[Coral-List] Feb 4 2014 - Item 4: Mapping Coral Reef Tourism

Judi Lowe judilowe at gmail.com
Sat Feb 8 19:24:45 EST 2014


can this response to Mark Spaldings Item 4: Mapping Global Reef Tourism be
posted please.

Kind regards,

Judi Lowe

I was happy to find that you mapped dive tourism operators on coral reefs
around the world in the UNEP World Atlas of Coral Reefs, 2001.  There is a
reference of 2,500 dive operations and PADI certification statistics on the
number of certified divers.

May I ask how that data was compiled?  I assume that the number of
certified divers came from the figures that PADÎ publish and NAUI, SSI,
CMAS and BSAC certifications are not included.  Similarly, did the number
of 2,500 dive centers come from PADI dive centers.

The spatial presence of dive centers is important in considering diving's
impact on the conservation of coral reefs and marine organisms..  PADI
diver certification numbers reflect all levels of certification, not just
new divers, so contain double and triple counting.  The numbers mask the
retention rate of certified divers who continue to dive (anecdotally said
to be as low as 15% of entry level certifications).

The dive industry is notoriously secretive about the true number of
certifications, retention rate and the geographic shift of diver
certification and activity away from temperate water countries (US, Canada,
Europe, Australia) to tropical small islands with coral reefs.  Another
potentially important trend is the proportional shift in the nationality of
divers to emerging economies, including Russia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia,
Taiwan and South Korea.

I am undertaking my PhD on dive tourism and its capacity to contribute to
marine conservation and the creation of alternate livelihoods for artisanal
fishers.  Spatial data on dive tourism and transparent dive industry
figures on certifications, retention, geographic and nationality trends are
essential to understanding the impact of dive tourism on coral reefs.

Kind regards,


Judi Lowe

PhD Scholar

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies

James Cook University

Townsville  Queensland


Web:  www.coral.org.au

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