[Coral-List] Sustainable Coral Reef/Dive Operator Certification?

Bastiaan Vermonden bastiaan.vermonden at gmail.com
Thu Nov 24 12:50:00 EST 2011

Hi Monica,

It seems like you have put a lot of thought into this as well. However I
would like to explain my thinking regarding mainly 3 things.
**"2) I as a diver for example would be willing to pay more or to dive a
protected and well enforced and managed area, who's diving/tourism fees are
also benefitting the local community (not just the hotel, government or
dive operator), thereby incentivise users to protect their coral reef
resources instead of fish it to pieces or allow commercial fishing to trawl
it to pieces for less profit, than a reef is worth in the long term through
tourism (diving etc), and well managed local fishing without destructive
methods. "*

As a diver I am  also willing to pay but my experience in Vietnam taught me
that paying doesn't mean that money will actually be used for environmental

However with the rating method people actually pay for the protection and
maintenance that has taken place before to realize that quality. For
example when you want a new car you don't pay someone to start building one
but instead you pay someone for a car that has already been built.

*"3) **Capacity control: the system should also reward dive operators and
tourism business that do not over commercialise, and who actively restrict
tourist/diver numbers from damaging marine resources such as coral reefs by
over exploitation such as too many divers or fishing.  For example as a
diver I would rather want to dive a well managed site who's dive operator
limits the number of diver's per dive/day/year accordingly, to prevent
damage to coral reef or fish behaviour eg. spawning aggregations from being
disturbed etc. important to fish breeding.**"*

I completely agree that businesses should not over commercialize. However
if countries are rated regularly they will have an automatic incentive to
ensure that the pressure on the environment does not result in degradation
otherwise their rating will decrease. Still it could be very useful to have
a quantifyer such as the amount of divers per dive site to indicate to
potential visitors what the level of crowding is.

Finally what I think will make my idea work is that it is based on results *
rather* than on* actions* and on creating *competition*.



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