[Coral-List] NGOs, Corals and Dive Industry

Ed Blume eblume2702 at gmail.com
Thu Nov 21 17:54:42 EST 2013


I wonder whether divers themselves might put some teeth into green programs
for dive operators.

Could a site be created (a lot of work, I know) where divers could "rate"
an operation according to a check list?  The list would contain green items
that an operation might practice, such as "Did the operator or dive master
or someone else brief divers on avoiding contact with corals?"  "Did the
dive shop display brochures or other materials about ocean conservation?"
When another diver checks out an operation on the Web site, the diver could
assess the answers and decide whether that's a good place to patronize.
Some divers won't care one bit about the checklisted items, and others will.

Travel sites let people give star-ratings to destinations, resorts,
restaurants, etc.  Letting dive customers provide the ratings unburdens an
organization from having to come up with and monitor a rating system.  Dive
operators could respond to whatever a diver might post.

I don't know whether the self-rating system could work, but I read customer
reviews closely when I'm planning a trip.

Ed Blume
Energy Consulting Network <http://energyconsultingnetwork.com>

On Wed, Nov 20, 2013 at 6:21 PM, Julian @ Reef Check <
julian at reefcheck.org.my> wrote:

> Many dive centres promote themselves as "green" - just ask PADI about its
> Project AWARE and other campaigns. The original GoEco operator status
> promoted by PADI was one of many voluntary sign up schemes....problem is,
> many of them, being voluntary, have no teeth. So there is no real way to
> know whether a dive centre calling itself eco-friendly (whatever that
> means)
> is indeed doing its best to reduce its impacts other than to go and dive
> with them.
> Then there's Green Fins, which was set up by UNEP a few years ago to
> promote
> environmentally friendly guidelines (wiki it for more info). That at least
> has an assessment procedure. And Blue Star in Florida. I am sure there are
> others.
> But the main problem with them all is that they are usually voluntary, and
> generally there is little or no monitoring of whether people that sign up
> are actually abiding by the rules. I used to operate a dive centre in
> Malaysia for 6 years, and we were one of the first PADI GoEco operators in
> the country...but all we had to do was sign a piece of paper promising to
> do
> a few "green" things...no checking, no follow up, no annual assessment, no
> visit - nothing. So the whole thing became degraded after a short while as
> dive operators signed up to use it simply as a promotional tool without
> being interested in the goals.
> I am in agreement with Steve on this issue. I think the industry could do
> more, without spending a lot of money. As someone else pointed out, there
> is
> a big constituency out there, with friends, family colleagues. Of all the
> divers - and there are many, and the number is increasing - I am sure that
> some could be convinced by a good, strong message, and then that message
> could be multiplied.
> If Honda Motor company stops servicing its production lines, it will
> quickly
> stop producing vehicles and go out of business. If American Airlines stops
> servicing its airplanes, they will soon start falling out of the sky...and
> they will go out of business. But who is servicing the world's coral reefs?
> Shouldn't the diving industry have some responsibility, since it is their
> main business asset?
> Regards
> Julian Hyde
> General Manager
> Reef Check Malaysia Bhd
> 03 2161 5948
> www.reefcheck.org.my
> Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rcmalaysia
> "The bottom line of the Millenium Assessment findings is that human actions
> are depleting Earth's natural capital, putting such strain on the
> environment that the ability of the planet's ecosystems to sustain future
> generations can no longer be taken for granted."
> -----Original Message-----
> From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Ed Blume
> Sent: Thursday, 21 November, 2013 3:19 AM
> To: Steve Mussman
> Cc: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Subject: Re: [Coral-List] NGOs, Corals and Dive Industry
> Do any dive shops anyplace in the world promote themselves as "green?"  The
> travel industry has green travel certifications, but I've never seen
> anything like that for the dive industry.
> Ed Blume
> Energy Consulting Network <http://energyconsultingnetwork.com>
> facebook.com/EnergyEfficiencyInWisconsin
> 608-225-6591
> On Wed, Nov 20, 2013 at 9:56 AM, Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net>
> wrote:
> >
> >    This pertinent question was raised off-list: Can't the diving industry
> >    acknowledge the problems and speak out
> >    on the need for action without someone requiring them to pony up
> money?
> >
> >
> >    That was exactly the point I was attempting to make. What we are
> > looking for
> >    from industry leaders is not funding, but acknowledgement,
> > leadership and
> >    guidance. In fact, there suddenly seems to be a groundswell of
> > support for
> >    proactive engagement derived from divers and business leaders who have
> >    studied  and understand the issues at hand. At least those who are not
> >    predisposed  to reject  scientifically-based findings because they may
> >    contradict  some  core beliefs. The way that the diving industry works
> >    provides mystifying powers of persuasion to certification agencies
> > (and DEMA
> >    directors). The average diver follows their edicts with something
> > akin to
> >    religious fervor. If divers can simply be encouraged to follow the
> > science
> >    rather than rhetoric designed specifically to discredit conclusions
> > based on
> >    methodical   studies,   we   might   be   able  to  make  progress  by
> >    implementing actions designed to mitigate the blighting impacts
> > currently
> >    anticipated.
> >
> >
> >    Steve
> > _______________________________________________
> > Coral-List mailing list
> > Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> > http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
> >
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