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Curaçao Women of Ocean Conservation



Making Women’s Dive Day 2019 and Every Day Count for Ocean Protection

This Women’s Dive Day, July 20th, the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao is celebrating women who are leading community actions, fins on and fins off, for a clean and healthy ocean. The ladies from The Dive Bus Curacao, Ocean Encounters Diving and Atlantis Diving to share with us what they are doing and why they do it.

Suzy Pinnell, Co-Owner of The Dive Bus

Keeping Curacao’s reefs trash free and healthy has been a priority since the start of The Dive Bus,” says Suzy Pinnell, one of the founders of Curacao’s first dive center to adopt the Project AWARE 100%AWARE and Adopt a Dive Site initiatives, and become a PADI Green Star dive center.

Ocean protection and conservation is something that Mark and I both care about. As divers, we have a responsibility to take care of our reefs and oceans. And as dive shop owners, we’re in the privileged position of being able to influence divers to do the same and make a difference.”

Over time, we’ve integrated simple conservation-related actions and habits into daily dive shop life, with minimal effort and maximum fun!”

“It’s really important to us that our Crew believe in and support what we’re doing too, so they’re genuinely motivated to influence our divers to do the same. They come up with plenty of their own ideas of their own, and are the reason why the Project AWARE Dive Against Debris Specialty is consistently our top-selling Specialty. They do a great job, we’re super-proud of them!”

KarenMaike Van Asperen Vervenne, Manager at Ocean Encounters Diving

At Ocean Encounters Diving, they not only endorse safe diving practices but have an expectation of environmental conservation during all dives. This is underlined by the companies pledge to sustainability.

KarenMaike says, “I love explaining to our guests the importance of coral conservation here on Curaçao and teaching the Coral Restoration Diver specialty every chance I get.  I consider myself a passionate caretaker of our underwater environment.  I have come to realize that this is our responsibility to educate and continually increase awareness so future generations can appreciate the incredible world we have, just below the waterline.

KarenMaike went on to say, “Some of my favorite dive memories are the ones I made with my fellow women divers, both in and out of the water” and that she appreciates PADI’s commitment to highlight the amazing women that are a part of the global Dive Industry.

Nanda de Loos, Manager at Atlantis Diving

At Atlantis Diving, conservation is a cornerstone for everything they do.  They believe in being Eco-Active to instill a sense of pride for our environment through initiatives such as their monthly Reef Dive Day, regular Lionfish educational awareness activities, upcycling old wetsuits and being a proud partner of the Coral Restoration Foundation Curaçao.

Nanda says, “Due to our overall environmental commitment and our need to have top quality scuba and snorkeling equipment, this is the reason why we have chosen only to use Scubapro as our preferred supplier.  Scubapro CARES underlines this commitment to our industry and to the protection of the world’s oceans that provide us all with so much of our enjoyment, exploration and adventure.”

Nanda went on to say, “It’s important to highlight the role that women play in the diving world, because without us, it’s just not as much fun! Besides that, I think women have a strong voice in conservation and I truly believe that it is absolutely important to enable more women to be involved in sustainable tourism and ocean conservation because the future depends on the choices we make today.

According to Jack Fishman from Project AWARE, “Scuba divers have a deep connection to the ocean and a desire to want to protect it.  We love to mix the passion for ocean adventure with conservation and the community of Curaçao are true leaders in the fight to protect what we love.  Together dive centres on the island have united to protect their local dive sites because they realise that conservation cannot be done in isolation – it takes the collaborative efforts of all to really make change.”

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Photo Gallery: Dive Fest Barbados



In our Gallery feature, we let the photos tell the story… Each Gallery showcases a selection of outstanding images on a chosen theme, taken by our Underwater Photography Editor Nick and Deputy Editor Caroline of Frogfish Photography. This time they reflect on their visits to the Caribbean Island of Barbados for the annual Dive Fest celebrations.

Dive Fest Barbados is a week of celebrating the marine life, diving and snorkeling this idyllic island has to offer. There are activities organised each day for all those that attend that include wreck diving, marine conservation, learning to dive, snorkeling and one an unusual dive for us – riding a submarine to the bottom of the Caribbean Sea! Dive Fest Barbados allows divers to get the very best out of a trip here, with plenty of diving, but also to sample the unique atmosphere, mouth-watering food and drink, stunning scenery and beautiful beaches.

For more images from Barbados and around the world, visit the Frogfish Photography website by clicking here.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Video Series: The CCMI Reef Lectures – Part 4 (Watch Video)



Introduced by Jeff Goodman

Never before since human beings have had major influence over our earths climate and environments, have we come to so close to the brink of global disaster for our seas and marine life. We need to act now if we are not going to crash headlong into irreversible scenarios.

A good start to this is understanding how the marine environment works and what it means to our own continued survival. We can only do this by listening and talking to those with the experience and knowledge to guide us in the right direction.

CCMI (Central Caribbean Marine Institute) are hosting an annual Reef Lecture series that is open to the general public and Scubaverse will be sharing those lectures over the coming months.

Part 4: Stop Whining! Life as an Ocean Ambassador; Ellen Cuylaerts

Ellen Cuylaerts shares her insights on how to act, practice what you preach and use your voice to contribute to constructive change. Ellen is a wildlife and underwater photographer and chooses to take images of subjects that are hard to encounter like harp seal pups, polar bears, orcas, beluga whales and sharks, to name a few. By telling the stories about their environment and the challenges they face, she raises awareness about the effect of climate change on arctic species, the cruel act of shark finning and keeping marine mammals in captivity.

During this seminar, Ellen will take you on a virtual trip and show you the stories behind the shots: how to get there, how to prepare, how to create the most chances to come home with a shot, and how to never give up!

Ellen Cuylaerts is an ocean advocate, underwater & wildlife photographer, explorer, and public speaker.

For more information about the CCMI click here.

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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