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Tourism Industry Protecting Our Oceans

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World Oceans Day, which takes place on Wednesday 8 June, is a chance to celebrate our seas and remember that it is our behaviour that impacts on the ocean’s survival. Our oceans come under significant strain from every day from overexploitation, illegal and unreported and unregulated fishing, marine pollution and climate change. However, despite the difficulties, some economic travel companies have implemented key initiatives to protect the world’s seas.

From grey reef shark tagging and turtle monitoring in Africa, to helping marine biologists collect data at the Great Barrier Reef, below are the travel companies making a difference in the fight for ocean conservation.

Building on the incredible influence andBeyond has on protected wildlife land, it is expanding its focus on wildlife conservation to include the preservation and sustainability of the seas, with its new project Oceans Without Borders.

Each of the three islands, andBeyond MnembaBenguerra and the newly acquired Vamizi island, are situated within protected marine areas and have a strong conservation focus, all with dedicated projects as well as shared initiatives.

andBeyond Vamizi Island is at the heart of Oceans Without Boarders, with its permanent team at the Vamizi Research Centre working to protect the sensitive eco-systems.  Project highlights include grey reef shark tagging, as Vamizi is home to one of the very few congregations on the east coast. Highlighted projects at andBeyond Mnemba Island include green turtle monitoring, while at andBeyond Benguerra Island the team is working to conserve the habitat of the endangered dugong in conjunction with Africa Foundation and the island’s local community.

All three projects are about simple, barefoot luxury and a respect for our oceans, with Benguerra the company’s most recent opening. It re-opened in July last year following a brilliant renovation and with a design that takes its inspiration from Mozambique’s Portuguese heritage.

Since its re-opening, and in tune with andBeyond’s ethos, guests are now able to support some of the many conservation projects Benguerra has undertaken as well as enjoying its raft of activities.

Benguerra sits alongside a permanent deep water channel which is renowned for its excellent game fishing and its brilliant location is also good for turtle encounter as the island’s massive sand dunes form the ideal habitat for turtles to nest.

The Residence by Cenizaro’s Zanzibari hotel has recently launched a new partnership with leading dive centre, One Ocean – which contributes to the Mnemba Island Conservation Area (MIMCA).  The new dive experience has been carefully designed so guests can enjoy the staggering variety of marine life in an area that was once threatened by overfishing and a general disregard for the fragility of the environment.

Mnai Bay, Zanzibar’s largest marine protected area, was declared a Marine Conservation Area in 1997 and guests are now charged a US$3 levy on all water-sports and diving within this zone. The revenue is paid into a community conservation fund which is used to show local fisherman, and their communities, the real economic value in protecting rather than exploiting these exceptional reefs.

Guests will also have the opportunity to learn about the importance of minimising island rubbish by actively recycling plastics and metal and why One Ocean uses such efficient boat engines.

The One Ocean dive experience at The Residence Zanzibar is for certified divers only. Rates are as follows: Single Dive (US$85); Double Dive/1-day (US$125); Four Dive/2-days (US$240); Six Dive/3-days (US$350); Eight Dive/4-days (US$455); Ten Dive/5-days (US$555) per person.

Rates at The Residence Zanzibar start from £418 per night, based on two sharing on a half board basis including taxes and fees. To book call the hotel on +255 245 555 000 or visit the website. www.cenizaro.com/theresidence/zanzibar.

Passionate about marine conservation, Fairmont Mayakoba, has a dedicated Ecology Manager and Coral Reef Restoration Team. It also has a special partnership with the non-Governmental organisation Oceanus A.C.

Now guests can join one of the team for a fascinating adventure of discovery on a private snorkelling tour of the resort’s coral nursery. The experience takes a behind-the-scenes look at how precious Acropora Palmata coral is grown, harvested and transplanted into the Mesoamerican Reef, the second largest reef in the world. Its special partnership with Oceanus A.C. means Fairmont Mayakoba is one of the only hotels with coral nurseries that can reproduce the Elkhorn Coral (Acropora palmata).

The exclusive trip costs US$75 per person (approx. £52) with all proceeds donated to Oceanus A.C. Rates at Fairmont Mayakoba start from £198 per night. To book call the hotel on 1 800 540 6088, email mayakoba@fairmont.com or visit the website. www.fairmont.com/mayakoba-riviera-maya.

Right in the heart of the Whitsundays, Hamilton Island is surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park – the largest marine protected area in the world and a World Heritage Area.  With ecological sustainability high on the agenda, Hamilton Island has a number of initiatives in place to ensure the protection of the island and its waterways including state of the art sewerage treatment facilities and a self-managed recycling program.

In addition, whilst staying on Hamilton Island, guests are encouraged to support the Marine Park research by logging the marine life they see whilst out snorkelling and diving.  The Eye on the Reef programme is a collaboration of 40 Marine Tourism operators who report and collect data on the health and status of the Great Barrier Reef.  It is then fed back to a special team of marine biologists at Hamilton Island’s eco-certified Fantasea Reefworld centre, who assist with the collection and comprehension of the data.

Hamilton Island offers a wide range of Great Barrier Reef experiences and accommodation options.  The Reef Comber Tour takes in the sites from the skies, with a seaplane journey offering a bird’s eye view of the sheer size and scale of the reef’s coral garden.  There is also the chance to explore the reef with a snorkel.   The 3-hour tour costs AU$599 (approx. £303) per person.  Rates on Hamilton Island start from £145 per night, rising to rates from £515 per night at the world-renowned hotel, qualia.  For more information, visit the website. www.hamiltonisland.com.au.

Environment

Consumers Investing in Eco-Friendly Cars with the UK Green Revolution

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Eco-Friendly Cars

The UK public appears to be embracing the electric car UK Green Revolution, as recent statistics reveal that more and more consumers are making the switch from petrol and diesel to electric or alternatively fuelled vehicles. The demand for diesel fell by almost a third in October compared to last year, whilst hybrid and electric cars rose by a staggering 36.9%.

Time for UK Green Revolution Change

So, what is the reason for this sudden change? This comes down to the current situation in the UK, which has led to people embracing eco-friendly technologies and automobiles. One of the main reasons is the Government’s clean air plans, which includes the impending 2040 ban on petrol and diesel automobiles. There is then the rollout of the T-Charge in London, the city of Oxford announcing that they will be banning petrol and diesel from the city centre by 2020 and various other big announcements which take up a lot of space and time in the UK press.

h2>Diesel’s Reputation

In addition to this, the negative publicity against diesel has had a huge impact on the UK public. This has led to a lot of confusion over emissions, but actually, the newest low emission diesel automobiles will not face restrictions and are not as bad to drive as many believe. Most notably, German brand Volkswagen has been affected due to the emissions scandal in recent times. It was discovered that some emissions controls for VW’s turbocharged direct injection diesel engines were only activated during laboratory testing, so these automobiles were emitting 40 times more NO in real-world driving. As a result of this and all the negative publicity, the manufacturer has made adaptations and amended their vehicles in Europe. Additionally, they have made movements to improve the emissions from their cars, meaning that they are now one of the cleaner manufacturers. Their impressive range includes the Polo, Golf and Up, all of which can be found for affordable prices from places like Unbeatable Car.

The Current Market

The confusion over the Government’s current stance on diesel has clearly had a huge impact on the public. So much so that the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has called on the Government to use the Autumn Budget to restore stability in the market and encourage the public to invest in the latest low emission automobiles. SMMT believes that this is the fastest and most effective way to address the serious air quality concerns in this country.

Incentives

One way that the Government has encouraged the public to make the switch is by making incentives. Motorists can benefit from a grant when they purchase a new plug-in vehicle, plus there are benefits like no road tax for electric vehicles and no congestion charge. When these are combined with the low running costs, it makes owning an electric automobile an appealing prospect and especially because there are so many great models available and a type to suit every motorist. One of the main reasons holding motorists back is the perceived lack of charging points. However, there are currently over 13,000 up and down the country with this number rapidly increasing each month. It is thought that the amount of charging points will outnumber petrol stations by 2020, so it is easy to see more and more motorists start to invest in electric cars way ahead of the 2040 ban.

It is an interesting time in the UK as people are now embracing the electric car revolution. The Government’s clean air plans seem to have accelerated this revolution, plus the poor publicity that diesel has received has only strengthened the case for making the switch sooner rather than later.

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Environment

How To Make The Shipping Industry Greener

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green shipping industry

Each and every year more damage is done to our planet. When businesses are arranging pallet delivery or any other kind of shipping, the environment usually isn’t their number one concern. However, there’s an increasing pressure for the shipping industry to go greener, particularly as our oceans are filling with plastic and climate change is occurring. Fortunately, there’s plenty of technology out there to help with this. Here’s how the freight industry is going greener.

Make Ship Scrapping Cleaner

There are approximately 51,400 merchant ships trading around the world at the moment. Although the act of transporting tonnes of cargo across the ocean every year is very damaging to the environment, the scrapping of container ships is also very harmful. Large container ships contain asbestos, heavy metals and oils which are toxic to both people and the environment during demolition. The EU has regulations in place which ensure that all European ships are disposed of in an appropriate manner at licenced yards and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) introduced guidelines to make recycling of ships safe and environmentally friendly back in 2009, but since then only Norway, Congo and France have agreed to the policy. The IMO needs to ensure that more countries are on board with the scheme, especially India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, which are some of the worst culprits for scrapping, which may mean enforcing the regulations in the near future.

Reduce Emissions

A single large container ship can produce the same amount of emissions as 50 million cars, making international shipping one of the major contributors towards global warming. Stricter emissions regulations are needed to reduce the amount of emissions entering our atmosphere. The sulphur content within ship fuel is largely responsible for the amount of emissions being produced; studies have shown that a reduction in the sulphur content in fuel oil from 35,000 p.p.m to 1,000 p.p.m could reduce the SOx emissions by as much as 97%! The IMO has already begun to ensure that ships with the Emission Control Areas of the globe, such as the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the English Channel, are using this lower sulphur content fuel, but it needs to be enforced around the world to make a significant difference.

As it’s not currently practical or possible to completely phase-out heavy, conventional fuels around the world, a sulphur scrubber system can be added to the exhaust system of ships to help reduce the amount of sulphur being emitted.

Better Port Management

As more and more ships are travelling around the world, congestion and large volumes of cargo can leave ports in developing countries overwhelmed. Rapidly expanding ports can be very damaging to the surrounding environment, take Shenzhen for example, it’s a collection of some of the busiest ports in China and there has been a 75% reduction in the number of mangroves along the coastline. Destroying valuable ecosystems has a knock-on effect on the rest of the country’s wildlife. Port authorities need to take responsibility for the environmental impact of construction and ensure that further expansion is carried out sustainably.

Some have suggested that instead of expansion, improved port management is needed. If port authorities can work with transport-planning bureaus, they will be able to establish more efficient ways of unloading cargo to reduce the impact on the environment caused by shipping congestion.

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