By identifying potential environmental impacts and creating strategies to minimise their footprint, Dive Green will help Explorer Ventures and its guests act as stewards of the environment so that future generations will be able to enjoy and experience the oceans as we do now. As part of this, they have adopted the Green Fins environmental standards onboard their Caribbean vessels Turks & Caicos Explorer II and Caribbean Explorer II.
In fall of 2018, Caribbean Explorer II led the way and became the very first liveaboard with Green Fins membership. Over the next 5 years, the company aims to continue its commitment to (1) increasing its environmental projects worldwide, (2) working towards the elimination of single-use plastics on its vessels, and (3) wherever possible finding sustainable alternatives.
As part of its continuous and coordinated efforts to “Dive Green”, Explorer Ventures is also encouraging guests to join in by minimising their own impacts before and during their trip. Here are their top tips on how to participate and help protect our coral reefs:
Bring Bio-Friendly Products
Explorer Ventures has switched over to bio-friendly washing detergents and Simple Green cleaning products. Follow their lead by only using (and bringing onboard) bio-friendly products. This includes shampoos, soaps, beauty products, and mask cleaners.
Use Reef-Safe Sunscreen
Please only use ocean-safe sunscreen on your holiday. If you have brought a non-reef-safe sunscreen with you, Explorer Ventures will encourage you to use the reef-safe products provided onboard.
Explorer Ventures is working towards the elimination of single-use plastics and ask that guests leave all such items at home, whenever possible. This includes plastic bags, food wrap, packaging and single-use bottles. Better yet, eliminate as many as you can from your home too!
Pack Rechargeable Batteries
Batteries are terrible for the environment and are very difficult to correctly dispose of, particularly on most Caribbean islands. Thus, guests are encouraged to only bring rechargeable batteries and make use of the large charging station onboard Explorer Ventures vessel. If you do bring non-rechargeable batteries, please take them home in your luggage and recycle them correctly.
Refine your Dive Skills
Sadly, an average of 70% of divers contact the reef while diving. Regardless of your diving background, when you arrive onboard an Explorer Ventures vessel, you will receive a brief on best practices and the most effective ways to reduce your impact. Guests are asked to listen intently to this presentation and, when diving, look but don't touch the reef. This includes a strict 'no-touch or chasing of marine life' policy and the restricted use of gloves. Make sure you also follow the Green Fins guidelines for protecting corals and marine life.
Participate in Coral and Fish Surveys
Explorer Ventures participates in regular coral reef, fish and whale monitoring surveys and report data to various databases. Research teams often come onboard to conduct these studies. If you'd like to participate or learn more, please ask the crew about initiatives during your trip.
Dive Against Debris
During dives, you will often see Explorer Ventures’ guides cleaning up underwater debris. Guests are welcome to join in this effort anytime and will be briefed by the crew on the correct collection methods. This trash is then logged and disposed of correctly when the vessel returns to dock.
Adhere to Marine Park Regulations
Explorer Ventures’ Caribbean itineraries operate in marine protected areas. For this reason, their liveaboards abide not only by their own environmental regulations but also local customs and laws. The captains and crews will brief guests on these customs on arrival and ask that for cooperation for the best possible diving experiences.
Donate to Green Fins
Onboard their Caribbean vessels, Explorer Ventures collect donations for Green Fins during the final check-out. They suggest donations be $10-$15 per person, or more depending upon your available contribution. 100% of your support goes to the Green Fins initiative and both Reef-World and Explorer Ventures are so grateful for any donations received. Your support is helping to ensure the future sustainability of coral reefs, marine life, and local communities.
Chloe Harvey, Director of Reef-World, says: "Having companies such as Explorer Ventures leading the way in improving sustainable dive practices, and educating people on how to reduce their impact on the reef, is vital for the future health of our oceans. As divers, we can work together to protect fragile marine ecosystems from human threats. By implementing its "Dive Green" environmental policy, and adopting the Green Fins Code of Conduct, Explorer Ventures is demonstrating the type of thorough, considered and evidence-based approach that is needed to minimise a company's environmental impact on coral reefs. Together with Explorer Ventures, we can inspire and empower people to act in conserving coral reefs and keeping our ocean healthy for future generations. We hope to see other liveaboard and diving operators following Explorer Ventures' lead."