Stakeholders of Koh Tao have been discussed and analyzed in
the previous section along with the identification of their practices influenced
the current state of the island. The analysis has majorly shown that each
stakeholder has their own agenda, interest, and stake to the island’s tourism.
In an attempt to improve the current situation in term of the Sustainability Tourism
Development and International Coastal Management (ICM) aspects. We have
identified Dive shop as the major stakeholder in this study and therefore, we
will discuss the sustainable practices which should be adopted by the dive shop
in Koh Tao in this section.
The analysis of the codes of conduct
In order for dive operators understand and adopt responsible
codes of conduct, we have gathered the codes of conduct suggested from
The first codes of conduct we choose to demonstrate in this
study is called The Green Fins management approach which established by the
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as an approach to minimize the
impact of recreational scuba diving related activities to the nature (“Green
Fins – Environmentally Responsible Diving and Snorkelling”, n.d.). The
Green Fins approach works with dive shop to establish a network of educated
dive operators and divers, to encourage a set of standards for environmentally
sustainable scuba diving tourism activities. “Green Fins” leads the
charge for the first global environmental diving standards and provides a list
of standards, which are assessed during external audit sessions, so as to
monitor the success of the implementation of the approach by dive shops who
join the program (Hunt, Harvey, Miller, Johnson & Phongsuwan, 2013).
The second codes of conduct presented in this study is by the
PADI Aquatic World Awareness, Responsibility and Education Foundation (Project
AWARE) which is the non-profit organization. The codes of conduct are offered
as part of the diving course along with the PADI certificate and have worked
along with dive operators to promote environmental and conservational diving standards
(“About Us | Project AWARE”, n.d.; Lucrezi & Saayman, 2017). Project
AWARE has released many codes of conduct for dive operators to adopt upon the
type of marine life as the project has stated that “Each shark and ray
operation is unique. It’s important to develop a code of conduct that reflects
this uniqueness” (The Responsible Shark and Ray Tourism: A Guide to Best
Practice, 2017). Even though there are a different in detail for each code of
conduct, the structure of them are presented in the same manner.
Last codes of conduct presented in this study is from Blue
Certified which the ‘third-party’ certification structure creating specifically
for the sustainability in diving tourism industry (“Blue Certified | About
us”, n.d.). This code of conduct is launched by the Ocean First Institute
and the coral reef alliance (CORAL) with the objective to provide scuba diving
businesses with 30 best management practices and guidelines for the marine
conservation and the economic development of coastal communities (“Blue Certified
| Sustainability Tips & insights”, n.d.; Lucrezi & Saayman, 2017).
The code of conduct is divided according to difference types of operators and
activities such as boat operators, diving operators and marine wildlife viewing.
Sample of code of conduct suggested to dive shops from
difference organizations as per below.
Green Fins ‘s Code of conduct
Promote the project
Train staff as a responsible role model for
Educate all dive staff according to “Green Fins
Friendly Diving and Snorkeling Guidelines”
Minimum discharge including the adopt of “no
littering” and “no fish feeding” policy
Not sell any corals and other marine life at the
dive shop Participate in regular coral reef monitoring and report coral reef
Provide training, briefings or literature for guests
regarding diving and marine life interaction.
Ensure the safety of guests
Adopted from Guideline to the code of conduct (n.d.), Code
of conduct (n.d.)
Project AWARE ‘s Code of conduct
Conduct the introductory brief and inform all
snorkelers of the biology of marine life.
Do not allow guests to touch, feed or ride marine
provide signs and infographics in dive shops and
Enforcement the rule by inform snorkelers that
non-compliance will not be tolerated and have a member of staff on board to
individual sites should only be interacted with
by one group of tourists per day. Dive operators need to communicate with each
other to facilitate this.
Best practice demands continuous improvement
from operators and their staff. Providing ongoing training can encourage this,
covering areas such as environmental impacts, safety, tourism operations,
understanding the latest scientific research, etc.
Adopted from The Responsible Shark and Ray Tourism: A Guide
to Best Practice (2017)
Blue Certified ‘s Code of conduct
Keep garbage contained and minimize use of
Stablish a no-contact policy
Conduct environmental awareness briefings for
Conduct buoyancy refreshers
“take only pictures, leave only memories” Policy
discourages fish feeding and harassment of
Support the establishment of marine protected
areas by the local government
Address diver carrying capacity, in Order to
avoid overcrowding at popular sites, thus diminishing the threat to These sites
while at the same time enhancing the visitor experience.
Adopted from A practical guide to good practice (2003)
From the short review above, there
are several codes of conduct have been promoted to dive tourism and operators, However,
sampling of code of conduct which are gathered in this study have shown the
similarity between them which are emphasizing in Pre-dive briefings before
getting into the water, no-contact policy and the limited use of diving sites
and minimal discharged into the sea.