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Dive Twerking, Celeb Endorsements, Customer Research, & Other Ideas Emerge From DEMA’s 2020 Vision Session

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How can we re-activate previously certified divers? What are the demographics of people who currently dive?  What does the industry have to do to bring young people into diving?  These are just a few of the question that were addressed during DEMA’s latest 2020 Vision brainstorming session, conducted during the Beneath the Sea Show in New Jersey.

Conceived in 2011 as a means by which DEMA Member input could help steer the direction of the Industry, 2020 Vision Sessions are part of the strategic planning process used by DEMA’s Board of Directors.  Ideas and priorities from these brainstorming sessions help the Board understand the needs of Industry Members “on the ground” and help to shape the future of recreational diving.  At the most recent 2020 Vision Session, held in affiliation with Beneath the Sea, participants focused specifically on two topics: how to reactivate previously certified divers and bring young people into diving.
For those already certified divers who have not been diving recently, participants thought it was important to focus on the following key factors to entice these customers, already interested in and familiar with diving, to start diving again:
  • Make it social and fun, and use social media, viral videos, celebrity endorsements, and local dive parties
  • Since many divers take a hiatus to have families and are more available as their kids get older, focus on family connections and the health and wellness benefits of diving
  • Highlight all the equipment and technology improvements and the ease of diving today
  • Encourage a variety of eco-based activities, like local beach clean-ups or coral restorations
With data indicating potential for Industry growth by reaching possible divers in the age range of 11-17 years old, there was also a focus on developing ways to bring young people into diving. Ideas for reaching a young audience included:
  • More advertising aimed at the 11-17 year old age range
  • The use of mentor / guest lecturer programs within schools or youth groups
  • Make diving look fresh, fun and exciting, focusing on the fun people have in the water and as a fun social experience
  • Use celebrity kid-divers as role models
  • Find ways to share diving as a family activity
  • Integrate Open Water Scuba courses and some of the science and physical aspects of diving into public and private school curricula (e.g.: teach marine biology and physics using diving examples)
  • Use social media to promote and engage kids with the diving culture and lifestyle
  • Leverage viral trends to promote awareness and captivate attention (e.g. “dive twerking”)
DEMA encourages all Industry professionals to review the brainstorming notes from this session and develop their own thoughts to share with them:
If you have any questions regarding DEMA 2020 Vision Sessions contact DEMA by emailing them at 2020vision@dema.org or by calling them on +1 (858) 616-6408.

Marine Life & Conservation

The Big Shark Pledge: Shark Trust’s new campaign kicks off with a call for support

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With the ink still drying on last week’s landmark listing of nearly 100 species of sharks on Appendix II of CITES, the Shark Trust insists that this is not the time for shark conservation to take a break. The UK-based NGO this week launches its biggest-ever concerted campaign to tackle the overfishing of oceanic sharks. They are calling on people across the world to join the call for stricter controls on high seas fisheries.

The Big Shark Pledge is at the heart of an ambitious set of campaign actions. Working to secure science-based catch limits on all sharks and rays affected by the international high seas fishing fleet. The pledge will build the largest campaigning community in shark and ray conservation history to support a raft of policy actions over the vital years ahead.

Many of our best known and much-loved sharks make their home on the high seas. In our shared ocean, these oceanic sharks and rays face a very real threat from a huge international fleet of industrial-scale fishing vessels. Research published in early 2021 confirmed that over three-quarters of oceanic sharks and rays are now at risk of extinction due to the destructive impact of overfishing. They have declined by 71% over the last 50 years.

The Shark Trust is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year and has a long history of securing positive changes for sharks, skates and rays. The Big Shark Pledge will build on the success of their NoLimits? campaign which underpinned landmark catch limits on Blue Sharks and Shortfin Mako in the North Atlantic.

While the listing of so many species on the CITES trade agreement is certainly a positive step, there remains a huge challenge in ensuring that sustainable practices are embedded in international fisheries.” says Shark Trust Director of conservation, Ali Hood. “Sharks on the high seas face extraordinary pressure from excessive fishing practices. This has to be addressed through international agreements such as those secured for Blues and makos.”

There is hope and a feeling of momentum in the shark conservation community. Just last week, in addition to the new CITES listings, the Shark Trust, working with partners in the Shark League, secured the first-ever international quota for South Atlantic Mako at ICCAT meeting in Portugal. The new campaign from the Shark Trust aims to push forwards from here, engaging a wave of support through the Big Shark Pledge to bolster policy action.

This will be a long-term international and collaborative effort. Forging a pathway to rebuild populations of high-seas sharks and rays. By putting science at the heart of shark conservation and fisheries management. And making the vital changes needed to set populations on the road to recovery.

Shark Trust CEO Paul Cox says of the Big Shark Pledge “It’s designed to give everyone who cares about the future of sharks the chance to add their voice to effective and proven conservation action. By adding their name to the Pledge, supporters will be given opportunities to apply pressure at key moments to influence change.

Click here to sign the Big Shark Pledge

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Miscellaneous Blogs

Jeff chats to… Craig Waller, Underwater Lighting Technician on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Craig Waller, Underwater Lighting Technician on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Craig is a Key Grip and Lighting Director with 10,000s of hours of Set Experience.

In Craig’s own words:

I started my career when I was in my first year of college.  I always had that creative side of the brain that needed to be followed as a career.  I thought that would be in designing engineering pieces but wasn’t happy about the idea of an office cubicle and drafting table.

I accidentally found my way onto a big commercial job for a week and decided “THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO”.   I made it my career after that. This is a quick list of recent and big projects in my 35 yrs of TV / Film / Photography.

Most Recently:

  • “Black Panther 2” – UW Lighting Technician / 2nd Unit Underwater Team
  • “Stranger Things” Season 4 – UW Lighting Technician / 2nd Unit Underwater Team
  • “Suicide Squad 2” – UW Gaffer / 2nd Unit Underwater Team
  • NASCAR / FOX Sports 1 – Network TV Lighting Director – 7 years / 700 races of Live BIG track TV shows
  • 10,000s of commercials / music videos / tv shows

I started diving when I was 18 years old with my OW and then AOW with PADI. I was diving with lots of friends in the late 80s and early 90s and then moved onto Kayaking. I got my daughter into diving when she turned 14 and have picked up where I left off.

I have approx 5000 dives now and spend most of my free time diving.

Here are my certs:

  • OW – AOW 1989
  • Adv Nitrox / Deco 2020
  • Cavern – Intro Cave 2021
  • CCR Tech – Fathom – 2021

You can find out more at www.craigwaller.com


Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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