10 Japanese Dive Centres Receive Green Fins Training

In 2019, the Reef-World team visited Onna Village, Okinawa. During the trip they conducted a scoping trip and met with the people who will make up the Green Fins national team. This included representatives from Onna Village local government, Onna Village Diving Association, Oceana and Japan Association for UNEP as well as Onna Village’s Mayor. The scoping trip was such a success that Reef-World quickly put plans in place to launch Green Fins Japan. This was due to take place in June 2020. 

Dive centre owners and managers sitting around a table looking at a Green Fins presentation on a laptop
Dive centres in Onna Village learning about the Green Fins approach

It will probably be no surprise that this didn’t take place. The COVID-19 pandemic – and resulting travel restrictions – meant the launch could not go ahead at this time because of the face-to-face trainings required. However, the Green Fins Japan team has not been disheartened by the postponed launch. During this time, they have been busy preparing Okinawa’s dive industry to improve its sustainability practices by following the Green Fins Code of Conduct

Firstly, they helped Reef-World to create refreshed Japanese translations of the Green Fins materials. They have also been planning island-wide promotion to raise tourist awareness of sustainable diving and promoting Green Fins to Okinawa’s diving industry. They had a great response with lots of dive shops registering their interest. Of those, the Green Fins Japan team chose 10 in particular to take part in a study session. During this session they learned more about Green Fins and how to get involved. 

The dive centres who took part in these virtual trainings will be the first to be assessed when Green Fins launches in Japan. They are:

Onna Village Dive Centres trained in green fins best practice 

The full launch of Green Fins Japan will resume as it is possible and safe to do so. By promoting high quality environmental diving standards within the country, it will demonstrate the added value of Onna Village’s tourism product to travellers and attract more eco-minded divers. This will be important for Okinawa’s diving industry to rebound after the pandemic. 

The Green Fins team standing in a dive shop and smiling at the camera during a scoping trip
The Green Fins Japan team visiting the owner of a dive shop in Onna Village during 2019’s scoping trip

For more information about Green Fins Japan, visit the Japan country page.  

Onna Village piloted the Green Fins approach as part of the national Sustainable Development Goals project. Onna Village local government and Diving Association and Ocean+α are supporting the work. NPO Okinawa O.C.E.A.N. supported the initial scoping trip in 2013. After this, Reef-World recommended Onna Village as a pilot site for Green Fins. The Japanese Ministry of Environment has included Green Fins within its national Coral Reef Action Plan 2016-2021.