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Dive Professionals can now become Green Fins certified

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New online course trains dive guides in the best environmental standards, whether or not their dive school is a Green Fins member

The Reef-World Foundation – the international coordinators of Green Fins – with the support of Professional SCUBA Schools International (PSS), has announced the launch of the Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course: a free online course designed to help dive professionals reduce the negative impacts of scuba diving on the underwater environment and conduct more environmentally friendly dives.

The new Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course is the only course which teaches dive professionals how to prevent diving-related damage to coral reefs by following the highest environmental standards, as set out by the Green Fins initiative. Dive guides can take this course – free of charge – whether or not their dive operator is a Green Fins member.

Diving related damage to sensitive marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, is becoming an increasingly significant issue. This damage makes them less likely to survive other local and wider stressors, such as over fishing or run-off from land containing pollutants and plastic debris as well the effects of climate change, such as rising sea temperatures.

Scuba professionals have the ability to positively influence diver behaviour and this course helps guides better manage their guests to prevent them causing damage to the reef; helping to protect coral and other marine life one dive at a time. It covers techniques such as how to provide an effective pre-dive environmental briefing and how to stop customers (including underwater photographers) touching coral whilst diving; techniques proven to reduce the level of coral damage associated with diving.

The course provides dive professionals with three modules of easy-to-follow content followed by corresponding tests on an intuitive, user-friendly platform:

Module 1: an introduction to coral reef biology, the Green Fins approach, why it is imperative we protect reefs, and how guides can use Green Fins resources, such as posters and guidelines, to support their day to day work.

Module 2: management techniques above water, such as how to prepare and plan an environmentally friendly dive and maximising the opportunity of an effective environmental pre-dive briefing to encourage guests to limit their environmental impact.

Module 3: how to confidently lead a dive using positive role model behaviour and making underwater corrections – such as adjusting buoyancy – followed by an explanation and positive reinforcement once the dive is over. Research has shown divers who receive environmental information in pre-dive briefings coupled with interventions underwater cause significantly less damage to coral.

There is a short test at the end of each module which dive professionals must pass in order to finish the course. On completion of the course, there is an option to donate £19 ($24) to support Green Fins’ work around the world and receive a personalised electronic certificate which can be displayed to inform guests the guide is aware of how to reduce the environmental impacts associated with diving. Displaying the certificate can help attract eco-minded customers and make divers more confident about the standards of the centre. The Dive Guide e-Course can also be offered as an addition to the Divemaster training programme, resulting in increased business for the dive school. Certified guides and dive centres will both benefit from additional promotion through the Green Fins community.

Chloe Harvey, Director at The Reef-World Foundation, said: “The Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course enables dive professionals to become more environmentally aware, understand the main environmental threats posed by SCUBA diving and be able to minimise those threats. We hope that the course will help protect coral reefs all over the world, allowing them to be more resilient to wider stressors such as the effects of climate change. What’s more, many divers now expect, and demand, environmentally aware guides so being a positive role model in this way not only protects the underwater environment, but can also result in better employability and more tips!

Green Fins is the only internationally recognized environmental standard for dive and snorkel operators, established through a partnership between UN Environment and The Reef World Foundation. Green Fins uses a unique and proven three-pronged approach; green certifications of dive centres, strengthening regulations and environmental education for dive staff, divers and government.

For more information, or to sign up for the Green Fins Dive Guide e-Course, please click here.

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Scubaverse UWP Winners Gallery: Christian Horras

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Each month we give the winner of the Scubaverse Underwater Photography competition the opportunity to show off a little more of their work in a gallery. The March winner was Christian Horras and you can see their winning image at the top of this page.


What do you love about diving & underwater photography?

For me it is all about showing the beauty of our world underwater to people that don’t dive and thus can’t see it for themselves. I want to share my own passion for the amazing ecosystem that is so much older than everything we know living on land. As I am from Germany, there are only a few people in my surroundings that have ever seen a coral reef or a shark with their own eyes. It is a big privilege to be able to go diving all over the world and in return it should be our task to arise awareness of this fragile and endangered ecosystem.

What equipment do you use?

I use a Nikon D810 in a Isotta Housing and various lenses, depending on the subject: a Sigma 15mm F2.8 Fisheye, a Nikon 16-35 mm F4 and two Nikon Macro lenses (60mm and 105mm), as well as a WeeFine +13 Diopter. The Fisheye is my main lens, as it allows me to get really close and still cover a big field of view. For lighting I use two Retra Pro Strobes and a Retra Snoot.

Where can our readers see more of your work?

Website: www.christianhorras.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/christian.horras/


To enter the latest Scubaverse Underwater Photography competition, with a chance to win some great prizes as well as have your own gallery published, head over to the competition page and upload up to 3 images.

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Emperor Divers reaches halfway in Covid Diver Heroes Initiative with fourth award

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Emperor Divers have reached the halfway point with their #coviddiverheroes initiative and are still receiving worthy nominations every day! Here, they recognise their 4th winner, another awesome hero from the diving community with an inspirational story of selflessness through the pandemic. Nominated by David White, Phuong Cao wins a free liveaboard trip in the Maldives when she can finally take some time off, and here is her story:

I, David White, would like to nominate Phuong Cao (36) for her tireless efforts fighting this pandemic. Not satisfied with being a frontline hospitalist in New York she took a second job on the COVID team in Guam to treat patients under even tougher conditions on her weeks off! She continues to commute 7750 miles each way and apply herself to both jobs for three months already and counting. Her energy level has no limits and she’s only happy when those in her care are on the mend. I think she definitely deserves a break! I guess the Maldives would be the best choice for her as I know she has dived with you in the Red Sea already.

Phuong Cao

We have been in touch with Phuong who had this to say: “Wow what a surprise! Thank you for the recognition. Holding my breath until I get back underwater!”

The halfway point is a good chance to remind people that the initiative is still running and the Emperor Divers team would love to hear about more heroes, as there are four more to award in the next 2 months!

Do you know a diver who has been heroic this past year? Emperor know that, worldwide, people have had to step up during this pandemic which has affected so many lives. They want to reward some real heroes with free liveaboard trips in the Red Sea or Maldives.

Luke Atkinson, Emperor’s Red Sea Manager, said: “This initiative is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to all those hundreds of people who have taken a selfless interest in looking after the vulnerable in their community. Examples could include healthworkers, carers or those who have come out of retirement to volunteer locally, but really we know there are many other ways people have been heroic.“

Emperor want to hear from people who know a heroic diver who would love to have a free liveaboard trip to look forward to in the future. People need to nominate a Covid Hero Diver and tell Emperor (in 100 – 200 words) why they deserve a free trip, and whether they would prefer the Red Sea or the Maldives. A multinational panel of Emperor’s most loyal and compassionate staff will judge the entries and pick a winner every 2 weeks for the next 2 months. There are two remaining Red Sea and two more Maldives liveaboards to be earned, so get nominating and give that hero a reward for their amazing work!

Winners will be announced by 14th (Maldives) and 28th (Red Sea) of each month. Final entries for Red Sea by 20th May ‘21 and Maldives 5th June ’21.

Entries, comments and questions should be sent to heroes@emperordivers.com.

Terms & Conditions apply: Please contact heroes@emperordivers.com for details.

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Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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