what has dive tourism got to do with all this?
It is thought by many that the conservation of coral reefs is the responsibility of government, not the private sector. Governments, however, are often stretched, failing to protect coral reefs. Marine protected areas become simply ‘paper parks’. Coral reefs die under dynamite and cyanide fishing. Fish stocks are diminished by the live reef fish trade, with fish and lobster shipped out to fish tanks in seafood restaurants all over the world; the aquarium trade (finding Nemo and Dory); spear fishing and small gauge nets. Sharks are fished and finned, manta rays and turtles are killed. Local fishers, faced with diminishing fish stocks, are forced to fish further out to sea in small boats or increase destructive fishing and overfishing on coral reefs, with devastating effect.
Dive tourism relies on healthy coral reefs for business. Dive tourism is often cited for its ability to conserve coral reefs and provide livelihoods for fishers, yet it is not known if dive tourism can achieve these objectives.