Connect with us
background

Marine Life & Conservation

Cruise Ships

Published

on

For this occasion I’ll limit my comments to Roatan since I have something of a history with the place – my first visit being about nine years ago – but the same could equally apply to many of the places I’ve visited – Costa Rica, Jamaica, Turks and Ciacos, the Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Belize and on and on.

I first heard about Roatan in the late Nineties from a friend who told me of an island paradise where you could happily stay in a little cabana for $5 a night and dive your brains out.

He didn’t lie – Roatan is still a bucolic place with its own sense of time. There is little to do there but dive and lay on the beach. The draw was the sheer amount of wildlife. For me it was a revelation. I’d never anything like this quantity before – anywhere. Rivers of Blue Tang’s, French Angels and Rainbow Parrots everywhere. One of the sites is called “Fish Soup” for the utter profusion of fish there. These days it’s more of a thin broth. The cruise ships began docking in Roatan about five years ago and I’ve been back twice in the interim and each time there was a marked fall-off in the numbers of reef inhabitants. Those rivers of fish are just gone. Spotted Eagles and other rays used to be everywhere – in April I saw one! I know they’re shy to begin with but they were just nowhere to be seen.

I’ve wondered too, about polluting bilge water from those ships. Prior to their arrival the largest boat in the archipelago was the ferry that zips twice a day between Roatan and Utila.

Roatan is known for its healthy corals, but I noticed this last time how much less vibrant they seemed to be – much of the colour seemed to have been drained. Bleaching, which was unknown down there, is now commonplace; but that’s true everywhere I’ve been too. Higher temperatures or no, coral is dying everywhere. The soft corals especially have suffered.

There is a funded reef protection plan – each diver is asked to donate to the upkeep and to fund anti-poaching patrols, but these are easily evaded by local fishermen who have found that there is plenty of demand for fish now that the cruise ship passengers flood the West End during peak season.

Many passengers disembark looking to do a day’s diving and I can’t help but feel that much of the damage to the reefs comes from them – they arrive, dive shops have little or no knowledge of their abilities, they dive, then leave. So often I’ve witnessed “divers” who have no buoyancy skills whatsoever in sixty feet of water, trashing the coral and it just makes me furious. Diving itself is becoming deleterious to the very environment we’re down there to enjoy. If you cannot control your altitude you shouldn’t be anywhere near coral – period.

I don’t want to get into a screed about Diving Clubs and their lack of focus on oceanic health but something is clearly wrong with the model that pushes divers very rapidly through training courses before they’re ready. To me every certifying agency needs to have environmental concerns way up front and woven into their very fabric – otherwise we’re going to kill the very thing we all love.

I’m down there trying to make friends (I’ve had so many pranks played on me by fish so don’t tell me they’re stupid and don’t have a sense of humour) and I fear that may not be possible too much longer.

SM

For further reading on the Cruise Ship issue try http://WWW.responsibletravel.Com/copy/how-responsible-are-cruise-liners

Blogs

The Ocean Cleanup to Complete 100th Extraction Live from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Published

on

the ocean cleanup
  • The Ocean Cleanup marks 100th extraction of plastic pollution from the Pacific Ocean by livestreaming entire cleaning operation from start to finish.
  • Occasion brings together supporters, partners, donors and followers as the project readies its cleanup technology for scale-up.
  • Founder and CEO Boyan Slat to provide insight on the plans ahead.

The Ocean Cleanup is set to reach a milestone of 100 plastic extractions from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Extraction #100, scheduled for 28 or 29 May 2024, will be the first ever to be livestreamed direct from the Pacific Ocean, allowing supporters and partners around the world to see up close how the organization has removed over 385,000 kilograms (nearly 850,000 lbs) of plastic from the GPGP so far – more than double the bare weight of the Statue of Liberty.

the ocean cleanup

The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to rid the oceans of plastic. To do this, the non-profit project employs a dual strategy: cleaning up legacy floating plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (the world’s largest accumulation of floating plastic), while stopping the flow of plastic from the world’s most polluting rivers.

The Ocean Cleanup captured its first plastic (the first ‘extraction’) in the GPGP in 2019 with System 001, following years of trials and testing with a variety of concepts. Through System 002 and now the larger and more efficient System 03, the organization has consistently improved and optimized operations, and is now preparing to extract plastic trash from the GPGP for the 100th time.

the ocean cleanup

Extraction #100 will be an interactive broadcast showing the entire extraction procedure live and in detail, with insight provided by representatives from across The Ocean Cleanup and partners contributing to the operations.

This is an important milestone in a key year for The Ocean Cleanup.’ said Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup. ‘We’ve come a long way since our first extraction in 2019. During the 2024 season, with System 03, we aim to demonstrate that we are ready to scale up, and with it, confine the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to the history books.

the ocean cleanup

The livestream will be hosted on The Ocean Cleanup’s YouTube channel and via X. Monitor @theoceancleanup for confirmed timings.

www.theoceancleanup.com

Continue Reading

Marine Life & Conservation

Dive with a Purpose: Shark Guardian’s Expedition Galapagos

Published

on

Shark Guardian has just unveiled their largest and most exciting expedition yet: a seven-night, eight-day adventure in August 2026 aboard the Galaxy Diver II, a state-of-the-art
vessel specifically designed for divers exploring the enchanting waters of the Galapagos
Islands. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to engage deeply with marine
conservation in one of the world’s most revered diving destinations.

Shark Guardian is a UK registered charity dedicated to protecting sharks and marine
ecosystems worldwide. Founded by marine biologists and conservationists, Brendon
Sing and Liz Ward-Sing, Shark Guardian leads educational programs, research projects,
campaigns and expeditions aimed at fostering a better understanding and respect for
marine life. Their work spans several continents and focuses on direct action,
education, and advocacy.

Shark Guardian’s ethos revolves around the concept of “diving with a purpose.” This
philosophy underscores the importance of not just experiencing the wonders of the
underwater world but actively learning and contributing to its preservation. Participants
in Shark Guardian expeditions engage in citizen science projects, which involve
collecting data that supports ongoing research and conservation efforts. These
activities empower divers to make a tangible difference, turning each dive into an act of
conservation.

One of the newer additions to the Galapagos diving scene, the Galaxy Diver II, is
specifically tailored for divers. Its design prioritises comfort, safety, and environmental
responsibility. The vessel boasts modern amenities, spacious dive decks, and the latest
navigational technology, ensuring that every dive is not only memorable but also has
minimal environmental impact.

A highlight of this expedition is the opportunity to dive at Wolf and Darwin islands,
renowned for their vibrant, untouched marine ecosystems and as a haven for large
pelagic species. These islands are famous for their schools of hammerhead sharks,
whale sharks, and manta rays, offering spectacular diving that attracts enthusiasts from
around the globe.

Shark Guardian have developed this trip to ensure a hassle-free experience. The
expedition package also includes internal flights from Quito, Ecuador, to the Galapagos,
plus accommodation in Quito before and after the trip. This allows divers to relax and
enjoy the experience without worrying about logistics.

Participants will join a diverse group of passionate divers and conservationists. This trip
offers a unique opportunity to network with like-minded individuals who are eager to
learn about and contribute to marine conservation. It’s a chance to share experiences,
knowledge, and a commitment to protecting the marine world.

sharks

Shark Guardian is offering an early bird price available until May 31st 2024. This special
rate provides a fantastic opportunity to secure a spot on this exclusive expedition at a
reduced cost. Availability is limited, so interested divers are encouraged to act quickly
to ensure they don’t miss out. All the details can be found on their WeTravel page, where
bookings can be made easily and payment instalments are available.

Expedition Galapagos, aboard the Galaxy Diver II offers more than just a diving
holiday—it is an investment in both personal and planetary well-being. By participating,
divers not only witness the majesty of one of the world’s premier diving locales but also
contribute to its preservation for future generations.

Find out more about Shark Guardian at www.sharkguardian.org.

Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!

Experience the Red Sea in May with Bella Eriny Liveaboard! As the weather warms up, there’s no better time to dive into the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea. Join us on Bella Eriny, your premier choice for Red Sea liveaboards, this May for an unforgettable underwater adventure. Explore vibrant marine life and stunning coral reefs Enjoy comfortable accommodation in our spacious cabins Savor delicious meals prepared by our onboard chef Benefit from the expertise of our professional dive guides Visit our website for more information and to secure your spot: www.scubatravel.com/BellaEriny or call 01483 411590 More Less

Instagram Feed

Popular