Scuba divers, freedivers and snorkelers could all help advance marine conservation and help the blue economy and overall health of the world’s oceans, researchers say. Their report suggests steps to engage the sector actively in the pursuit of Sustainable Development Goal No. 14 and blue economy goals. The multi-billion-dollar diving industry already plays a key role in several countries’ economies yet “still lacks the recognition and international organization necessary” to parlay its financial contributions into sustainability and conservation. The report recommends organizing the sector via international associations and federations; recognizing usage rights for natural capital as equal to extractive activities; improving connectivity and data sharing; engaging private and public funding and subsidizing critical infrastructure to enable equitable access, and training and supporting local leaders.

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