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This week sees the launch of thedivehub.com, a responsible scuba diving website that aims to draw information into one ‘hub’ so that divers don’t have to visit dozens of websites to pick up on the latest responsible diving news, case studies, tips and resources. It’s a place to encourage, engage and celebrate positive action that is happening above and below the water. It hopes to show that the choices divers take can make a difference, one dive at a time!
I have been passionate about scuba diving since before taking the MSc in Responsible Tourism Management, and it is fascinating to apply what I learnt on the course. I have been working on the dive hub for several months and this is really only the beginning of a journey that I know will teach me a lot. I have discovered that many dive centres and operators are already achieving a great deal towards more responsible diving. Not only are they working hard to find ways to conserve the reef and benefit local communities, very often their actions enhance the quality of diver experiences too.
Some of my recent blog topics have included a look at how improving local water quality can help coral reefs cope with warming ocean temperatures, something that all dive resorts and the tourism industry in general, can improve on through better water management. Another example is the planned creation of a shark sanctuary, led by a dive resort, which could put Raja Ampat firmly on the divers’ destination list as a place where the chances of a shark encounter are greater due to the way local stakeholders are working together to protect the species.
There is plenty of development to be done with much more planned for the website, lots of new case studies are on the way and a new page dedicated to dive volunteering trips will hopefully be ready by the end of September.
Applying responsible tourism principles to diving is a brilliant opportunity to do more to conserve the marine environment and benefit local communities, whilst at the same time improving the quality of experiences for the divers themselves. Please take a look, tell any scuba mad friends about it, and let me know your thoughts or comments. I would love to hear about any examples of responsible diving that you may have come across.
Kate graduated from the MSc in Responsible Tourism Management in 2008