Academy awarded actor Mr. Harrison Ford and Marine and Diving Safety Officer for Conservation International and PADI Project Aware Ambassador Diver Mr. Edgardo Ochoa visited Bonaire for a diving holiday and proudly display their electronic dive tags.
Hundreds of academic studies show that visitors are, not only willing to financially contribute to the successful management of Marine Protected Areas, but also favor destinations that have put into place efforts to improve marine conservation and management.
One of the most important factors in establishing and managing effective marine protected areas is ensuring that sustainable, long-term financing is available.
User fees have been a proven method to finance marine protected areas since 1992 when the Bonaire National Marine Park first introduced its innovative “dive tag” system.
Today the Bonaire National Marine Park is a world-renowned dive destination recognized for its biodiversity conservation, advanced educational programs, and pioneering “diver tag” user fee system and attracts divers from all over the world.
Well over two million visitors have paid the Bonaire National Marine Park since 1992 and since June 2019 paying your nature fee is easier than ever.
Reef Support is providing the digital platform that allows visitors to easily pay their user fees online for different parks in the Caribbean. Those parks are La Caleta in Dominican Republic (https://reefcheckdr.reefsupport.org), Man of War Shoal National Marine Park in Sint Maarten (https://sintmaarten.reefsupport.org), Bonaire National Marine Park in Bonaire (https://stinapa.bonairenaturefee.org), White River Fish Sanctuary in Jamaica (https://whiteriverfishsanctuary.reefsupport.org) and The Sosua Bay Reserve and Ecological Preservation Zone in Dominican Republic (https://sosuamaguaecofoun.reefsupport.org). Also, other organizations like Curacao Dive Festival and the Caribbean Speleological Society (https://caribss.reefsupport.org) use Reef Support digital platform to collect their fees online.
Thanks to Mr. Ford and Mr. Ochoa and all the thousands of visitors that every year contributes to the conservation and management of the most sensitive environments in the Caribbean.