August 2018 - Green Fins Philippines - Building capacity to manage El Nido’s booming snorkeling industry

Green Fins was established in El Nido in 2012, under the care of The El Nido Foundation who have spearheaded the sustainable tourism agenda in the booming tourist hotspot. Whilst the focus has previously been on the diving industry, it is the island-hopping tours with snorkeling and beach stops that are dramatically growing in popularity. Key threats to the local reefs include anchoring, poor snorkeling practices including stepping on coral, and the use of single-use plastic by tour operators and vendors throughout the tour destination Bacuit Bay.

Over the years, Reef-World has worked closely with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to instiutionalise Green Fins through the legal instruments of the Coastal and Marine Ecosystems Management Program (CMEMP) and Technical Bulletin 2017-16. This enabled Reef-World to train a new team of Snorkel Assessors to work with Green Fins snorkel operator members.

 Between 6-11 August 2018, seven new assessors were certified, creating new collaborations between the El Nido-Taytay Managed Resource Protected Area Office, CENRO Taytay and The El Nido Foundation. During the training, the team certified four Green Fins members and reached 10 tour staff through environmental awareness raising activities. With Green Fins now included in the MIMAROPA Region work plan for 2019, both diving and snorkeling businesses can expect more support from the new team next year. Reef-World is proud to support this team who will work together with the industry to establish a more sustainable tourism industry.