[Coral-List] snorkelers and divers

HARDCASTLE James James.HARDCASTLE at iucn.org
Thu Sep 22 02:59:34 EDT 2016

Hi Ed,

Lots of studies on user fees for MPAs, especially in Caribbean, but none so recent (?). Complexities in governance and collection of fees for direct resourcing of MPAs are key challenges. A global fund idea could work if it had all relevant players behind it, and a good financial vehicle already in place. But then you get into a whole new set of issues - who is eligible to receive funds, how are they tracked, does the company now expect any access or user rights, do the divers feel they have 'done their part' and forego other conservation actions or investments.

In Palau, the 'Green Fee' is a flat rate collected per entry to the country, regardless of dives or nor. The funds go to the Micronesia Conservation Trust towards implementing island, marine and coastal conservation activities.

As to snorkelers, I visited Hanauma bay this month, near Honolulu, Hawai'i. It is intensely visited and snorkelled. The reef was in a poor state, visibility low, but because it is not fished, there are some very large, colourful characters (usual common suspects ie wrasse, parrotfish, moray, chaets etc, Chelonia). The enthusiasm and dedication was tangible from the many first-time and low frequency snorkelers, young and old, from many nationalities. A fee is collected and everyone has to watch a video and take a briefing, which is great. Very easy watching, but educational. The visitor centre is also top-notch.

The website http://www.aloha-hawaii.com/oahu/beaches/hanauma-bay/ says 'get there early' as the water will cloud up once many people are already there...!

3,000 per day is not good news at all for the reef; but the educational impact, providing a reef experience, instilling some value and understanding, is likely quite high. Millions per year go away with a reef experience they can treasure.

Unfortunately, I also asked about sunscreen, as there is no information provided to visitors about the potential impacts on the reef. I was informed (by a volunteer) that they are aware, but "this is the tropics, we value the health and safety of our people first".

Not the answer I wished. Of course, people need to be protected from the sun, but there are many ways to reduce the impacts by advising people to:

- cover up main parts of body with suitable protective clothing (they sell 'rashies' in the gift shop)
- check the contents of their creams and not to choose those with the nasty O word in the ingredients
- consider sun blocks where possible instead of screens
- apply well in advance of hitting the beach, and rub in completely, so it doesn't instantly wash-off....(I saw one guy completely caked from top to toe, bar his speedos; he left a milky wake for a hundred yards).
- cover exposed skin while on the beach, re-apply where needed before going in the water.
- research alternatives for next trip (ie aspirin, other remedies and creams)

This being US, the choice of hazardous sunscreens on the shelves is alarming, but again, the gift shop could provide an approved sunscreen for sale.

In short, somewhere like Hanauma bay is ideal for educating snorkelers, providing a safe reef experience.

Similar example in Europe is Cerbere-Banyuls in French Mediterranean, with a marked snorkel safari trail that 'sacrifices' a portion of the shore and reef, while the 99% of the bay is generally unsnorkeled. The educational value is significant and has won plaudits across the region. The site is one of the first IUCN Green List MPAs.

Em tasol,


-----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: 21 September 2016 16:46
To: Coral-List Subscribers
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] snorkelers and divers

Could dive operators ask each diver to contribute $1 per dive voluntarily to a marine conservation organization?  The operator would collect the contributions and send them on.  Would divers rebel?  Would the operator lose business?  I'd think that it could work.

Ed Blume
​Diver and ocean enthusiast​

​Madison, WI​

On Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 6:28 AM, Steve Mussman <sealab at earthlink.net> wrote:

> Dear Gene,
> Most scuba divers receive little snorkeling training these days and
> although some enlightened instructors might mention Oxybenzone,
> lionfish and trash, major coral reef threats such as land-based
> pollutants, over-fishing and climate change are rarely introduced.
> Talk about addressing climate change at a gathering of diving
> professionals here in the US will get you nothing but a heated debate.
> Unfortunately, industry leaders seem unmoved by the current level of
> scientific consonance and therefore do nothing to change the paradigm.
> Regards,
> Steve
> Sent from my iPhone
> Sent from my iPhone
> Sent from my iPhone
> > On Sep 19, 2016, at 10:35 AM, Eugene Shinn
> > <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
> wrote:
> >
> > Whats the big deal? Don't scuba divers start by learning to snorkel
> > first? Maybe we should be asking which group is using the most
> > sunscreen containing coral-killing Oxybenzone as the primary
> > ingredient. Gene
> >
> > --
> >
> >
> > No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
> > ------------------------------------
> > -----------------------------------
> > E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
> > University of South Florida
> > College of Marine Science Room 221A
> > 140 Seventh Avenue South
> > St. Petersburg, FL 33701
> > <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
> > Tel 727 553-1158
> > ----------------------------------
> > -----------------------------------
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Coral-List mailing list
> > Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> > http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
> _______________________________________________
> Coral-List mailing list
> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
Coral-List mailing list
Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov


This communication, together with any attachment, may contain confidential information and/or copyright material and is intended only for the person(s) to whom it is addressed. If you are not the intended recipient of this communication, or if you received it in error, you are asked to kindly delete it and promptly notify us. Any review, copying, use, disclosure or distribution of any part of this communication, unless duly authorized by or on behalf of IUCN, is strictly forbidden.

More information about the Coral-List mailing list