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DEMA Show 2023: The Depths of Progress in the Scuba Diving Industry



By Bryan Horne, Dive Curaçao / Dive Travel Curaçao

As I sit down to reflect on the whirlwind that was the DEMA Show 2023, in the vibrant city of New Orleans, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of pride and optimism for the future of the scuba diving industry. This annual gathering of manufacturers, global destinations, dive retailers, and enthusiasts has always been a focal point for showcasing the latest innovations and trends in our beloved underwater world.

However, this year’s event was more than just a showcase; it was a milestone that underscored the industry’s collective power to drive positive change and create a unified impact across diverse fronts.

Exploring the DEMA Show 2023

One of the most remarkable aspects of DEMA Show 2023 was the palpable sense of collaboration that permeated the event. The scuba diving industry, often seen as a niche community, demonstrated that when we unite for a common cause, we become a force to be reckoned with. From education and environmental protection to travel, marketing, and safety; the influence of our collective efforts was unmistakable.

Diver Education

One shining example of the industry’s commitment to education was the inspiring work of Margo Peyton and her organization, Kids Sea Camp. DEMA 2023 provided a platform for Margo to share her vision and success in introducing children to the wonders of the underwater realm. The impact of programs like Kids Sea Camp extends far beyond the immediate experience, creating a generation of young divers who not only appreciate marine life but also become ambassadors for ocean conservation.

Read more about Kids Sea Camp: “I’m a Believer” by Scott D. Jones

Environmental Protection

Environmental protection took center stage at DEMA Show 2023, with organizations like Stream2Sea, PADI AWARE, and Green Fins leading the charge. Their dedication to sustainable practices and ocean-friendly products highlighted the industry’s commitment to preserving the underwater ecosystems we hold dear. The booths and presentations focused on eco-friendly products, responsible diving practices, and the importance of leaving no trace underwater. It was a clear message that as guardians of the ocean, we have a responsibility to tread lightly and ensure its health for generations to come.

Dive Travel

In the realm of travel, DEMA Show 2023 showcased the incredible potential of our industry and its influence on tourism.

Our Dutch Caribbean Island of Curaçao, once a hidden gem in the scuba diving world, stood as a testament to the transformative power of collaboration.

Over the past decade, Dive Curaçao, Ocean Encounters, and LionsDive Beach Resort worked hand in hand to develop Curaçao as a world-class diving destination.

This year, our collective efforts were recognized with an astounding 23 awards in the Scuba Diving Reader’s Choice Awards. The readers spoke, and their votes reinforced the idea that collaboration can turn a relatively unknown destination into a global diving hotspot.

The success of Curaçao serves as a blueprint for other emerging destinations, illustrating that by pooling resources, sharing knowledge, and collectively marketing our unique offerings, we can elevate the entire industry. Digital marketing played a crucial role in this transformation, connecting divers from around the world with the beauty of Curaçao’s underwater landscapes. Social media campaigns, immersive virtual tours, and engaging content brought our island to the forefront of the diving community’s consciousness.

Photo courtesy of Frank Do

Diver Safety

Safety has always been a paramount concern in the scuba diving industry, and the Divers Alert Network (DAN) took the opportunity at DEMA Show 2023 to unveil the latest advancements in dive safety including innovative training programs. Their emphasis on safety highlighted the industry’s unwavering commitment to ensuring every dive is a secure and enjoyable experience.

Reflecting on the DEMA Show 2023

The DEMA Show 2023 was a rallying point, a reminder that we are not isolated entities but integral parts of a global and interconnected community. The connections forged and strengthened at the event will reverberate throughout the industry, sparking collaborations that go beyond borders and benefit us all. The exchange of ideas, the sharing of best practices, and the celebration of successes create a synergy that propels us forward.

As I navigated the bustling aisles of the exhibition hall, engaged in insightful seminars, and connected with industry leaders, it became evident that the key to Curaçao’s continued success lies in collaboration. Yes, we have achieved great strides, but there is still much work to be done. The challenges facing our coral reefs are immense. From climate change to pollution, these issues demand a united front to ensure the sustainability of Curaçao’s diving industry.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all our partners and suppliers who joined us at DEMA Show 2023, and a special acknowledgment to the DEMA 2023 Board of Directors for orchestrating an event that transcended expectations. The bonds formed and strengthened in New Orleans set the stage for an exciting year ahead.

However, as we look towards the future, the scuba diving industry stands at a crossroads. We must avoid apathy and choose a path that will shape the destiny of our oceans and the sustainability of our scuba diving industry, especially here in Curaçao.

Looking forward to the DEMA Show 2024

In conclusion, DEMA Show 2023 was not just an exhibition; it was a manifestation of the scuba diving industry’s potential to create a positive impact. The collaborative spirit showcased at the event serves as a beacon of hope, reminding us that by working together, we can achieve far more than we ever could alone. As we eagerly anticipate the DEMA Show 2024 in Las Vegas, let us carry this positive momentum forward, united in our mission to protect, educate, and explore the wonders of the underwater world.

Bryan Horne wasn’t born in Curaçao; he’s a Canadian native, drawn to the Island “out of a passion for scuba diving and the underwater world.” Moving was always going to be a life-changing decision, but in diving, Bryan had found his calling. As the founder and owner of Dive Curaçao, he spends his days showing off Curaçao’s hidden undersea treasures – and does his part to preserve them for future generations.


Smart Shark Diving: The Importance of Awareness Below the Surface



shark diving

By: Wael Bakr

Introduction to Shark Diving Awareness‍

In the realm of marine life, few creatures captivate our interest, and sometimes our fear, like the shark. This fascination often finds a home in the hearts of those who venture beneath the waves, particularly scuba divers who love shark diving. It’s here that shark awareness takes the spotlight. Shark awareness is not just about understanding these magnificent creatures; it’s about fostering respect, dispelling fear, and promoting conservation. As Jacques Cousteau once said, “People protect what they love.” And to love something, one must first understand it.

Shark awareness is not a mere fascination; it’s a responsibility that we owe to our oceans and their inhabitants. From the smallest reef shark to the colossal great white, each species plays a crucial role in the underwater ecosystem. Our understanding and appreciation of these creatures can help ensure their survival.

However, shark awareness isn’t just about protecting the sharks; it’s also about protecting ourselves. As scuba divers, we share the underwater world with these magnificent creatures. Understanding them allows us to dive safely and responsibly, enhancing our experiences beneath the waves.

Importance of Shark Awareness in Scuba Diving

The relevance of shark awareness in scuba diving cannot be overstated. Sharks, like all marine life, are an integral part of the underwater ecosystem. Their presence and behavior directly influence our experiences as divers. By understanding sharks, we can better appreciate their role in the ocean, anticipate their actions, and reduce potential risks.

Awareness is crucial for safety when shark diving. Despite their often-misunderstood reputation, sharks are generally not a threat to humans. However, like any wild animal, they can pose risks if provoked or threatened. By understanding shark behavior, we can identify signs of stress or aggression and adjust our actions accordingly. This not only protects us but also respects the sharks and their natural behaviors.

Moreover, shark awareness enriches our diving experiences. Observing sharks in their natural habitat is a thrilling experience. Understanding them allows us to appreciate this spectacle fully. It’s not just about seeing a shark; it’s about understanding its role in the ecosystem, its behavior, and its interaction with other marine life. This depth of knowledge adds a new dimension to our diving experiences.

Understanding Shark Behavior: The Basics

The first step in shark awareness is understanding shark behavior. Sharks are not the mindless predators they are often portrayed to be. They are complex creatures with unique behaviors and communication methods. Understanding these basics can significantly enhance our interactions with them.

Sharks communicate primarily through body language. By observing their movements, we can gain insights into their mood and intentions. For example, a relaxed shark swims with slow, fluid movements. In contrast, a stressed or agitated shark may exhibit rapid, jerky movements or other signs of discomfort such as gill flaring.

Sharks also use their bodies to express dominance or assertiveness. A dominant shark may swim with its pectoral fins pointed downwards, while a submissive shark may swim with its fins flattened against its body. Understanding these signals can help us interpret shark behavior accurately and respond appropriately.

How Shark Awareness Enhances Scuba Diving Experiences

Shark awareness significantly enhances our scuba diving experiences. It transforms encounters with sharks from mere sightings into meaningful interactions. Knowledge is power, and in this case, it’s the power to appreciate, respect, and safely interact with one of the ocean’s most fascinating inhabitants.

A thorough understanding of behavior when shark diving allows us to interpret their actions and responses accurately. It enables us to recognize signs of stress or aggression and adjust our behavior accordingly. This not only ensures our safety but also promotes responsible interactions that respect the sharks and their natural behaviors.

Furthermore, shark awareness adds a new layer of depth to our diving experiences. It’s one thing to see a shark; it’s another to understand its behavior, its role in the ecosystem, and its interactions with other marine life. This depth of understanding enriches our experiences and fosters a deeper appreciation for our underwater world.

Misconceptions About Sharks: Busting the Myths

Unfortunately, sharks are often misunderstood, feared, and even demonized. These misconceptions can be detrimental, not only to our experiences as divers but also to shark conservation efforts. As part of shark awareness, it’s important to debunk these myths and present sharks in their true light.

First and foremost, sharks are not mindless killing machines. They are complex creatures with unique behaviors and communication methods. They are not interested in humans as prey and, in most cases, prefer to avoid us.

Secondly, not all sharks are dangerous. Out of over 500 species of sharks, only a handful are considered potentially harmful to humans. Most sharks are harmless, and even those that can pose a threat are unlikely to attack unless provoked.

Lastly, sharks are not invincible. They are vulnerable to a host of threats, most notably human activities such as overfishing and habitat destruction. They need our understanding and protection, not our fear and persecution.

Shark Behavior: What to Expect When Scuba Diving

When scuba diving, it’s important to know what to expect from sharks. Most encounters with sharks are peaceful and awe-inspiring. However, as with any wild animal, it’s essential to be prepared and understand their behavior.

Most sharks are shy and cautious creatures. They are likely to observe you from a distance, often circling around to get a better look. This is normal behavior and not a sign of aggression.

However, if a shark becomes agitated or feels threatened, it may exhibit signs of stress such as rapid, jerky movements or gill flaring. In such cases, it’s essential to remain calm, avoid sudden movements, and slowly retreat if possible.

Remember, every encounter with a shark is an opportunity to observe and learn. With understanding and respect, these encounters can be safe, enriching, and truly unforgettable experiences.

Practical Tips for Shark Awareness During Scuba Diving

Being aware of sharks during scuba diving is about more than just understanding their behavior. It’s about applying this knowledge in practical ways to ensure safe and respectful interactions. Here are a few tips for shark awareness during scuba diving.

Firstly, always observe sharks from a safe distance. Avoid approaching them directly or making sudden movements, as this can startle or threaten them.

Secondly, never attempt to touch or feed sharks. This can disrupt their natural behavior and potentially put you at risk.

Lastly, always respect the sharks and their environment. Avoid disturbing their habitat or interfering with their natural behaviors. Remember, we are visitors in their world.

Promoting Shark Conservation through Scuba Diving

Scuba diving offers a unique platform for promoting shark conservation. As divers, we have the privilege of witnessing the beauty and complexity of sharks firsthand. We can share these experiences with others, fostering understanding and appreciation for these magnificent creatures.

Moreover, we can actively contribute to shark conservation. Many diving operators offer opportunities to participate in shark research and conservation initiatives. By participating in these programs, we can help ensure the survival of sharks for future generations.

Lastly, we can advocate for sharks. By sharing our knowledge and experiences, we can help dispel misconceptions about sharks and promote their protection. Every voice counts in the fight for shark conservation.

Courses and Resources for Shark Awareness and Behavior

There are many resources available for those interested in shark awareness and behavior. Scuba Diving International as well as numerous conservation-based organizations offer courses and workshops on shark biology, behavior, and conservation. These courses provide in-depth knowledge and practical skills for interacting with sharks responsibly and safely. From courses like our Marine Ecosystems Awareness Specialty and our Advanced Adventure Certification provide you with the information you need to tackle this new challenge!

Additionally, there are many online resources available, including websites, blogs, and forums dedicated to shark awareness and conservation. These platforms offer a wealth of information and a community of like-minded individuals passionate about sharks.

I encourage anyone interested in sharks to explore these resources, to sign up for one of SDI’s courses call your local dive center or instructor or reach out to your regional representative/ World HQ to find where the class is being taught near you. Knowledge is the first step towards understanding, appreciation, and conservation.

Conclusion: The Role of Shark Awareness in Future Scuba Diving Experiences

As we look to the future, the role of shark awareness in scuba diving will only continue to grow. As our understanding of these magnificent creatures deepens, so too will our appreciation and respect for them. This knowledge will shape our interactions with sharks, enhancing our experiences and promoting responsible and respectful behavior.

Shark awareness is more than just an interest; it’s a responsibility. It’s a commitment to understanding, respecting, and protecting one of the ocean’s most fascinating inhabitants. And it’s a journey that I invite all divers to embark on.

As we dive into the blue, let’s dive with awareness. Let’s dive with respect. And let’s dive with a commitment to understand and protect our underwater world. For in the end, the ocean’s health is our health, and every creature within it, including the sharks, plays a crucial role in maintaining this delicate balance.

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Divers Have More Fun in the Philippines (Watch Video)




Pretty much whatever kind of diving interests you have, the chances are there is something for you in the Philippines.

From the Japanese WW2 wrecks in Coron; the Thresher sharks in Malapascua; big schools of fish, sharks and huge walls in Tubbataha; World class macro diving in Anilao, Puerto Galera, Romblon and Dumaguete; Whalesharks in Southern Leyte, Oslob, Donsol and Bohol; Massive schools of sardines in Moalboal and Bohol and stunning hard and soft coral reefs right across the country.

Plus, the Filipinos are the friendliest people on the planet!

Divers have more fun in the Philippines!

Book your next Philippines Dive Adventure with Philippine Dive Holidays, the specialists when it comes to diving in the Philippines! Visit to find out more.

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