Protect Your Business with Responsible Marine Tourism

Top Tips for Agents & Operators

Did you know, currently around one million new scuba divers are certified each year. Plus, millions more go snorkelling worldwide on coral reefs. The survival of the marine tourism industry depends on healthy coral reefs with lots of marine life and there is a growing interest from tourists for sustainable operators.

Picture of three SCUBA divers a dive centre.

Green Fins provides the only globally recognised environmental standards for the scuba diving and snorkelling industry. Active members are certified annually through a robust environmental assessment and training process. Green Fins membership shows customers you care about the coral reefs they have travelled so far to see. In addition, it allows policy makers to find areas of high environmental risk within the industry, meaning they can work with business owners to find solutions to local threats.

Scuba divers and snorkellers are guardians of our beautiful oceans. You can give customers a higher quality of experience by encouraging them to book with Green Fins members. For instance, you can share these easy Green Fins guidelines with customers before they even go away:

Top tips to protect reefs

No stepping on coral.

Divers and snorkellers can easily break coral with their feet or fins. This can cause injury and kill coral reefs

No touching or chasing marine life.

This can lead to stressed and scared animals that will swim away, leaving nothing for guests to see

No stirring the sediment.

Careless divers and swimmers who stir up the sand can cause damage and ruin the beauty of the reef for other visitors and for photographers.

Do not buy gifts made of shell, coral or other marine life.

This practice encourages people to take marine life from the ocean and removes the beautiful creatures people have come so far to see

Do not take marine life – dead or alive.

Removing things that would normally break down and be recycled into the sea leaves other animals without nutrients they need for growth. Even empty shells on the beach play an important role in the wider ecosystem. That’s why you should take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but bubbles.

No gloves.

Gloves can encourage tourists to touch things underwater, which could cause death, injury or damage marine life

No feeding fish.

This can make fish sick or aggressive and can cause them to attack and injure humans. Fed fish are also more likely to leave their nests empty and unprotected from predators

No littering.

Throwing trash in the ocean kills marine life, poisons seafood and can hurt tourists. So, don’t litter and encourage recycling.

Do not support shark finning.

People will travel thousands of miles to see sharks in the wild, supporting the communities who rely on tourism. Sharks are worth more alive than dead so do please not support this brutal industry

Wear reef-safe sunscreen.

Some chemical components in sunscreen may have a negative impact on coral reefs. You can help protect coral from harmful chemicals by using products which are reef-safe and covering up with clothing when in strong sunshine.

Report environmental laws being broken.

If you see any harmful practices or environmental laws being broken, tell your dive guide, dive operator or government officials. By informing authorities, you are being part of the solution as your actions can lead to appropriate action.

Take part in conservation projects.

By taking part in conservation projects, you can have a positive effect on the ocean and teach others too.

Protect reefs for future generations

By sharing the Green Fins ethos with your customers, you can help make sure your top marine tourism destinations are protected for years to come. Operators will be grateful for the respectful customers you send them and this will strengthen your future business relationships.

Picture of a beach and the ocean.

The marine tourism industry has a very powerful voice. By setting a good example, inspiring other businesses and working together as a community, we can protect reefs for years to come.

Reef-World leads the UN Environment’s Green Fins initiative, which focuses on driving sustainable marine tourism. To keep up with our latest news, follow Reef-World on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Follow Green Fins on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to keep up to date with new posters, updates and tips from members.

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