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Check out Scuba Travel’s latest holiday offers

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Check out the latest dive travel offers from our friends at UK-based Tour Operator Scuba Travel.

RED SEA

Simply the Best onboard Hurricane for only £995

Flash Sale only 2 spaces at this price! Save £400 and dive the fabled Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone with the most experienced team on board the stable steel hulled Hurricane. Avoid long transfers with a direct flight to Marsa Alam. All fees, 12 L tank & weights and FREE NITROX are included in your package. Flights are with Thomson from Gatwick and transfers are included. At the end of the week, a day use room and lunch at a hotel is included while you wait for your flight home. The only costs not included are the Egyptian entry visa, alcohol, additional kit hire and any onboard souvenirs.

Click here to reserve your place…

* prices are subject to change according to availability at the time of booking


15th June – Wrecks and Reefs for only £995 onboard Cyclone.

Save £300 on this much loved liveaboard from the award winning Tornado Marine Fleet Departing from Hurghada, you will spend 7 nights on board on a full board basis (twin share cabin). This is a classic itinerary in the Northern Red Sea with up to 22 dives over the week. All marine park fees, 12lt tank, air fills and weights are included in your package – please prebook nitrox and 15lt tanks before travel. All trips are fully guided with 2 expert guides. Flights are with Thomson/Thomas Cook or Easyjet from Gatwick and transfers are also included. At the end of the week, you will have day use of a hotel and buffet lunch while you wait for your flight home. Excluded are the Egyptian entry visa, alcohol, nitrox, additional kit hire and any onboard souvenirs. Please let Scuba Travel know if you would like to prebook any PADI courses on board or have any dietary requirements.

Book your place here…

* prices are subject to change according to availability at the time of booking


INDONESIA

Save £695 on a 10 days trip to Komodo on 5th August

A pelagic filled voyage off the beaten track with the outstanding Komodo Indo Aggressor fleet. The adventure begins at Labuan Bajo resort where you board the Komodo Indo Aggressor. Your holiday is based on a TWIN cabin (full board) – cabin upgrades are available. Beverages (soft drinks, local beer and wine with dinner) are complimentary while onboard. All trips are fully guided by expert dive guides and include 12lt tank, weights, full board and soft drinks. There are usually 3/4 dives a day. Transfers in Labuan Bajo are included. This holiday excludes international flights to Bali DPS or domestic flights to Labuan Bajo. Please confirm your boat space, embarkation and disembarkation times with your travel consultant before booking and confirming any flights yourself. Scuba Travel is able to add flights with a wide range of airlines, including regional departures. Please ask your consultant for a competitive quote for any flight option. You will typically require a night in Bali before and possibly after your liveaboard.

Click here to book your place for only £2945…

* prices are subject to change according to availability at the time of booking


Murex Manado Summer Buddy Special 

Save £400 per person. Great value diving in Manado and, Bunaken Indonesia. Over 20 boat dives discover rich coral reefs and magical macro with the welcoming team from Murex Manado. Your holiday includes flights from Heathrow to Manado with Singapore Airlines, airport transfers and 10 nights deluxe cottage on a full board basis (2 people sharing). Local taxes are prepaid. Water, tea, and coffee are available free of charge, To pay locally are any drinks not included in your board basis, laundry, land excursions, Diving extras such as special trips to Bangka, private guiding, kit hire, courses and nitrox will all be billed in-resort. UK passport holder can obtain and FOC visa on arrival.

Click here to book this amazing holiday…

NO SINGLE PERSON OFFER

Minimum 10-night stay at Murex Manado and or Murex Bangka (can be 5 & 5 or any combination)


GALAPAGOS

1st June – Save £1780 and dive the incredible Galapagos for £3095

Experience ocean views as you dive through the Galapagos on board the elegant and spacious Majestic Explorer. Your liveaboard holiday is based on a twin share cabin – twin or queen bed double options – and on a full board basis, including alcohol and non-alcoholic beverages. A 12lt tank, air fills and weights are included in your package. The last night Sunday dinner is not included in your cruise. The crew will help with reservations and recommendations. To pay locally are the departure tax, the Galapagos park fees ($100), chamber tax ($35), tourist card ($20), fuel surcharge ($150) and nitrox ($150) on board.

This holiday does not include any international flights to Ecuador (UIO or GYE) or the Galapagos Islands. We strongly recommend you add a night in Ecuador before and possibly after your liveaboard, depending on your flight times. These can be added to your booking, with a wide range of airlines, including regional departures. Please ask your consultant for a competitive quote. Do not book any flights until your boat space is confirmed by Scuba Travel. Do be aware that if your flight routes through the USA you must have an ESTA prior to travel.

Click here to book your place…

* prices are subject to change according to availability at the time of booking


MALDIVES

Dive the iconic Male and Ari atolls on board the luxury liveaboard Scubaspa for £1395

Divers will love the 15-17 dives a week on offer, or relax with the 8 spa treatment package. The choice is yours! You have 7 nights in a Sea Star cabin on a full board basis (twin/double share) – ask about the stunning cabin upgrades available. 12lt tank and weights are included as standard. 1GB of free wifi (per person) is offered and the mandatory green tax $42 and 12% GST is prepaid on your behalf. To pay on board are additional fruit juice, fizzy drinks, alcohol, kit hire, dives or spa services outside of your package and any onboard souvenirs. Nitrox is $100 for a 7 night cruise, payable locally. Please let your travel consultant know if you have any dietary requirements.

This holiday excludes international flights to Male. We are able to add flights with a wide range of airlines, including regional departures. Please ask your consultant for a competitive quote for any flight option. Scuba Travel is able to add flights with a wide range of airlines, including regional departures. Please ask your consultant for a competitive quote for any flight option. Airport transfers operate at fixed times. Do not book any flights until your boat space is confirmed by Scuba Travel.

Click here to book your place…

* prices are subject to change according to availability at the time of booking


TURKS AND CAICOS

1st June – dive the incredible Turks and Caicos for £1795

Turks and Caicos offer outstanding wall diving with plenty of chances for pelagics from the comfort of your Aggressor liveaboard. After landing in Provo you will be taken to the boat and the adventure begins. You have 7 nights on board on a full board basis (twin/double share cabin) – cabin upgrades available. Full board includes water, tea, coffee, soft drinks and social servings of local beer and wine. There are 5 dives a day on offer and 2 on the first and last days. All trips are fully briefed by expert guides, who are also in water providing assistance, photography and videography. Excluded are the departure tax, bed tax ($110 or $158 10 nights), nitrox, additional kit hire and any onboard souvenirs. Please let Scuba Travel know if you would like to prebook any courses on board or have any dietary requirements.

This is a BOAT ONLY holiday. The cost does not include any international flights to Providenciales PLS. Scuba Travel is able to add flights with a wide range of airlines, including regional departures. Depending on the airline schedule, you may require an overnight hotel en route. Please ask your consultant for a competitive quote for any flight option. Do not book any flights until your boat space is confirmed by Scuba Travel. Do be aware that if your flight routes through the USA you must have an ESTA prior to travel.

Click here to book your place…

* prices are subject to change according to availability at the time of booking


 To find out more about Scuba Travel and the dive holidays they offer call 0800 0728221, email dive@scubatravel.com or visit www.scubatravel.com

Marine Life & Conservation

Ghost Fishing UK land the prize catch at the Fishing News Awards

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The charity Ghost Fishing UK was stunned to win the Sustainability Award.

The winners were selected by a panel of industry judges and the award recognises innovation and achievement in improving sustainability and environmental responsibility within the UK or Irish fishing industries in 2021.

Nominees must have demonstrated a unique and innovative response to an environmental sustainability issue within the UK or Irish industry, demonstrating that the project has gone above and beyond standard practice, and provided evidence of its impact. The judges look particularly for projects that have influenced a significant change in behaviour and/or that have inspired broader awareness and/or engagement.

Ghost Fishing UK originated in 2015, training voluntary scuba divers to survey and recover lost fishing gear, with the aim to either return it to the fishing industry or recycle it. The charity is run entirely by volunteers and has gone from strength to strength, only last year winning the Best Plastic Campaign at the Plastic Free Awards.

Now, the charity has also been recognised at seemingly the opposite end of the spectrum. This is a unique achievement as trustee Christine Grosart explains;

We have always held the belief that working with the fishing industry is far more productive than being against it, in terms of achieving our goals to reduce and remove lost fishing gear.

The positive response to our fisheries reporting system that we received from both the fishing industry and the marine environment sector, was evidence that working together delivers results.

The feedback we got from the awards evening and the two-day Scottish Skipper Expo where we had an exhibit the following day, was that the fishing industry despises lost fishing gear as much as we do and the fishers here are very rarely at fault. It is costly to them to lose gear and they will make every effort to get it back, but sometimes they can’t. That is where we come in, to try to help. Everyone wins, most of all the environment. You can’t ask for much more.”

Following the awards, Ghost Fishing UK held an exhibit at the Scottish Skipper expo at the new P&J Live exhibition centre in Aberdeen.

This gave us a fantastic opportunity to meet so many people in the fishing industry, all of whom were highly supportive of our work and wanted to help us in any way they could. This has opened so many opportunities for the charity and our wish list which has been on the slow burner for the last 7 years, was exceeded in just 3 days. We came away from the events exhausted, elated, humbled, grateful and most of all, excited.”

Trustee and Operations Officer, Fred Nunn, is in charge of the diving logistics such as arranging boats and organising the divers, who the charity trains in house, to give up their free time to volunteer.

He drove from Cornwall to attend the awards and the exhibition: “What a crazy and amazing few days up in Scotland! It was awesome to meet such a variety of different people throughout the industry, who are all looking at different ways of improving the sustainability and reduction of the environmental impact of the fishing industry.

It was exciting to have so many people from the fishing industry approaching us to find out more about what we do, but also what they could offer. Fishermen came to us with reports and offers of help, using their vessels and other exhibitors tried to find ways that their product or service could assist in our mission.”

  • Ghost Fishing UK uses hard boat charters from Cornwall to Scotland for the diving projects, paying it forward to the diving community.
  • The charity relies on reports of lost fishing gear from the diving and fishing community and to date has received well over 200 reports, culminating on over 150 survey and ghost gear recovery dives, amounting to over 1000 individual dives and diver hours by the volunteer team members.
  • You can find more information at ghostfishing.co.uk
  • If you are a fisher who knows of any lost fishing gear, you can report it to the charity here: ghostfishing.co.uk/fishermans-reporting
  • The charity is heading to Shetland for a week-long project in the summer of 2023. If you would like to support this project, please contact them at: info@ghostfishing.co.uk

Chair of Ghost Fishing UK and professional technical diving instructor Dr Richard Walker was immensely proud of the team’s achievements;

I’ve been a scuba diver since 1991 and have met thousands of divers in that time. I’d be hard pushed to think of one of them that wasn’t concerned about conservation of our marine environment. To be recognised by the fishing industry for our efforts in sustainability is a huge honour for us, and has encouraged our team to work even harder to find, survey and remove lost fishing gear from the seas. The fact that the fishing industry recognises our efforts, and appreciates our stance as a group that wants to work alongside them is one of the highlights of our charity’s history, and we look forward to building the relationship further.

To find out more about Ghost Fishing UK visit their website here.


All images: Ghost Fishing UK

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Marine Life & Conservation

Komodo National Park found to be Manta Hotspot

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Through a collaborative effort between citizen divers, scientists from the Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF), and Murdoch University, a new study reports a large number of manta rays in the waters of Komodo National Park, Indonesian, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, suggesting the area may hold the key to regional recovery of the threatened species.

Reef mantas (Mobula alfredi), which grow up to 5m, tend to reside and feed in shallow, coastal habitats. They also visit ‘cleaning stations’ on coral reefs to have parasites, or dead skin picked off by small fish. Courtship ‘trains’ are also observed adjacent to cleaning stations. In Komodo National Park, manta rays are present year-round, challenging the famous Komodo dragon as the most sought-after megafauna for visitors.

Scientists teamed up with the dive operator community to source identification photographs of manta rays visiting the parks’ waters and submit them to MantaMatcher.org – a crowdsourced online database for mantas and other rays. Most of the photographs came from just four locations from over 20 commonly visited by tourism boats.

I was amazed by how receptive the local dive community was in helping collect much-needed data on these threatened animals,” said lead author Dr. Elitza Germanov. “With their support, we were able to identify over 1,000 individual manta rays from over 4,000 photographs.

People love manta rays—they are one of the most iconic animals in our oceans. The rise of the number of people engaging in SCUBA diving, snorkeling, and the advent of affordable underwater cameras meant that photos and videos taken by the public during their holidays could be used to quickly and affordably scale data collection,” said MMF co-founder and study co-author Dr. Andrea Marshall.

The photographs’ accompanying time and location data is used to construct sighting histories of individual manta rays, which can then be analyzed with statistical movement models. These models predict the likelihood that manta rays are inhabiting or traveling in between specific sites. The study’s results showed that some manta rays moved around the park and others as far as the Nusa Penida MPA (>450 km to the west), but overall, manta rays showed individual preferences for specific sites within the Park.

I found it very interesting how some manta rays appear to prefer spending their time in some sites more than others, even when sites are 5 km apart, which are short distances for manta rays,” said Dr. Elitza Germanov. “This means that manta rays which prefer sites where fishing activities continue to occur or that are more popular with tourism will endure greater impacts.”

Fishing activities have been prohibited in many coastal areas within Komodo NP since 1984, offering some protection to manta rays prior to the 2014 nationwide protection. However, due to illegal fishing activity and manta ray movements into heavily fished waters, manta rays continue to face a number of threats from fisheries. About 5% of Komodo’s manta rays have permanent injuries that are likely the result of encounters with fishing gear.

The popularity of tourism to these sites grew by 34% during the course of the study. An increase in human activity can negatively impact manta rays and their habitats. In 2019, the Komodo National Park Authority introduced limits on the number of boats and people that visit one of the most famous manta sites.

This study shows that the places where tourists commonly observe manta rays are important for the animals to feed, clean, and mate. This means that the Komodo National Park should create measures to limit the disturbance at these sites,” said Mr. Ande Kefi, an employee of the Komodo National Park involved with this study. “I hope that this study will encourage tourism operators to understand the need for the regulations already imposed and increase compliance.”

Despite Indonesia’s history with intensive manta ray fisheries, Komodo National Park still retains large manta ray aggregations that with careful ongoing management and threat reduction will benefit regional manta ray populations. The study highlights that marine protected areas that are large enough to host important manta ray habitats are a beneficial tool for manta ray conservation.

For more information about MMF visit their website here.

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Competitions

A luxurious dive resort in the heart of Lembeh Strait. Enjoy refined services while exploring the rich waters of Indonesia.

The resort is nestled around an ocean front deck and swimming-pool (with pool-bar) which is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail at the end of a busy day of critter-diving.

All accommodation is full board and includes three sumptuous meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are buffet meals and in the evening dining is a la carte.

Book and stay before the end of June and benefit from no single supplements in all room types!

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – book and stay before end of June 2022

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

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