CURO Anounces Relaunch of Their Organization on Bonaire

For a sustainable future for the dive sector on Bonaire

Kralendijk, May 20, 2024

The Council of Underwater Recreational Operators announces the relaunch of the organisation originally founded by Bruce Bowker and Captain Don.


Press release:

**CURO Reemerges: Stronger and More Committed to Conservation and Excellence in Underwater Recreation**

CURO, the Council of Underwater Recreational Operators, has always been at the forefront of underwater recreation and conservation. We have strived to empower divers to become stewards of the reef, leading by example. CURO has played a pivotal role in numerous historic achievements on Bonaire, including establishing the Bonaire National Marine Park (BNMP), implementing the spear fishing ban, creating the Hilma Hooker reef, introducing the mooring system, enforcing the no-glove policy, preserving Klein Bonaire through FKPB, pioneering cave exploration, organizing original turtle club sighting competitions, and receiving SSI Pro 5000 recognition, among many other accomplishments.

The past few years have been challenging. During the first year of the pandemic, we lost our founder in a tragic, non-diving-related accident. Subsequently, political and commercial challenges compounded by the pandemic led to a period of neglect for CURO. Member contributions ceased, access to our bank was blocked, our email history was accidentally deleted, and we had to reinstate a new board. Despite these setbacks, we have persevered and worked diligently to rebuild.

Today, we are thrilled to announce that CURO is back and stronger than ever! Our partners at OLB, STINAPA, TCB, and BonHata are ready to tackle the challenges facing our industry.

One of the most pressing issues we face is the rapid and unregulated increase in the number of new dive professionals, many of whom operate illegally outside the manageable realm of dive centers and local regulations. These professionals, often working from home or rental locations, have flooded the market since the end of the pandemic. It is estimated that over 60% of dive businesses now operate illegally, further straining an already tight-margin sector. As the old saying goes, too many hooks in a tiny pond make for bad fishing.

CURO membership offers a distinct seal of approval. Each CURO member is a legally operating entity committed to the highest standards of diving, conservation, and collaboration with partners like STINAPA. This seal can be prominently displayed on physical and online domains, helping visitors distinguish between member and non-member dive centers.

We serve as industry representatives, advocating on behalf of our member organizations. All our positions are democratically voted on, and our board represents both large and small operators, including resorts and independent operators.

Our members enjoy a host of benefits, including but not limited to: the Seal of Approval for marketing efforts, universal safety standards, bulk purchasing of (learning) materials, democratic voting on industry-defining topics, participation in acceleration programs, and much more. A complete list of benefits can be found here.

The new CURO is dedicated to securing the future of the reefs, ensuring diving remains a force for good, and improving the industry through collaborative initiatives.

As dive professionals and ocean lovers, we stand on the shoulders of giants and aim to carry that torch into the future.

CURO Board of Directors

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