Green Fins was reactivated within the Marine Parks of Malaysia in 2014. While initial activities focussed on Pulau Tioman, dive centres were extremely receptive to the programme and members have since been recruited across Pulau Perhentian and Pulau Redang. The demand from the industry quickly outgrew the capacity of the three Green Fins Assessors from Reef Check Malaysia (RCM) who are based on Pulau Tioman.
So with support from the Department of Marine Parks Malaysia (DMPM) and RCM, in September 2016 Reef-World conducted another Assessor Training Programme on Pulau Perhentian for five Department of Marine Parks staff and one additional Reef Check representative. The training programme is six intensive days long and results in the trainees becoming confident with promoting and monitoring compliance to the Green Fins code of conduct in partnership with the local diving industry.
The six trainees were all excellent divers and were passionate about engaging the diving industry as local partners in marine conservation. With some practice assessments and training sessions with local dive centres, and some very good test results, Reef-World were happy to certify them all. Official qualifications will come once they have all been involved in follow up work with the diving industry next year.
The tourism industry in Malaysia is very important to the national economy and represents almost three times the annual export value of palm oil. With this economic benefit comes and environmental risk. If growth within the tourism industry is not well managed, it could threaten the very environment tourists are coming to see. The DMPM are committed to making Green Fins available to all dive centres operating within the national Marine Parks. Through their unique and solid partnership with RCM, and the engagement of the industry, they have the ability to fulfil this vision and use Green Fins as their flagship programme to promote best environmental behaviour for diving and snorkelling within their marine parks.