Moalboal, located in Cebu Island, The Philippines, is one of the oldest tourism industries in the Philippines. It’s no coincidence that it also happens to be one of the oldest Green Fins sites in the country. Moalboal’s diving is characterized by sharply sloping drop offs, their infamous sardine run and Pescador Island, where the dive sites combine to form one huge wall that can be explored from different angles.
In October 2017 Moalboal went through their sixth year of assessments, a group of Green Fins assessors worked with nine dive centres, 71 staff members, 24% of them being female, were trained during the Awareness Raising sessions. On average, the dive centre scores remained stable steadily reducing their impact on the marine environment.
While the industry still struggles with the discharge of harmful chemicals and proper waste disposal, dive centres are recognising that by working together and with the governmental institutions, solutions can be found. In order to help them tackle this long standing issue, Green Fins assessors met with the Municipal Solid Waste manager to stress the concern over the environmental impact of improper hazardous waste management due to a lack of collection, storage and disposal facilities. In addition to this, the assessors also met with the Coastal Resource Manager consultant, to introduce Green Fins and to discuss some of the challenges in the diving industry. Both representatives showed much interest on everything that was discussed and appreciated the information given to them, that otherwise they would never have heard.
On a positive note, the assessments showed that the risk of direct diver damage continues to decrease and it no longer appears in the top threats posed by Green Fins members in Moalboal. This is a huge success for the members – they saw an all time low in this threat in 2016 and in maintaining a low impact we are seeing the new norm from members there. Congratulations, it’s fantastic to see the members using Green Fins as an effective conservation tool!