The free Green Fins Dive Guide online training course for diving professionals has undergone its first update. The Reef-World Foundation initiative is designed to educate dive-guides and instructors about the marine ecosystems in which they work, and to help them build on existing scuba diving knowledge to conduct environmentally friendlier dives.
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The updated course includes an extended marine-biology section covering coral reefs and other ecosystems, environmental threats and preventive actions. Other additions reflect industry updates as well as feedback from dive pros who have already completed the course.
Reef-World is the international co-ordinator of the UN Environment Programme’s Green Fins initiative, aimed at tackling diving-related damage to coral reefs. The e-course began in 2019 supported by training agency Professional Scuba Schools International, but since last year has been independently hosted on the Green Fins website.
Qualification enables dive pros to be part of the Green Fins network even if the operation for which they work is not a member.
Reef-World says that it has so far enrolled 1,827 dive-guides and instructors, passing on techniques that can help them to influence the behaviour of guests and prevent them from causing damage to the underwater world.
On completing the course, the professionals have the option to pay US $25 to receive a personalised electronic certificate, but from now on this will expire after two years. The move is intended to encourage participants to return for refresher courses. Individuals, like dive-centres, can display these certificates to customers as evidence of their environmental credentials.
Reef-World plans to update the course content annually in future, and says that all revenue from certificate sales goes to support Green Fins’ work. A scholarship fund is available for those divers who cannot afford the certificate, either personally or through their employers.
“As global tourism slowly restarts, it’s crucial to stay up to date with the latest environmental knowledge,” asserts the foundation’s director JJ Harvey.
“Reef-World aims to continue providing dive professionals with the latest marine conservation and dive-industry updates to help preserve the coral reef ecosystems, which many rely on for food, coastal protection, and income from tourism and fisheries.” The e-course can be booked here.