Green Fins, internationally coordinated by Reef-World, are the only recognised environmental set of standards with a comprehensive management approach to provide guidance and support for business owners and national authorities to promote best practices.
Reef Dive Centre are happy to promote and subscribe to the guidelines set by Greenfins. Please read the guidelines below to find out what we expect from all our divers and snorkelers.
Discover more at www.greenfins.net
Coral animals are very fragile and take a long time to grow. By stepping on the coral it will break, or you could damage the surface of the coral as well as cut your feet. Coral is very sensitive to being touched and the smallest contact can kill the animal or lead to infection of the coral. Watch your feet and fins at all times.
As you swim, your fins create a wash that can cause sediment and small debris to upset small habitats and cover corals. This will reduce the photosynthetic efficiency of the coral and can cause it to die. It can also lead to small animals being washed away or increase their chance of predation from other animals.
This can cause great stress to any animal and by touching certain species, you can transmit diseases or remove protective coatings on fish, mammals, invertebrates and other species. Look but never touch and try not to get too close.
This has become a large-scale problem the world over. Feeding fish or any other species can lead to them becoming reliant upon that food source. It makes fish more aggressive towards divers and can lead to species interacting with others that they are not normally used to. It can also lead to corals getting smothered in algae as fish no longer eat the algae but eat the food instead. It also increases the amount of nutrients in the water leading to an unnatural inbalance in the ecosystem.
There are many problems with marine litter ranging from turtles eating plastic bags and fish eating cigarette butts to chemicals in rubbish contaminating the water and entering the food chain. As we are top of the food chain, this can result in us eating fish that have been poisoned. Bin it, don’t throw it.
By simply wearing the gloves you are given a false sense of protection that can cause you to hold onto anything underwater. This can cause corals to break, or allow you to get too close to marine life by holding onto rocks and can be dangerous for you as they will not provide any security against dangerous marine life.
It is very important that all divers respect the marine environment and only observe the sensitive and fragile species that live within it. It is extremely important that all divers remain from intrusive and damaging interactions such as handling marine life or manipulating it. Using your hand, dive or muck sticks, knives or anything else to move or to come into contact with corals and other marine fauna can cause damage, kill it or in some cases be illegal. Green Fins also recommends improving your buoyancy skills over relying on tools to maintain your position underwater.
Don’t buy souvenirs of corals or marine life – this encourages people to remove tons of marine life, dead or alive, from marine ecosystems each year for selling to tourists. If we didn’t buy it then people wouldn’t collect it. Leave it where it belongs.
By donating to any project that helps conserve the environment, your money will go a long way in helping to reduce the negative impacts from manmade sources. Give what you can and help reverse trends today. By participating in such projects you can have a direct effect on the environment and help educate others. A little help from everybody goes a long way.
Green Fins is against the shark fin trade that globally results in tens of millions of sharks to be killed each year. Some Shark species have dropped by 90% over the last 50 years. The shark is killed for its highly prized fins that are used for soups and other meals. Removing these top predators is highly damaging to the ecology of our seas. Don’t eat in restaurants that sell shark products.
Removing species that would normally breakdown and be recycled into the sea, leaves other animals without nutrients and elements that they need for growth. Even empty shells on the beach play their part. Take nothing.
Do as much as you can to help organisations and projects who aim to help the natural environment.
This is a suggested way for first time snorkellers and swimmers who are not confident in the water to remain above the corals without accidentally standing on or kicking the shallow corals. This can help prevent a lot of accidental damage from people who are new to the marine environment.
This method of fishing removes the largest and slowest species which can dramatically change the balance of the ecosystem and upset the food chain. It is also likely to injure a species if it is not speared correctly leading to a slow death and can be dangerous to divers, snorkelers and swimmers.
This has become a large-scale problem the world over. Feeding fish or any other species can lead to them becoming reliant upon that food source. It makes fish more aggressive towards divers and can lead to species interacting with others that they are not normally used to. It can also lead to corals getting smothered in algae as fish no longer eat the algae but eat the food instead. It also increases the amount of nutrients in the water.