Marine Tour Operator Environmental Accreditation Certification Scheme Training

On 27 June 2023 Executive Council approved the Marine Regulations (Tourism and Interaction with Marine Life), 2023, which will be brought into force on 1 November 2023.

These new Regulations govern tourism and the interaction of persons with marine wildlife in the Marine Protected Area (MPA). Primarily, they aim to minimise any impact from such activities on the marine environment. They introduce the concept of ‘regulated activities’ within St Helena’s MPA and a requirement for a licence in order for someone to conduct or facilitate certain activities where these are for payment or reward.

Regulated activities include:

  • Scuba diving, snorkelling, swimming and freediving
  • Scenic or coastal touring and wildlife viewing by boat
  • Wildlife interaction by boat

Any person wanting to obtain a licence must hold a valid accreditation certificate. These certificates are awarded following attendance at the Marine Tour Operator Environmental Accreditation Certification Scheme training, which is provided by the Environment, Natural Resources & Planning Portfolio’s Marine & Fisheries Conservation Section.

The Marine Tour Operator Environmental Accreditation Certification Scheme training intends to create an environmental consciousness amongst local marine tour operators, and has been designed to focus on safeguarding marine habitats and the flora and fauna that live there. In order to obtain certification persons attending the training must pass a multiple choice and oral exam at the end of each session.

In preparation for the issuing of licences for the upcoming marine tourism season, the Marine & Fisheries Conservation Section have arranged certification scheme training sessions over the period 19 – 28 September 2023. Sessions have been arranged by category and each one is offered twice over the two weeks to offer some flexibility for attendance.

All sessions are free of charge and will take place at the Marine Centre at Jamestown Wharf, as follows:

DateTimeSessionNotes
Tuesday, 19September5pm – 7pmInteraction and viewing species sessionPrior booking required
Wednesday, 20September5pm – 6pmDiving sessionPrior booking required
Thursday, 21 September5pm – 6pmRecreational users information session on Best Practice GuidelinesNo booking required
Tuesday, 26 September5pm – 6pmRecreational users information session on Best Practice GuidelinesNo booking required
Wednesday, 27 September5pm – 7pmInteraction and viewing species sessionPrior booking required
Thursday, 28 September5pm – 6pmDiving sessionPrior booking required

Anyone interested in becoming a marine tour operator, or a dive leader, tour leader, skipper or boat crew for a marine tour operator, is encouraged to attend.

Recreational users do not need to hold a licence but it is recommended to attend the information session on Best Practice Guidelines (to be held on 21 and 26 September) which outline the rules for interaction with wildlife. This will ensure that you are comfortable knowing you will not commit any offences whilst undertaking any recreational activities, such as SCUBA diving or freediving.

Where prior registration is required for the training, please contact kirsty.jones@sainthelena.gov.sh for an application form. Application forms need to be completed and returned by Friday, 15 September 2023.

If you have any queries regarding the accreditation certification scheme, please contact leeann.henry@sainthelena.gov.sh. For general queries regarding marine regulations and licensing, please contact Isabel.Peters@sainthelena.gov.sh.

#StHelena #MPA #MarineRegulations #smallislandBIGIMPACT

SHG
7 September 2023

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470
Email: kimberley.peters@sainthelena.gov.sh