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DAN Europe’s #WhyWeDoIt campaign spreads the passion for diving

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Divers Alert Network (DAN) Europe continues to spread the passion for diving through the recently launched #WhyWeDoIt campaign aimed at celebrating and inspiring the diving community around the world. The campaign follows four international divers who share their stories on camera. Through the portal wwdi.daneurope.org the public is invited to view these stories and share their own.

“Divers are often asked questions such as: ‘Aren’t you scared? Isn’t it too risky?’. Yes, diving comes with certain risks – that’s why dive safety is important. But, as any diver will know, there are so many more positive elements. It’s an amazing experience and we want to encourage others to be part of it through the stories of four inspirational divers who answer one key question: ‘Why do you do it?’,” said Cristian Pellegrini, DAN Europe Head of Marketing & Communications.

The four divers, who are all DAN Europe members, share a deep respect for the environment. Their sense of discovery pushes them to follow their passion. Through their inspiring stories they urge others to do the same:

Jason deCaires Taylor is a British sculptor and underwater photographer. He’s the creator of the monumental Museo Atlántico (underwater museum) in Lanzarote, Spain. Jason, an environmentalist, says the Ocean is “an incredible space where I disconnect” and where he can be alone with his thoughts. His work draws attention towards various issues such as the fragility of the underwater environment. In the video he talks about the intimate relationship between people and the sea, saying: “we are as dependent on the environment as it is dependent on us”.

Alban Michon is a French ice diver and explorer who lives his life pushing his boundaries and following his passion. Alban fell in love with diving at the age of 11. Like many divers, he was inspired by the great Jacques-Yves Cousteau and, one cold December day, he decided to “see what’s under the lake”. There he discovered a “fabulous” world of reefs and colours which made him want to preserve the environment. “The world of adventure is an interesting way to show off the environment,” he says.

American scuba dive blogger Justin Carmack is traveling the world documenting the top 100 dive sites. In the video he talks about how diving changed his life and about how “completely whole” and carefree he feels whenever he dives. He feels it’s a pity that 90 per cent of the people on earth never get to see the underwater marvels. Justin explains how there’s always something new to discover underwater and there’s a whole other world down there that makes his life “a thousand times better”.

Italian freediver Raffaella Schlegel is also an underwater photographer with a special interest in capturing images of large predators in their natural habitat. She reveals that she was never afraid of sharks and is on a mission to help everyone see that they are not the evil creatures depicted in movies. Her experience with these “elegant” creatures has taught her they all have their own personality. She confesses that she prefers larger species because she feels “tiny compared to them… they make me feel in harmony with them”.

Learn more about DAN Europe’s #WhyWeDoIt campaign and view the videos on wwdi.daneurope.org.

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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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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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