Following on the heels of its sister company Wildlife Worldwide, Dive Worldwide have introduced an entirely new programme of marine conservation holidays for 2014. With five projects and more in the pipeline, the Just Conservation programme allows ordinary people with an enthusiasm for marine life to work alongside renowned scientists and research teams for the sustainable benefit of some the planet’s most threatened sea creatures. By taking the plunge (quite literally), visitors will make a real difference to a range of on-going marine studies, gaining hands-on experiences and new skills; perhaps using hydro-sound equipment to identify whale noises, or a decoy to monitor the behaviour of great white sharks. Choose from studying mantas in Indonesia or Micronesia, great white sharks in False Bay, blue whales in Quebec or sperm whales in the Azores.
Two of the projects – those that monitor manta rays – require experienced divers. The others just require genuine enthusiasm, curiosity about marine life, and a desire to learn more.
Under the guidance of shark legend Dr Alessandro De Maddalena, uncover the mysteries of the great white shark in South Africa, studying the world’s most controversial marine creature at False Bay, the best breaching location. With the help of a decoy from the safety of a boat and cage diving with a snorkel, spend the trip observing, identifying and recording this predator, which has become rare having been hunted by man for their fins and teeth.
Price: 11 days from £3,265 including flights and self-catering accommodation in resort. Departs 24th & 31st August 2014. Group size 1-11.
Explore the underwater paradise of Raja Ampat in Indonesia with The Manta Trust, a new partner for Dive Worldwide. From a luxurious liveaboard vessel, take on the role of research assistant, monitoring manta rays and helping to protect these endangered species. Manta rays face a number of threats, not least the demand for their gill plates placed by Chinese traditional medicine. Dive up to three times per day, using underwater photography to identify, record and name the Mantas.
Price: 11 days in Raja Ampat from £4,865 including flights and full board accommodation. Departs 4th Jan 2014. Group size 1 – 10.
Alternatively head to Micronesia to research mantas in Yap with The Manta Trust, where time is divided between a superb liveaboard in pristine waters and on shore diving. As no other liveaboards visit the area, it is possible to explore waters where no divers have been before.
Price: A 14-day Manta Research in Yap trip costs from £5,295. Departs 30th June & 17th July 2014. Both manta trips are for experienced divers.
Assist a team in the Azores, led by Dr. Lisa Steiner, with an ongoing study of both the sperm whale and the intelligent, charismatic bottlenose dolphin. Sperm whales, the largest of the toothed whales, hunt at depths of 4,000 metres, making them the deepest diving whales in the ocean. The aim of the research is to study their behaviour and breeding season as they migrate north. While in the archipelago, don’t miss the chance to dive with blue sharks, one of the best destinations for a close underwater encounter.
Price: 6 days from £1,340 including flights, B&B hotel accommodation and full board at sea. Departs June – August 2014. Group size 1-12.
Travel to the MinganIsland region in Quebec to study the elusive blue whale – the most imposing animal on earth – with experts who are highly experienced in cetacean research. A rare opportunity to experience the authentic life of marine biologists in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, study the natural habitat and behaviour of the blue whale and other cetaceans: partake in data collection and photo identification; witness skin biopsies; and use the hydro-sound system to identify sounds. Follow the migration path in a variety of locations between mid-June and mid-September.
Price: 9 days from £2,895 including flights and full board guesthouse accommodation. Group size 1 – 6.
There are both tailor-made opportunities with flexible departures and group trips on set departures.
All prices are per person based on two sharing.
For more information Call Dive Worldwide on 0845 130 6980 or visit www.diveworldwide.com.