Green Fins Certified Membership

Join the first independent network of certified dive and snorkel operators committed to protecting coral reefs and other marine ecosystems

Over 700 marine tourism operators have joined as Green Fins Certified Members, adopting the Green Fins Code of Conduct and improving their environmental impact over time. Join them today!
Snorkeller Illustration

What is Green Fins certified membership?

Certified Members are marine tourism operators who have received an in-person assessment from a Green Fins assessor within the last 12 months. Assessors are local to the Green Fins national team in their country and receive formal training to be able to conduct assessments.

Diver holding a flag illustration

MADE POSSIBLE BY GREEN FINS HUB

The Green Fins Hub will host both Certified and Digital Members in one place, enabling operational staff to stay in touch with the Green Fins network and monitor and assist their operation’s sustainability journey. Here are some of the features:

Solutions Library

Get access to proven environmental solutions to reduce impacts on underwater ecosystems, tried and tested by the Green Fins network over two decades.

Action Plan Tracker

Receive an annual environmental action plan with set goals, as well as an advanced user interface that allows you to see your progress over time.

Community Forum

You’re not on this journey alone. Get access to the exclusive Community Forum to discuss environmental issues and share lessons and ideas with like-minded operators, NGOs, Governments and industry partners from all over the world.

WHO CAN BE A CERTIFIED MEMBER?

If the country you operate in has an active assessor team then you could be able to receive certified membership – currently, these are:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Dominican Republic
  • Egypt
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Malaysia
  • The Philippines
  • Thailand

You can find each country’s team profile on the Find a Member page.

Are you a marine tourism operator without access to a Green Fins assessor?
Fear not!
You can join the Green Fins network as a Digital Member.

How much does it cost?

Green Fins is a not-for-profit initiative, and operational costs are subsidised by national funds and grants. Certified Members are encouraged to pay what they can to support Green Fins efforts around the world – the contribution amount starts at $0 and is kept confidential. You will also need to cover the cost of up to two assessors for at least one diving or snorkelling excursion (with real guests present) per year, including travel and accommodation costs as necessary.

How does it work?

For operators wanting to become members in active Green Fins countries:

  1. Owner or manager registers

    a personal account for themselves on the Green Fins Hub.

  2. Manager registers the operation in the Hub

    by selecting ‘Certified Member’ when prompted.

  3. The local Green Fins team will contact the manager

    to schedule an assessment when the Member has guests.

  4. Members will be assessed annually

    and must show continued improvement to maintain active status.

  5. On the assessment day:

    In-person assessment carried out by trained Green Fins assessors 

    Environmental training provided to all staff and crew (1 hour presentation)

    Consultation with assessors to agree on 3 action points to improve environmental sustainability of the year of membership

Certified membership levels

Green Fins Certified Members are scored – based on the Green Fins Code of Conduct – out of 330. The lower the score, the lower the impact to the environment. Based on the results of their assessments, Certified Members are classed as Gold, Silver or Bronze by their environmental performance.

Gold Member Stamp

Certified Gold are members that scored 50 or less

Silver Member Stamp

Certified Silver are members that scored 150 or less

Bronze Member Stamp

Certified Bronze are members that scored 200 or less

Operations that score 201 or higher are classed as Restricted Members and will need to be reassessed to receive membership benefits.

What are the benefits of being a Green Fins Member?

Testimonials

Hub Registration Faqs

Certified Membership FAQs

Green Fins Certified Members are dive or snorkel operators who have committed to following the Green Fins Code of Conduct and have achieved a minimum standard of environmental performance during their annual assessment.

Certified Members are based in an active Green Fins location and receive annual assessments, training and feedback to help them reduce their environmental impact in line with the Code of Conduct. Certified Members are ranked by their environmental performance (Bronze, Silver, Gold) based on the results of their assessments. These operators must achieve a minimum standard and show ongoing improvements during their assessment to be certified.

When Green Fins is implemented in a new country, Reef-World works with national and local government bodies and NGOs to train them as that country’s national team. After a 6-day workshop, these national teams will have a team of assessors qualified to recruit, train and conduct assessments of new Green Fins Members in that country. Once this national team is up and running, the destination is considered an “active” Green Fins country.

Please note that due to Green Fins team capacity and geographical location, some operations may not be able to receive an in-person assessment even though they reside within an active country. In this case, we recommend that the operation becomes a Digital Member until the team can reach them in the future.

These ones!

Green Fins Certified Members are assessed annually based on a 15-point code of conduct, which measures the company’s impact on coral reefs. An assessment takes into account an operator’s processes both above and below the water to gain an overall picture of its environmental impact.

During a Green Fins assessment, trained Green Fins assessors will visit the dive or snorkel centre and join a regular diving or snorkelling trip with the guests to observe the staff and customers, look around the shop and ask a few questions. This allows the assessor to observe what the operator is doing well and determine three action points for improvement over the following year. The assessor will meet with the dive centre’s owner or manager to discuss these action points and conduct a one-hour environmental awareness presentation for all staff. This can all take place within one day to make it as easy as possible for the operator.

Green Fins Certified Members are assessed annually based on a 15-point code of conduct, which measures the company’s impact on coral reefs: of a possible score of 330, the lower the score, the lower its impact. Based on the results of their assessments, Certified Members are ranked as Gold, Silver or Bronze by their environmental performance. Certification is based on meeting a score of 200 or less and showing annual improvements.

Activities posing a greater threat to marine biodiversity (e.g. dropping an anchor) are given a higher impact score. During an assessment, business practices are graded based on a traffic light system (red, yellow or green) based on the presence and effectiveness of controls in place to mitigate environmental threats. Scores are kept confidential.

The exact score of each Green Fins Member is confidential and cannot be shared externally. However, Members are welcome to share their own scores, should they wish.

The Green Fins assessment is used to help dive businesses identify their areas of highest risk to the reef and support them in implementing low-cost alternatives to harmful processes.

During a feedback session on the assessment day, the business owner or manager will be provided with practical, low-cost alternatives to harmful practices to help them lower their environmental impact. If they apply these solutions, then they can reduce their score in the next year’s assessment.

When an assessment is due, the Green Fins team will be in touch with the operator’s owner or manager to organise the best date for this to take place. It is up to the individual operator whether they want to share this information with their staff. Some businesses prefer not to tell their staff an assessment is taking place as this gives the most accurate picture of their behaviour on a normal day.

If your operation does not manage to effectively reduce your threat to the marine environment within 2 years of membership, your membership will be restricted from many of the marketing benefits that are offered to Members.

In order for your membership to be reactivated, you will need to organise a new assessment and prove you have reduced your threat to the marine environment (by reducing your assessment score).

The assessment criteria are clear and comprehensive and are based on a financial risk assessment methodology. Assessors are qualified after meeting a minimum standard during an intensive six-day face-to-face training programme. The Reef-World Foundation provides constant remote support to assessors in the field during assessments. As a result, the margin of error is very low. This enables Green Fins to provide an independent set of global environmental standards for dive and snorkel operators around the world.

An active Member has been trained to follow the Green Fins Code of Conduct and has been assessed within the last 18 months.

An inactive Member has been previously trained but has not been assessed in the last 18 months. Note that this could be due to either a lack of cooperation on their part, change in management, or a lack of resources to enable a Green Fins assessor to access them.

An interested Member has filled out the membership form but has not yet been assessed or trained.

A restricted Member has either not yet reached the minimum threshold assessment score, has not managed to effectively reduce their assessment score within the last two years or has been involved in an activity that is seen as seriously detrimental to the marine environment.

An operator remains an active Green Fins Member for 18 months after their assessment. If it is not possible to organise another assessment within this time frame, their membership will become inactive until they are able to undertake their next assessment.

An inactive Green Fins Member needs to go through the assessment process again in order for their certification to be re-activated. In order to do so, they can get in touch with the Green Fins national team in their area to organise a new assessment at the next convenient time.

See, I’m a freelancer, can I use Green Fins Hub?

(consolidated answer applicable to both types of Green Fins membership)