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Marine Life & Conservation

Reef-World’s 2023 Impact Report — Driving Sustainable Marine Tourism Amidst Global Challenges

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Reef-World

Reef-World has expanded its impact, welcomed new team members, and embraced growth while prioritising employee well-being

The Reef-World Foundation — the leading voice in sustainable marine tourism and the international coordinator of the UN Environment Programme’s Green Fins initiative —released its Impact Report for 2022 – 2023, outlining a year of significant achievements, innovative initiatives and groundbreaking collaboration.

In a year marked by global challenges, The Reef-World Foundation has been resilient and continued to excel in its mission to protect and conserve coral reefs and related ecosystems. The organisation has expanded its impact, welcomed new team members and embraced the opportunity for growth, all while remaining dedicated to the well-being of its employees.

Chair of The Reef-World Foundation, Vic Hancock Fell, said, “The past year has been both challenging and transformative. We’ve embraced new faces and a culture of care, further igniting our passion for safeguarding coral reefs and our natural world. We’ve redefined our strategic objectives to drive immediate, collective action in the marine tourism industry.”

Impact Report Highlights

  • Our Programmes: Green Fins, Reef-World’s flagship program, continues to set environmental industry standards and has made significant strides in protecting coral reefs globally. The Green Fins network now covers over 60 countries, an expansion from 14 in the previous year! Through the Youth Ambassador Programme, 2,432 students in the Dominican Republic are educated about marine ecology, creating Youth Ambassadors for reef protection.
  • Sustainability Targets: Reef-World diligently works toward achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a particular focus on SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) and SDG 14 (Life Below Water).
  • Impactful Partnerships: In partnership with Reef-World, PADI established Eco Centers to recognise continuous conservation commitments. Reef-World’s supported survey, featuring partners like PADI, RAID, PSS, and ZuBlu, garnered 2,400 responses from April to June 2022, uncovering evolving travel trends and sustainability’s growing role in post-COVID-19 tourism.
  • Expanding Communications: Reef-World’s refined approach amplifies its global message of sustainable marine tourism through increased social media engagement, press coverage, and a reformed communications strategy.
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Reef-World’s commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion is reflected in its core values, culture of care and workforce capacity-building.

In the face of pressing climate change impacts, the need for immediate climate action is undeniable. The Reef-World Foundation has set the stage for a future where marine tourism will champion sustainable practices as the norm, offering solutions and hope for the world’s coral reefs.

Looking Forward

As Reef-World continues to grow and innovate, it remains committed to promoting environmental conservation and employee well-being. The organisation’s dedication to a Culture of Care and its efforts in fostering Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) set a shining example for the marine conservation sector and beyond.

“The launch of Green Fins Hub is positively a dream come true for us all, seeing the fruits of our labour over the years, and this is only the beginning. There is lots more work to be done, and now Reef-World has stronger foundations upon which to build, the only way is onwards and upwards,” said JJ Harvey, Operations Director at the Reef-World Foundation.

Reef-World

The Reef-World Foundation is immensely grateful for the continued support of its grant funders: UN Environment Programme, IDB Lab, The Matthew Good Foundation, Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority and GIZ (German development agency) in Jordan.

Reef-World would also like to express its gratitude to international partners whose vital support has resulted in significant tangible benefits for our work and mission: PADI; Professional SCUBA Schools International (PSS); Explorer Ventures; 1% for the Planet; ZuBlu; Snorkel Venture, GSTC; Dive O’Clock; WildSocks, Charitable Travel and Seven Dragons, without whom these achievements would not be possible.

Reef-World

Find the full 2022–2023 Impact Report on Reef-World’s website.

Marine Life & Conservation

Dive with a Purpose: Shark Guardian’s Expedition Galapagos

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Shark Guardian has just unveiled their largest and most exciting expedition yet: a seven-night, eight-day adventure in August 2026 aboard the Galaxy Diver II, a state-of-the-art
vessel specifically designed for divers exploring the enchanting waters of the Galapagos
Islands. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to engage deeply with marine
conservation in one of the world’s most revered diving destinations.

Shark Guardian is a UK registered charity dedicated to protecting sharks and marine
ecosystems worldwide. Founded by marine biologists and conservationists, Brendon
Sing and Liz Ward-Sing, Shark Guardian leads educational programs, research projects,
campaigns and expeditions aimed at fostering a better understanding and respect for
marine life. Their work spans several continents and focuses on direct action,
education, and advocacy.

Shark Guardian’s ethos revolves around the concept of “diving with a purpose.” This
philosophy underscores the importance of not just experiencing the wonders of the
underwater world but actively learning and contributing to its preservation. Participants
in Shark Guardian expeditions engage in citizen science projects, which involve
collecting data that supports ongoing research and conservation efforts. These
activities empower divers to make a tangible difference, turning each dive into an act of
conservation.

One of the newer additions to the Galapagos diving scene, the Galaxy Diver II, is
specifically tailored for divers. Its design prioritises comfort, safety, and environmental
responsibility. The vessel boasts modern amenities, spacious dive decks, and the latest
navigational technology, ensuring that every dive is not only memorable but also has
minimal environmental impact.

A highlight of this expedition is the opportunity to dive at Wolf and Darwin islands,
renowned for their vibrant, untouched marine ecosystems and as a haven for large
pelagic species. These islands are famous for their schools of hammerhead sharks,
whale sharks, and manta rays, offering spectacular diving that attracts enthusiasts from
around the globe.

Shark Guardian have developed this trip to ensure a hassle-free experience. The
expedition package also includes internal flights from Quito, Ecuador, to the Galapagos,
plus accommodation in Quito before and after the trip. This allows divers to relax and
enjoy the experience without worrying about logistics.

Participants will join a diverse group of passionate divers and conservationists. This trip
offers a unique opportunity to network with like-minded individuals who are eager to
learn about and contribute to marine conservation. It’s a chance to share experiences,
knowledge, and a commitment to protecting the marine world.

sharks

Shark Guardian is offering an early bird price available until May 31st 2024. This special
rate provides a fantastic opportunity to secure a spot on this exclusive expedition at a
reduced cost. Availability is limited, so interested divers are encouraged to act quickly
to ensure they don’t miss out. All the details can be found on their WeTravel page, where
bookings can be made easily and payment instalments are available.

Expedition Galapagos, aboard the Galaxy Diver II offers more than just a diving
holiday—it is an investment in both personal and planetary well-being. By participating,
divers not only witness the majesty of one of the world’s premier diving locales but also
contribute to its preservation for future generations.

Find out more about Shark Guardian at www.sharkguardian.org.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Shark Trust Launches New Podcast

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The Shark Trust has launched their new podcast. Delve behind the scenes and gain exclusive insights in the world of shark and ray conservation on The Shark Trust Podcast. Out Now!

Join the Shark Trust on this journey as they explore the diverse world of sharks. Hear from experts from different backgrounds and learn how you can become a part of the global effort to protect these vital species.

Whether you’re a seasoned shark expert or just dipping your toes beneath the surface, this podcast offers something for everyone!

shark trust

In the first series you will hear from the Shark Trust team. Shark Trust Patrons, Monty Halls, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Simon Rogerson. Divers with a passion for sharks. And some of the Oceanic 31 artists.

New episodes released every two weeks on all major podcast platforms and watch full video versions on the Shark Trust YouTube Channel. Keep your eyes peeled for the bonus minisodes!

There are two available to dive into right now!

Episode 1: Dive beneath the waves of shark and ray conservation with Mark as he speaks with Paul Cox, CEO of the Shark Trust. Paul and Mark discuss the threats and difficulties that sharks and rays currently face in the modern world. And how the Shark Trust is working to create a better future for them!

Bonus Minisode: Join Mark at Go Diving, the UK’s biggest dive show. He interviews Shark Trust Patron, Simon Rogerson, about his diving experiences and how seeing sharks can transform your life!

For more information about the work of the Shark Trust, visit their website here.

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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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