This is an incredibly tough time for the diving and snorkelling industry. The coronavirus pandemic has many negative consequences for many people but there are silver linings including the potential to ‘redefine’ the tourism industry and use this downtime to put better environmental policies in place; especially since more and more tourists are demanding sustainable practices from their providers.

As a collaborative network we need to work together to weather this storm as best we can. As ambassadors and guardians of our oceans, Reef-World asks all businesses that offer scuba diving, snorkelling and related activities (whether they are Green Fins members or not) to remember the importance of preventing any threats to the wider marine environment. While we appreciate this is a stressful time for the travel industry, putting better environmental measures in place now will help businesses come out stronger - and with a more sustainable business - when travel restrictions are lifted.

We realise it might not be possible for everyone but recommend that those who can take this downtime to review all internal policies and procedures that can reduce their environmental footprint. The impacts of the climate change crisis are set to grow over the coming years, which is likely to cause even more disruption. Reducing our environmental risk will make our tourism businesses and the ecosystems we rely on more resilient.

A few ways you can do this are outlined below.

1. Access the Green Fins Guidelines on Environmental Best Practice for Cleaning Products

The use of chemical cleaning agents is widely regarded as the safest option when disinfecting equipment, surfaces and laundry in today’s climate. However, many cleaning and cosmetic products contain substances which are hazardous to the marine environment. As such, Reef-World has created these guidelines to offer practical advice to help Green Fins members deal with chemical cleaning agents in an environmentally friendly way.

Download the Green Fins guidelines on environmental best practice for chemical cleaning agents

(Updated to Version: 27 May 2020)

2. Download the Green Fins Operational Handbook

The Green Fins Operational Handbook is a one-stop-shop of information to help dive and snorkel operators who are currently reviewing their sustainability policies. While normally priced at £20 ($25), Reef-World is providing the handbook as ‘pay-what-you-can’ during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the dive industry can access our support and tools during this difficult time. We would like to thank everyone who is continuing to reduce their environmental impact and ask that you contribute what you can to support our ongoing work.

Access the Green Fins Operational Handbook

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3. Take the Dive Guide e-Course

Dive professionals who want to continue their learning from home can also take the Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course for free (or £19/~$25 if you would like a certificate). This online course helps dive professionals who want to positively influence their guests’ behaviour and protect coral reefs on every dive. It helps build on guides’ existing scuba diving knowledge by providing the skills and confidence to conduct more environmentally friendly diving trips and manage divers to prevent them causing damage.

Take Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course

4. Review your feedback points from your latest assessment

After your latest assessment, your Green Fins Assessor will have emailed you three feedback points to work on over the coming year. Please take this time to review and work on your feedback points. If you need any further guidance - or would like some additional points to work on - please:

Contact your Green Fins Assessor directly.

5. Watch the Green Fins How-To-Videos

These videos help teach dive and snorkel operators how to improve environmental practices, such as implementing a responsible trash management policy, giving a great environmental pre-dive briefing, managing your guests (including underwater photographers) and more.

Visit Green Fins YouTube channel