[Coral-List] SPAM R2: Vietnam bans scuba diving to protect a coral reef

Julian @ Reef Check julian at reefcheck.org.my
Fri Jul 8 01:39:07 UTC 2022


It depends on a number of factors. One diver on one reef? Not much damage.
500 divers on one reef over a busy weekend? You are going to see some
damage. Throw in students, first time night dives...

The Green Fins programme, of which Reef Check Malaysia is the coordinator
for Malaysia, is a code of conduct for dive (and snorkel) operators. Its
code of conduct requires operators to implement programmes to reduce their
impacts - small things like changing to a more environmentally friendly
bleach up to changing to 4-stroke engines. An annual assessment ensures
continual improvements.

Our data for the last few years show:

- over the last couple of years, reef health around Malaysia has shown a
slight improvement. Could it be because there have been no tourists for the
last two years?
- in one island in particular there is some evidence of a longer term
improvement (over 3-4 years perhaps); on that island we have an active
programme to encourage tourism operators to reduce impacts (Green Fins,
Green Hotels standards). More important - we have a team of local islanders
(now 65 strong) helping with programmes such as crown of thorns control,
ghost net removal, mooring buoy maintenance, some small scale restoration
and a few other things. 

These programmes are helping to reduce tourism-related impacts, as well as
other human impacts (ghost nets, CoTs), not to mention getting local
community participating. There's plenty of research on the science of reefs
and impacts; I'd love to see some more research from the tourism-perspective
- for example, to support limiting numbers of tourists allowed to access a
particular dive site.


Julian Hyde
General Manager
Reef Check Malaysia
T: +60 3 2161 5948     W: www.reefcheck.org.my

-----Original Message-----
From: Coral-List [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf
Of Steve Mussman via Coral-List
Sent: Thursday, 7 July, 2022 07:32
To: coral list <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Subject: SPAM R2: [Coral-List] Vietnam bans scuba diving to protect a coral

In my opinion, scuba diving does little direct harm to coral reefs. On the
other hand, divers, like all tourists, most certainly contribute to the
overall problem. I say this with mixed emotions while preparing my dive gear
for an upcoming trip to my favorite reef after a prolonged hiatus.




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