also, with the restarting of tourism in Malaysia, more local tourists are travelling and exploring destinations close to home. Having the Green Fins materials in Bahasa Malaysia makes it easier to get the message across to a much wider range of people that are visiting the reefs, which could have more impact on raising awareness and taking actions to protect them. We hope this will encourage more dive and snorkel operators to use them with their guests.”

Green Fins is a UN Environment Programme initiative which aims to protect and conserve coral reefs through environmentally friendly guidelines to promote a sustainable diving and snorkelling tourism industry. It provides the only internationally recognised environmental standards for the diving and snorkelling industry and has a robust assessment system to measure compliance. Green Fins was first launched in Malaysia back in 2004 and is available to dive and snorkel operators nationwide.

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.

Download the Bahasa Malaysia Green Fins materials here.

For more information, please visit www.reef-world.org or www.greenfins.net. Dive and snorkel operators interested in signing up for Green Fins can find the membership application form at: www.greenfins.net/how-to-join.

Marine Life & Conservation

PADI and Circular Flow Partner to Pursue Sustainable Neoprene Recycling Programme

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Trial Launches in the UK to Prove Feasibility and Scalability

PADI® is bringing about positive change for our shared blue planet through their partnership with Circular Flow. The goal is to create a closed loop neoprene recycling programme to foster a dive economy that aims to reduce the global impact of old and discarded wetsuits within the dive industry.

An estimated 8,380 tons of old wetsuits lie unused every year, with the majority inevitably headed for landfill thanks to the popularity of thermal protection in water sports, coupled with the lack of scalable, sustainable recycling systems for neoprene.

Recognising the opportunity for innovation, PADI, in partnership with Circular Flow, aims to offer the dive industry effective and sustainable solutions to the problem of disposing of wetsuits and other non-biodegradable neoprene products. The goal is to keep them out of landfills and recycle them into useful products such as mask straps and changing mats. To ensure feasibility and determine global scalability, the initiative will begin with a test in the UK.

“PADI is committed to help reduce the global environmental footprint of the dive industry and support our members and divers to reduce impact as well,” says Drew Richardson, CEO and President of PADI Worldwide. “We are constantly looking for new and scalable ways to do so through our Mission Hubs across the planet. We are proud to introduce and test this ground-breaking recycling programme into our community, enabling every diver to recycle neoprene as part of being an Ocean Torchbearer.”

During the initial trial, divers can bring their clean and dry wet suits and other neoprene items to participating UK Dive Centres from August 11th – August 22nd. PADI and Circular Flow will then arrange for the free collection of the items for recycling.  Circular Flow will implement an innovative process to recycle the neoprene, after shipping the neoprene to a specialised factory. The patented recycling process eliminates the use of chemicals or water and utilising electricity, pressure and heat.

To learn more about the programme or locate a place to drop off your end-of-life neoprene in the UK, visit circularflow.net/padi

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Marine Life & Conservation

Statement from Captain Paul Watson on his resignation from Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (USA)

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It is with great relief that as of July 27th, 2022, I have ceased my employment and cut all ties with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (USA).

Since 1977, when I founded Sea Shepherd nearly a half century ago, I have dedicated my entire life to the aggressive and determined preservation and protection of biodiversity of marine life and our ocean.

Over the last few years, I have been slowly marginalized from the organization that I created in the USA. I was removed from the Board of Directors, my advice ignored, my close associates terminated and directors that supported me were removed. I was reduced to being a paid figurehead, denied the freedom to organize campaigns and the freedom to express the strong opinions that I have held for decades, opinions and campaigns that have shaped what Sea Shepherd has become and continues to be outside the borders of the United States.

As I said in the documentary movie Watson, my role is to rock the boat, to make waves, to provoke people to think about the damage we are collectively inflicting upon diversity and interdependence of life in the ocean.

The current Board seeks to turn our vessels away from confronting illegal poachers that prey on endangered species and instead seeks to turn our fleet into non-controversial research vessels. Research has always been a part of Sea Shepherd efforts, but it has not and should not be our priority. What we have provided is a unique function: a fearless leadership to intervene against poachers on the high seas, to document and to stop illegal acts that would otherwise go unnoticed and unchallenged. Sea Shepherd has always, and must always go where others fear to go, to say the things that must be said and to tackle the obstacles fearlessly and with great resolve.

The new direction that the present Board of Sea Shepherd USA has decided upon is not a path that I can in good conscience support nor participate in. I have not changed my objectives or resolve, and I refuse to change and adopt an approach that diminishes the incredible movement that we have created over the last four and a half decades, a movement that continues to grow outside the borders of the United States.

I remain a director of Sea Shepherd Global, and I remain a supporter of Global ships, officers, and crew. Together with all other national Sea Shepherd entities, with the exception of the USA, I will continue to support our campaigns around the world utilizing our unique philosophy of aggressive non-violence and cooperation with governments and NGOs.

We are Sea Shepherd. We are direct action motivated by imagination, persistence, and courage.

My future lies with the people from around the world who have made and continue to make Sea Shepherd the most influential, passionate, and effective marine conservation movement on this planet.

Captain Paul Watson

Founder – Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Canada (1977)

Founder – Sea Shepherd Conservation Society USA (1981)

 

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