Malta – During the 21st to the 23rd June, Chloe and James Harvey conducted a trip to Malta in the Mediterranean to explore the potential of introducing Green Fins to the region. This trip was at the many requests from dive centres based in the Mediterranean region requesting to be Green Fins members. Throughout the region are many fragile ecosystems that receive hundred of thousands of scuba divers and snorkellers each year, many of which who are learning to dive for the first time. These divers are extremely likely to go and dive elsewhere in the world with coral reef dive sites often high on the agenda. Implementing Green Fins would help develop the knowledge and awareness of the many divers helping to protect coral reefs globally whilst helping to promote and protect dive sites across the region, many of which are based within MPAs.
Reef-World met with dive centres to discuss the applicability of the programme and investigated how Green Fins could address specific threats within Malta and beyond. The end result was that Green Fins would be well received in the county with many dive centres and clubs willing to participate with government support.
In addition to exploring the regional growth of Green Fins, meeting were held with DAN Europe at their regional headquarters to see if there would be a way to further support Green Fins implementation in the region. DAN were highly receptive and can see a way to promote Green Fins to its members within the Mediterranean.
Based on Reef-World’s expansive and unique insight into the industry, both Chloe and James were also invited to become faculty members at the Institute of Tourism Studies, providing lectures on an environmental awareness module of a new Diving Tourism Management course being developed by Professor Alessadro Marroni, President and CEO of DAN Europe.
Futher meetings in Barcelona also took place on the 19th July to further explore how Green Fins could be implemented in the region with the support of governments and regional initiatives such as the Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC) under the Mediterranean Action Plan – United Nations Environment Programme. It was suggested that Reef-World align efforts with the Act4Litter initiative, a programme under their development to influence EU policy on Marine litter. Act4Litter is also supported by the MedPan (Mediterranean Protected Areas Network) who have invited Reef-World to join their workshop titled ‘Marine Protected Areas facing pollution in the Mediterranean: thinking beyond boundaries’ in November.