Published: 21st April 2016
Since 2012, in collaboration with Bangor University, Reef-World has been collecting data on diving behaviour in the Philippines and the adoption of Green Fins environmental practices as part of a study into the impacts of SCUBA diving on the health of our coral reefs.
Diver behaviour (mainly damaging contacts with marine life) was examined at important coral reef dive site locations within the Philippines alongside compliance to the Green Fins best practice. In addition, the role of dive supervision was assessed by recording dive guide interventions underwater, and how this was affected by group size.
The main findings of this paper is evidence to show that customers diving with dive centres who follow the Green Fins code of conduct make significantly lower damaging reef contact than those who do not follow it. Therefore, following Green Fins guidelines can directly contribute to reducing diving impacts on coral reefs, helping to #SaveOurReefs!
This research is intended to help the development team behind Green Fins to identify what the most effective diver management practices are in terms of reducing damaging reef contacts. This is all part of making Green Fins an even better tool for the diving industry to implement practical and effective solutions to every day environmental challenges.
Reef-World would like to thank all volunteers and interns who contributed to the data collection for this paper. They were a vital part in its creation. Bangor University were partly funded for this project by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. Reef-World were funded through The Rufford Small Grants Foundation.