Green Fins: Environmentally Responsible Diving and Snorkelling
“To protect and conserve coral reefs by establishing and implementing environmentally friendly guidelines to promote a sustainable diving and snorkeling tourism industry” - Green Fins Network
Using Green Fins as a tool to guide and support best practices within the scuba industry, our organization is working towards creating a more eco-friendly diving community and aiming to reduce our own impact. Therefore, this year we embraced the Green Fins philosophy for our Caribbean destinations; the Caribbean Explorer II and Turks & Caicos Explorer II. The islands frequented by these vessels include St Maarten, Saba, St Kitts & Nevis, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Dominican Republic. Explorer Ventures has become the pioneering liveaboard to adopt Green Fins, and we will continue to use these principles to guide our organization moving forward.
This year we also celebrate International Year of the Reef 2018. Explorer Ventures and the Green Fins community have come together to celebrate the importance of coral reef protection in 2018, focusing on 'Refining the Dive,' part 1 of Green Fins 4 part campaign #GreenFinsIYOR2018. As a campaign partner, we lead by example and inspire divers to follow only the best underwater behaviors. Providing solutions to dive guides and outlining to divers how they are expected to behave underwater. The campaign goal is to educate divers on how to be the most environmentally aware diver to have zero impact dives. <Scroll to bottom for more details>
What is Green Fins?
Green Fins was initiated by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) under the Regional Seas program. It was started as part of the effort to increase public awareness and management practices that will benefit the conservation of coral reefs and reduce unsustainable tourism practices. It is overseen by the Coral Reef Unit of UNEP based in Bangkok in collaboration with UK charity The Reef-World Foundation.
Green Fins is a comprehensive sustainability approach that encourages dive centers and snorkel operators, local communities and governments to work together to reduce their environmental impacts. This is primarily done through the private sector adopting a Code of Conduct that will help mitigate their impacts when carrying out marine tourism activities.
The Code of Conduct consists of 15 points, which target environmental threats posed by the tourism industry, both underwater and on land. Green Fins members receive the training and the tools to promote environmental education and awareness, tapping into the tourists and the diving community, which is shifting more and more towards eco-friendly initiatives as a result of the demand from the consumer.
Green Fins dives even deeper as it creates a network through which dive centers, local and national governments and communities who work together to tackle local environmental threats to protect livelihoods and food security.
Green Fins ethos of diving is a system built on measurable progress and collaboration among stakeholders.
Where is Green Fins?
Encompassing 500+ members across 50 countries, Green Fins is an ever-expanding initiative. There is a rapidly growing network of dive operators all over the world who are involved in the project.
Green Fins is managed in each country by a National Management Team made up of governmental bodies and often supported by national NGO's. These teams are trained and supported by the International Coordinators of the project, The Reef-World Foundation whose role is to focus on expanding the project to additional member countries in the region and to strengthen the existing network through capacity development.
The National Management Teams are responsible for expanding Green Fins in their respective countries and to produce educational and public awareness materials while promoting the successes of the approach. Local Management Teams are often used as a way to better manage the members in a particular tourist ‘hotspot’ who take their direction from the National Management Team and the International Coordinators.
Green Fins Codes of Conduct
Explorer Ventures Caribbean vessels have pledged to practice the Green Fins guidelines, and follow the 7 Codes of Conduct. In addition, we also ask our customers to join in by following these simple diving tips while onboard.
Green Fins and International Year of the Reef
#GreenFinsIYOR2018 is a social media campaign that will cover four simple actions that the diving industry can take control over, allowing reefs to be the strongest they can be: refine the dive, no anchoring, no feeding fish, healthy oceans means healthy business. An average of 70 percent of divers contact the reef while diving, with an average of 5.79 times on each dive. That can lead up to over 200,000+ diver damage incidents per year, on a single dive site!
As campaign partner for Redefine the Dive, we hope to educate the public through social media on best diving practices, as well as reduce our own organization and dive guests' potential damage. From errant fin kicks to poor photography techniques this action point delivers new tips and tricks to assist guides on how to redefine their guest's dives. Dive travelers will also get a deeper understanding of what to expect from our organization.
IYOR2018 Infographic: Redefine the Dive
*Please note: This infographic was created by Green Fins for scuba day-boat operators and new divers. It is not liveaboard specific, so some information may vary from what is shown. Explorer Ventures Caribbean Fleet are the first liveaboards to adopt the Green Fins principles on environmentally responsible diving. As ongoing supporters of sustainability initiatives, we are assisting in the creation of new guidelines which better match the specific requirements of liveaboard dive vessels.
“It’s our responsibility to make a difference!”
Learn more www.GreenFins.net