Scuba diving, snorkeling, and other forms of marine tourism are great activities to introduce people to the marine environment and can give a great boost to the tourism numbers of Caribbean islands like Curaçao. But if these activities are left unmanaged, they can be very damaging to the island’s coral reefs and other aspects of its ecosystem.
That is why leading sustainable dive tourism operators in Curaçao like Ocean Encounters, The Dive Bus, Scubacao, and GO WEST Diving, have become digital Green Fins members earlier this month. This is a proven conservation management approach that has been implemented internationally by The Reef-World Foundation and the UN Environment Program. This approach leads to a measurable reduction in the negative environmental impacts associated with marine tourism and is the latest development by The Reef-World Foundation to meet the growing industry demand for environmentally friendly underwater activities.
As digital members of Green Fins, the participating Curaçaoan dive operators have furthered their commitment to helping create a healthy and sustainable environment for Curaçao’s future generations. Coral reefs in Curaçao comprise 104 square kilometers (40 square feet) of extremely bio-diverse systems and are thus a highly valuable economic resource for the island. For this reason, it is important to protect the dive sites and snorkel sites to ensure the sustainable growth of this industry.
What it means to join Green Fins
In addition to providing marine tourism businesses with strategic training, support, and resources, Green Fins encourages and empowers divers, snorkelers, the diving industry, and coastal communities to lessen pressures on coral reefs. These practices include anchoring and fish feeding.
The digital membership of Curaçao’s dive organizations in this international initiative is seen as the first step to implementing Green Fins in Curaçao on a national level. The ambition is that this will lead to all dive operators on the island becoming certified members of Green Fins in the near future. Certified members receive annual in-person assessments, and on-site training for staff, in addition to consultation to help them develop and implement best practices to improve the sustainability of the marine tourism industry.