Buddy Dive resort in Bonaire have announced that Pepe Mastropaolo, their long-time Course Director, has recently been awarded the prestigious Professional Association of Dive Instructors (PADI) Gold Course Director status for 2014. One of only 44 PADI Course Directors worldwide to achieve Gold status, Pepe has reached the pinnacle of PADI’s professional dive instructor certification.
Originally from Venezuela, Pepe began his dive career in 1989 and has been actively teaching ever since. With over 25 years of professional dive instructor experience, Pepe has taught more than 18 Instructor Development Courses (“IDC”) since 2010 and certified 108 students from around the world as PADI Open Water Scuba Instructors. He is also a certified PADI Tec Deep Instructor Trainer, allowing him to teach and certify new technical diving instructors.
As Buddy Dive’s Course Director, Pepe has elevated Buddy Dive to the premier center for PADI dive instructor training. Buddy Dive’s 100% pass rate for IDCs is a testament to Pepe’s tireless commitment to every student. Pepe’s teaching approach ensures that each IDC candidate receives the individual attention needed to successfully complete the course. When Pepe’s IDC candidates graduate, they are ready to immediately begin their careers as confident and prepared dive instructors. Pepe’s motto is “do what you love, love what you do” and this is personified in everything he does as Buddy Dive’s Course Director.
Buddy Dive’s next IDC begins April 30th 2014, and already boasts a roster of 10 students from around the world, including Curacao, Aruba, Bonaire, Holland and the United States. Pepe is looking forward to another successful IDC, and is already busy planning the graduation ceremony scheduled for May 13th 2014.
Buddy Dive Resort is consistently rated as one of the Caribbean’s top dive resorts, and enjoys a reputation as one of the leading IDC centers worldwide. Located on the sunny island of Bonaire, the shore diving capital of the world, Buddy Dive’s oceanfront location means it is only a few steps into the clear, calm and warm Caribbean waters. The resort also offers several swimming pools and an air-conditioned classroom equipped with the latest technology for its IDC candidates.
To find out more about Buddy Dive Resort, visit www.buddydive.com.
The Big Shark Pledge: Shark Trust’s new campaign kicks off with a call for support
With the ink still drying on last week’s landmark listing of nearly 100 species of sharks on Appendix II of CITES, the Shark Trust insists that this is not the time for shark conservation to take a break. The UK-based NGO this week launches its biggest-ever concerted campaign to tackle the overfishing of oceanic sharks. They are calling on people across the world to join the call for stricter controls on high seas fisheries.
The Big Shark Pledge is at the heart of an ambitious set of campaign actions. Working to secure science-based catch limits on all sharks and rays affected by the international high seas fishing fleet. The pledge will build the largest campaigning community in shark and ray conservation history to support a raft of policy actions over the vital years ahead.
Many of our best known and much-loved sharks make their home on the high seas. In our shared ocean, these oceanic sharks and rays face a very real threat from a huge international fleet of industrial-scale fishing vessels. Research published in early 2021 confirmed that over three-quarters of oceanic sharks and rays are now at risk of extinction due to the destructive impact of overfishing. They have declined by 71% over the last 50 years.
The Shark Trust is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year and has a long history of securing positive changes for sharks, skates and rays. The Big Shark Pledge will build on the success of their NoLimits? campaign which underpinned landmark catch limits on Blue Sharks and Shortfin Mako in the North Atlantic.
“While the listing of so many species on the CITES trade agreement is certainly a positive step, there remains a huge challenge in ensuring that sustainable practices are embedded in international fisheries.” says Shark Trust Director of conservation, Ali Hood. “Sharks on the high seas face extraordinary pressure from excessive fishing practices. This has to be addressed through international agreements such as those secured for Blues and makos.”
There is hope and a feeling of momentum in the shark conservation community. Just last week, in addition to the new CITES listings, the Shark Trust, working with partners in the Shark League, secured the first-ever international quota for South Atlantic Mako at ICCAT meeting in Portugal. The new campaign from the Shark Trust aims to push forwards from here, engaging a wave of support through the Big Shark Pledge to bolster policy action.
This will be a long-term international and collaborative effort. Forging a pathway to rebuild populations of high-seas sharks and rays. By putting science at the heart of shark conservation and fisheries management. And making the vital changes needed to set populations on the road to recovery.
Shark Trust CEO Paul Cox says of the Big Shark Pledge “It’s designed to give everyone who cares about the future of sharks the chance to add their voice to effective and proven conservation action. By adding their name to the Pledge, supporters will be given opportunities to apply pressure at key moments to influence change.”
Jeff chats to… Craig Waller, Underwater Lighting Technician on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Watch Video)
In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Craig Waller, Underwater Lighting Technician on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Craig is a Key Grip and Lighting Director with 10,000s of hours of Set Experience.
In Craig’s own words:
I started my career when I was in my first year of college. I always had that creative side of the brain that needed to be followed as a career. I thought that would be in designing engineering pieces but wasn’t happy about the idea of an office cubicle and drafting table.
I accidentally found my way onto a big commercial job for a week and decided “THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO”. I made it my career after that. This is a quick list of recent and big projects in my 35 yrs of TV / Film / Photography.
- “Black Panther 2” – UW Lighting Technician / 2nd Unit Underwater Team
- “Stranger Things” Season 4 – UW Lighting Technician / 2nd Unit Underwater Team
- “Suicide Squad 2” – UW Gaffer / 2nd Unit Underwater Team
- NASCAR / FOX Sports 1 – Network TV Lighting Director – 7 years / 700 races of Live BIG track TV shows
- 10,000s of commercials / music videos / tv shows
I started diving when I was 18 years old with my OW and then AOW with PADI. I was diving with lots of friends in the late 80s and early 90s and then moved onto Kayaking. I got my daughter into diving when she turned 14 and have picked up where I left off.
I have approx 5000 dives now and spend most of my free time diving.
Here are my certs:
- OW – AOW 1989
- Adv Nitrox / Deco 2020
- Cavern – Intro Cave 2021
- CCR Tech – Fathom – 2021
You can find out more at www.craigwaller.com
Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.
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