[Coral-List] NGOs, Corals and Dive Industry

Steve Mussman sealab at earthlink.net
Tue Nov 19 16:37:53 EST 2013

   Body  Glove's  commitment  to  ocean  conservation is commendable, but
   proves to be exceptional within the diving industry. Perhaps it is their
   connection to
   the  surfing community that provides them with unusual insight as that
   industry is for
   some reason more in sync with ocean-related environmental issues. As for the
   of whether we are expecting too much . .. .I think not in the least. In
   fact, there would
   seem to be an attractive financial return for forthrightly acknowledging the
   very real threats
   that  exist  to  coral reefs. Encouraging manufacturers, certification
   agencies, resorts and
   dive shops to help develop the support needed to implement actions that
   could result in
   the long-term survival of the very ecosystem on which they rely for their
   future subsistence
   seems to be clearly in their own best interest. As to why there remains only
   inaction on
   some of the most pressing issues is what baffles me.
   -----Original Message-----
   >From: Gregor Hodgson
   >Sent: Nov 19, 2013 1:57 PM
   >To: "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov"
   >Subject: [Coral-List] NGOs, Corals and Dive Industry
   >While we have had frustrating encounters with dive industry professionals
   >including both the training companies and the manufacturers, there are many
   >exceptions. In particular, both the late Bob and Bill Meistrell of
   >BodyGlove for many years quietly supported marine conservation activities
   >California. In fact, Bob, who invented the commercial wetsuit, and his
   >brother  Bill,  sponsored the first ever underwater cleanup (near Los
   >in the 1960s, worked to get seabass protected, sponsored re-seeding of
   >abalone and supported the efforts of marine conservation groups in
   >California. Like Bill and Bob, Russ Lesser is a visionary who sees the
   >triple bottom line approach as the only way to go. At the local level we
   >partner  with dive shops throughout the US and the world, who sponsor
   >by providing free equipment, boats, and air for our survey teams. In many
   >areas, we could not do our surveys without this support. DEMA has over the
   >years provided low-cost space for non-profits to get their message out. So
   >are we expecting too much?
   >It is a two-way street:
   >1. The dive industry is tiny, failing (in part due to lack of engagement
   >with environmental issues), and has a low profit margin and each company is
   >being constantly hit up for donations by an ever increasing number of
   >non-profits so they tend to draw the line.
   >2. Some dive industry leaders really don¹t seem to understand the triple
   >bottom line approach to business or they feel that they have "paid at the
   >office" (e.g. PADI Project Aware) and may not see any further ROI.
   >3. The lack of willingness of most NGOs to collaborate to achieve shared
   >goals. Some of you will remember the 2008 attempt to get NGOs to
   >collaborate to work with the dive industry under the name "Destination
   >Blue." That failed when the NGOs were unwilling to financially support a
   >shared goal.
   >A simple solution is for the NGO "industry" to support dive companies that
   >in turn support marine conservation. One of the largest dive stores in the
   >LA area is Sports Chalet. After they repeatedly declined to support our
   >activities financially, we simply shifted our annual purchases of tens of
   >thousands of $$ of equipment to other shops and manufacturers that do
   >support our work. Maybe one day they will realize that they missed the boat
   >and the ROI?
   >Gregor Hodgson, PhD
   >Executive Director
   >Reef Check Foundation
   >PO Box 1057 (mail)
   >17575 Pacific Coast Highway (overnight)
   >Pacific Palisades, CA 90272 USA
   >T: 1 310-230-2371 or 2360
   >Gregorh at reefcheck.org
   >Coral-List mailing list
   >Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

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