Sustainable Oceans International Pty Ltd (SOI) recognises that sun-and-sand tourism has matured as a market and ecotourism has been growing at 20-34% per year since the 1990’s – three times faster than the tourism industry as a whole. Sustainable tourism has been predicted to equal 25% (US$473.6 billion) of the world’s travel market by 2012.
Over 60% of US and Australian tourists, and 90% of British tourists consider a hotel responsible for protecting the local environment and supporting local communities. Tourism is the second most important source of foreign exchange for 40 of the world’s poorest countries. Of the 109 countries with coral reefs, 90 of them are being damaged due to tourism (The International Ecotourism Society, 2009).
Our core belief: tourism can be a tool for reef preservation.
To respond to this growing market and urgent attention reefs need we have created a customizable program called TIDES that resorts can implement to increase guest (and employee) satisfaction, increase revenue, support the local community and protect or even restore local reefs.
TIDES is a social enterprise taking a creative sustainable approach to tourism. Responding to the increasing desire of tourists to truly experience the culture and environment when they travel, TIDES includes a series of programs that provide them with the opportunity to both interact with and support the marine ecosystems and culture within the region. The concept is to change the Tide so tourism becomes a tool for coral reef preservation rather than its adversary. These self-funding experiences enhance the environment, educate the participants, and instill a feeling of pride for everyone involved. The ocean is our classroom and every adventure is a lesson!
How SOI can help you
Our team of experts will review your needs and prepare recommended programs of opportunity for your selection. We then work with you at a level that you choose to effectively implement and run the programs. Our Team has direct experience of working within the Tourism industry for major hotels, launching and running their own ecotours and working with NGOs.
One of our key strengths is that we have a unique combination of business development experience (this helps us design effective self funding programs for you and understand the business needs of resorts), scientific understanding of reef restoration and practical hands-on experience.
The benefits of our programs include:
>> Learn more about our tourism program
>>Checkout our Reef Restoration Activity Sheet # 1, designed for kid programs in resorts - meet Ari, Roy and Bazzer, three enthusiastic reef characters ready to tell you all about their life on the reef!
Help Ari and Roy smile by giving them some colour like Jamie did from the Philippines!
Planning a marina?
The following presentation provides a few suggestions of how marinas can increase their value by capitalising on the structure they put below the waterline and maintain or enhance important marine biodiversity.
Fish Friendly Marinas
Here's an article by SOI Director David Lennon in the Dec issue of the Marina Industry Associations magazine.
>> Fish friendly marina design
SOI can provide the full suite of services from assessing marinas and recommending strategies to increase fish habitat, to providing and deploying the most appropriate fish habitat. Retrofitting a marina is always the most costly option so if you are designing are marina, get in touch with us and we can show you the most cost and ecologically effective strategies to boost biodiversity and fish numbers.
Reef CPR for the GBR!
SOI is partnering with Cairns based 'Sustainable Reefs' and Southern Cross University in order to establish a Reef CPR (coral preservation and restoration) program that includes a research and training centre and coral adoption and planting program that will allow the tourism industry to play a role in helping the reef and to help fill gaps in knowledge about effective restoration strategies for impacted areas on the Great Barrier Reef. This knowledge will then be used in training programs to build the capacity of the dive industry and key government partners to respond to ship groundings, cyclone damage and general reef breakage occuring at high use sites. In effect it is pioneering a new philosophy of recognising that while the reef is traditionally resilient, it is unable to quickly recover from the huge stresses we are placing on it. Just as we have maintenance programs in land based parks, we now must do the same with our marine parks.
The program covers the science, art and business of restoration which is key to its success.
The Adopt-a-Coral program spearheaded by coral mascot 'Ari' will allow tourists, locals and anyone internationally to contriibute to saving the GBR.
Tourists, especially those snorkelling and diving can leave the reef in better condition than they found it! Therefore turning tourism into a tool for reef preservation. Considering the huge tourism value of the GBR...its the least we can do!
Contact us if you'd like to be involved.
Qater reef constructed to offset port impacts
SOI prepared the coral mitigation plan for the new Doha Port to reduce impacts of this important project and this included coral relocation and construction of a purpose designed artificial reef.
SOI's sister company Reef Arabia based in Bahrain, manufactured, delivered and deployed the concrete reef units for this mitigation requirement.
Summary of projects and product development, 2012
Here's our quick overview of some key projects and new constructed reef units we've worked on in 2012.
>>Read key highlights of 2012 here
Culturally Sensitive Artificial Reef Design
Local customs and architecture are considered when planning new buildings...as underwater architects, we believe there are benefits of doing the same when designing a reef.
But its not just about designing a pretty replica for the seabed! The design must also appeal to the marine life of the area.
We describe a good example of how this can be done in our Tech Note 4 - download here .
World's First 3D printed Artificial Reef!
In a world first, an advanced construction sized 3D printer has been used by SOI to revolutionise artificial reef design and produce reef units that look and function like a natural reef, a major step forward in a bid to restore lost and damaged reefs around the world.
>> Read the full media release here
Latest underwater footage from Bahrain artificial reef program
Reef 6, eight weeks after deployment.
Australia Unlimited features SOI
Australian innovation and can-do efficiency is restoring the world’s ocean reefs and creating sustainable marine environments.
Read this article and the background on why we do what do >>click here .
By Kristie Kellahan
We have a winner!
Sustainable Ocean Innovation Award 2012
...and the award goes to...GhostNets Australia for their work in northern Australia tackling the serious problem of lost fishing nets called 'ghost nets'.
The group has found ghost nets measuring 10km long and recorded a myriad of marine species that get entangled as the nets drift along with the currents. The destruction caused by ghost nets continues as they near shore, often wrapping themselves around delicate coral reefs and coastal mangrove systems.
"The GhostNets Australia program is a fantastic example of innovation in action"l.
>>Read the media release here: Sustainable Ocean Innovation Award 2012
SOI constructs first 'cod cave' to help save Murray cod
Murray cod are Australia's largest freshwater fish and overfishing and loss of essential habitat has decimated their numbers. SOI has been contracted to design and construct a concrete unit to help restore some of the essential breeding habitat the fish require. September surveys found a 1.03m Murray Cod right on top of a cod cave so that was very exciting and confirmation they are working. Sidescan image by ACT Government.
SOI wins 2 Year Contract - Bahrain
SOI and partner Reef Arabia have won a two year contract to design, build and monitor 10 artificial reefs around Bahrain.
>>Further details and photos of deployment of first reef in Bahrain
>>Bahrain newspaper article in Arabic
SOI Completes Coral Mitigation Plan for New Doha Port
SOI conducted the necessary surveys and prepared the coral mitigation plans for the New Doha Port and naval base construction which includes a 10km long shipping channel and impact footprint of 4.5km2. Our mitigation plan included accurate coral surveys to quantify the size, type and number of corals within the imperiled and threatened zones, and detailed recommendations on relocation methodology, relocation sites and compensatory artificial reefs to offset loss of productive reef structure.