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Blue O Two brand to continue as Blue O2 Ltd goes into administration

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It was announced late yesterday afternoon, 15 November 2021, that UK-based Tour Operator Blue O2 Ltd had sadly gone into administration, another casualty of the COVID pandemic. The much-loved and well respected Blue O Two brand will, however, now continue with Scuba Tours Worldwide Ltd adopting the name and re-branding.

Existing customers are invited to visit www.blueotwo.com for more information or email support@blueotwo.com.

Here is the full statement we have received from Blue 02 Limited:

Dear Customers and Friends

In 2003, we created a company around our love of diving. During this time, we have facilitated more than two million dives for our customers, to some of the best diving locations around the world. It’s been a journey of many highs. And more recently, some significant lows – none of our own making.

Our Greatest Ever Challenge

Covid-19 presented us with the greatest challenge in 18 years of trading. The UK has had the most stringent of travel restrictions in place. They have been consistently changing, hard to understand, and made it almost impossible to deliver what you all love doing the most – diving.

With limited tailored support for our sector, livelihoods and families were affected across the entire travel industry.

The battles we have fought personally coping with the last 20 months of disruption have given us many sleepless nights.

During this period of huge uncertainty, decision-making has been very difficult. In fact, we wished on many occasions we had a crystal ball. Team members have got used to decisions one day having to be reversed overnight – depending on global government guidance andupdates, in particular the UK travel restrictions.

Your Support

During a very challenging 20 month period, you have been very patient with us and in some cases have had your holiday rescheduled; in some circumstances, several times. We have felt and shared your pain and always tried to do our best for our customers. We are extremely grateful for the support and understanding you have given us.

We also want to acknowledge and thank our fellow team members from the bottom of our hearts for all the hard work and change they have put up with over the past 20 monthsof COVID disruption. We ask that you all be understanding and respectful to them all through this difficult time. Please be gentle with us…

Our Love for Our Customers and our Brand

Throughout this period, our commitment to our customers has never wavered.

We were ecstatic when the UK government removed travel restrictions and we were able to operate again. And recent feedback from you, our friends and customers, made it all worthwhile.

One of our core pillars is ‘One team, being the best we can be’. You, our customers, drive us on to live this truth every day. You are a part of our DNA. Many thousands of you come back to us time and time again and for this we can’t tell you how grateful we are.

We have done everything we can to keep the Blue O Two brand alive – one that both you and we love.

We have given it our all and always remained determined and hopeful. It’s our life’s work and we couldn’t have done it without you.

Recent Changes and Updates to the Travel Industry

Recently, our ATOL license was renewed by the CAA – the travel industry regulator.

Although we were granted a new license to provide packages including flights, the CAA, with consumers best interests in mind, imposed conditions on Blue 02 Limited’s ATOL license. This, as well as refunding many millions of £s, has made it difficult for the Directors to see a way forward for Blue 02 Ltd which protects the interests of our customers in the current COVID climate.

Given the financial damage caused by the pandemic, and despite our relentless best efforts to save Blue 02 Ltd, unfortunately, and with regret, the decision was made to cease trading on 15th November 2021.

A New Hope

The reality of life beyond Blue O Two, our life’s work, was hard to contemplate. In fact, putting that previous sentence into action is the hardest thing we have ever done.

So we are delighted to say that the Blue O Two brand lives on under Scuba Tours Worldwide Limited – which now trades as Blue O Two. We will continue to operate and provide scuba diving liveaboard holidays with the same devoted team of people.

As such, we will be able to provide some existing holidays booked with Blue 02 Limited as planned, to some customers. If you have a live booking or credit note, to see how you are affected by this news, visit our website for more information or email us on support@blueotwo.com.

We have opened our hearts to you many times over the years. We have been on many journeys together. And we will continue to dive the world together. We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience and disruption this situation has caused. We can only hope for your understanding and continued support as we recover from the unprecedented challenges of COVID.

With best wishes,

Jason Strickland and Nathan Tyler

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News

The Rescue – available on Disney+ tomorrow (Watch Trailer)

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If you missed the recent cinema debut of The Rescue film, you can watch it on streaming channel Disney+ from tomorrow December 3rd.

From Academy Award®-winning filmmakers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (Free Solo), The Rescue is the edge-of-your-seat account of the rescue of 12 Thai school boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave system in 2018.

The Rescue chronicles the dramatic rescue of the boys and their coach, trapped deep inside a flooded cave. Academy Award®-winning directors and producers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin reveal the perilous world of cave diving, the bravery of the rescuers, and the dedication of an entire community that made great sacrifices to save these young boys. An outing to explore a nearby system of caves after soccer practice transformed into a two-week saga of survival and a story that would capture the world’s attention. With exclusive access and never-before-seen footage from the rescue, the film tells the story of the imagination, determination and unprecedented teamwork displayed during this heroic edge-of-your-seat mission with life-or-death stakes.

Check back for our review of The Rescue soon!

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Marine Life & Conservation

Shark Guardian investigation finds endangered sharks for sale in Taiwan

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A field investigation into Taiwan’s shark fin industry was conducted by Shark Guardian between December 2020 and March 2021. The investigation obtained documentary evidence of fins from endangered shark species being openly offered for sale by over half of all shark fin traders surveyed in Taiwan’s southern fishing port of Kaohsiung.

Of the 13 shark fin processing and trading companies visited, more than half were found to be trading CITES- listed fins, and seven had shark fins from CITES Appendix II-listed species as part of their product range. One company saidthere was no difference in selling protected or unprotected species. Protected sharks’ products usually create a problem for international shipping only.”

The new report details how seven out of thirteen traders surveyed in Taiwan were found to be selling shark fins from silky sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks, mako sharks, thresher sharks and great white sharks in broad daylight – in contravention of Taiwanese and international law.

Over a three-month period, Shark Guardian investigators witnessed multiple shipments of shark fins from endangered species being unloaded at Donggang fish market which is in Taiwan’s southern city of Kaohsiung.

Alex Hofford, Marine Wildlife Campaigner with Shark Guardian, said “To save sharks and the marine environment, Taiwanese authorities should implement an immediate crackdown on its cruel and unsustainable shark fin trade, and should tighten up local laws to ban the domestic sale of shark fin as well as better enforce its international obligations under CITES. It is also high time that the Taiwanese government should rein in its out-of-control distant water tuna fishing fleet, who are a major supplier shark fin to Chinese markets. Whilst Taiwan is a beacon of democratic and progressive values in Asia, it is allowing its unsustainable and often crime-ridden fisheries sector to rape and pillage our ocean with impunity. This must stop. Taiwan needs to show leadership in environmental protection and must quickly clean up its act as regards its sleazy shark fisheries and trade sectors.”

During our investigation, Shark Guardian also found evidence of Taiwan-based online retailers selling fins of endangered species of shark in contravention of local and international law.

According to WWF, a third of all sharks and rays are threatened with extinction, yet fishing and trading in unsustainable shark fin remains a highly profitable, but environmentally destructive, enterprise for Taiwanese companies operating out of Kaohsiung.

Brendon Sing, Co-Director of Shark Guardian said “Clearly more must be done to protect sharks globally. There are over 500 known shark species with only a handful of them listed under CITES. Even then, CITES listed sharks are still traded illegally where monitoring and enforcement lack any power and expose loopholes in the system. As long as this continues, there is no real protection for any shark species regardless of CITES listing or not. Taiwan must be responsible and take positive action in response to this report.”

Shark Guardian believes that excessively large profit margins are the main reason why Taiwan has never acted to rein in its shark fisheries and trade.

Shark Guardian hopes that Taiwan can apply its progressive values towards preserving the marine environment by imposing a comprehensive ban on the physical and online selling all species of shark fin in Taiwan. Such a ban would go above and beyond what is required under international law, and Taiwan’s domestic laws can be changed with public support.

For more information about Shark Guardian visit their website by clicking here.

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Competitions

Egypt | Safaga, Brothers & Elphinstone | 27 January – 04 February 2022 | Emperor Elite

Jump on board this famous Red Sea liveaboard and enjoy diving the famous wrecks of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer.  Emperor Elite offers a contemporary living space combined with the best itineraries available in the Red Sea.

Price NOW from just £975 per person based on sharing a twin cabin including:

  • Flights from London Gatwick to Hurghada with 23kgs baggage
  • 7 nights in shared cabin
  • 3 meals a day, soft drinks, red wine with dinner
  • 6 days’ diving, guide, 12ltr tank & weights, Marine Park fees and port departure fees
  • Free Nitrox

Booking deadline: Subject to availability.

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

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