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Saturday, February 4, 2023
HomeLifeScientists Create First-Ever Guidelines to Help Caribbean Tourism Sector Conserve Coral Reefs

Scientists Create First-Ever Guidelines to Help Caribbean Tourism Sector Conserve Coral Reefs

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Coral reefs play a huge role in Caribbean tourism, from snorkeling and scuba diving and the awe-inspiring turquoise blue hues reefs create in picture postcard views. More specifically, marine and reef-associated activities generate more than $7.9 billion annually from more than 11 million visitors, totaling 23 percent of all tourism expenditures in the region, according to data provided by the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA).

Healthy coral reefs are essential to the region’s environmental and economic sustainability. To keep them this way, and for the first time in the Caribbean, scientists from The Nature Conservancy and the United Nations Environment Program, in concert with the CHTA, have joined forces to create A Guide to Coral Reef Restoration for the Tourism Sector.

Giant sea anemone in the shallow coral depths of Bonaire. Photo by Acton Crawford on Unsplash
Giant sea anemone in the shallow coral depths of Bonaire. Photo by Acton Crawford on Unsplash

“The guide is intended to broaden awareness and equip the industry stakeholders with proven strategies they can undertake to adhere to sound practices and coordinate and collaborate their efforts with others in the industry,” says Frank Comito, special advisor to CHTA. “We provide links to globally recognized best practices and knowledge sources to guide their on-the-ground and in-the-water practices. By broadly sharing the guidelines with marina operators, dive operators, hotels, attractions, fishers, governments, and other stakeholders, we aim to increase awareness. Links provided in the guide connect the industry to best practices for protecting the reefs, such as having designated moorings in place, as well as restoring dying reefs.”

To download the 32-page guide, visit https://www.nature.org/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/documents/Coral_Restoration_Guide_for_the_Tourism_Sector.pdf

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Carol_Bareuther
Carol_Bareuther
Carol M. Bareuther, RD, is a St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands based marine writer and registered dietitian.
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