During the first week of October, Reef-World staff Jula visited Tokyo for a quick but very insightful three days of consultations with several influential stakeholders of the local diving industry.
The main targets of the trip were to learn more about the Japanese diving industry and research how the traditional Green Fins materials could be tailored for improved outreach. Thanks to local environmental champion, professional writer and keen diver, Bonnie Waycott, this mission was accomplished. With her help, language differences were no longer an obstacle; experts in communication, dive shop management and tourism welcomed The Reef-World Foundation and the Green Fins initiative.
Japanese culture is very unique, and that is directly reflected on the way their dive industry works. All consultants agreed that there is no one-size fits all in terms of management and environmental protection in Japan, this is an industry that differentiates from the rest. Catering mostly local divers, the industry has maintained a set of standards.
One very positive example of this is the agreed understanding that respecting the environment is already common sense in Japanese culture and is directly reflected in their diving practices. Aspects such as: no stepping on coral, not stirring the sediment, no touching or chasing marine life and no littering, are part of standard briefing practices and diver training. Stakeholders all agreed that the Green Fins educational materials will help improve the sustainability of the Japanese diving industry by building upon an already aware industry.
The Reef-World Foundation is extremely thankful for the support of everyone involved with this trip and is excited to use all of the information gathered to better tailor the Green Fins message to the Japanese market.
Update: Green Fins Japan was due to launch in June 2020, which was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Read more about the scoping trip here.