[Coral-List] Regulations for operating a tourist submarine in coral reef areas

Thu Jan 5 10:22:28 EST 2017

If your park decides to allow this, and establishes guidelines/regulations, I can see monitoring and verification being an issue.  What about the possibility of requiring that the sub record each dive from start to finish, with footage provided to the park?  It has an optional 360-degree camera.  (It also has an optional fish feeder and optional laser scaler, both of which seem concerning.)

I don't know what your funding is like, but could this be a potential revenue stream for you? "Very exclusive" suggests very expensive, and maybe the guests could feel good about making a substantial contribution to the operation of the park, in exchange for their carefully controlled experience. 

James Engman, Ph.D. 
Professor of Biology
Director, Simonson Biological Field Station
Biology Department
Henderson State University
Box 7520 1100 Henderson St.
Arkadelphia, AR 71999

Phone: 870-230-5314
Email: engmanj at hsu.edu


-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Shortfin Mako Shark
Sent: Wednesday, January 04, 2017 12:45 PM
To: Kai Wulf; Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Regulations for operating a tourist submarine in coral reef areas

This is the first time I have heard of something like this before. I doubt there are any guidelines anywhere so I would suggest that you may want to authorize this activity with caution. My guess is that large reef fish or apex predators would be temporarily impacted from such a large vessel approaching the area. As a starting point, you might want to consider a distance regulation, such as 100 meters. I am assuming visibility is around that distance. You want to be able to share the resource, but not impact the fauna. You also might want to consider time, such as only allowing the vessel to remain close to the reef for x amount of time... maybe 30 minutes. Lastly, maybe time/area closure... Is there a certain time of year that should be protected? Maybe when corals are spawning?
Just some thoughts....

      From: Kai Wulf <sabapark.manager at gmail.com>
 To: Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov 
 Sent: Wednesday, January 4, 2017 10:41 AM
 Subject: [Coral-List] Regulations for operating a tourist submarine in coral reef areas
Dear Coral Listers,

We have been approached by a small, very exclusive cruise-ship to permit regular operations of a 3 person U-Boat Worx C-Explorer 3 submarine, for their guests to explore the reefs in the Saba National Marine Park. The vessel has a depth range of up to 300 meters.
Does anybody have knowledge about existing rules, regulations or policies that we could use to include in the permit requirements for such an undertaking? Besides safety aspects, we are of course mainly interested in avoiding any damage or disturbances to our precious marine flora and fauna. 
Your assistance would be much appreciated.
Best wishes for the New Year!

Kai Wulf

Parks Manager
Saba Conservation Foundation
Saba/Saba Bank National Marine Park
P.O. Box 18, The Bottom
Saba, Dutch Caribbean
Work: 599 416-3295
Cell: 599 416-5750
Fax: 599 416-3435
Email: sabapark.manager at gmail.com <mailto:sabapark.manager at gmail.com>
Web: http://www.sabapark.org <http://www.sabapark.org/>
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sabapark <http://www.facebook.com/sabapark>
Twitter/Skype: sabapark

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