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Dive Worldwide introduces new small group trips for 2021

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Specialist operator Dive Worldwide is introducing a trio of new group trips for 2021, each to a small resort where guests will enjoy the camaraderie typical of a liveaboard, but instead on land. Introduced are: a relaxing break to the Maldives, staying at perhaps the country’s smallest resort; an action-packed week in Sharm el Sheikh; and an adventurous trip to Indonesia in the heart of the Bunaken National Marine Park.

Commenting, Phil North, Dive Worldwide’s Brand Manager, said: “These new trips are perfect for those divers keen to travel as a small group and looking for an alternative to a liveaboard. These are action-packed diving itineraries that prove excellent value for money and with small group sizes, just 6-10 divers, will offer a real social atmosphere too.” 

NEW FOR 2021

Sharm Dive Extravaganza

Renowned as one of the finest diving locations on earth, Sharm is popular with divers of all abilities and this new tour will show off the area’s highlights with an action-packed itinerary. Included are  three boat dives a day, visits to Ras Mohamed National Park, an early morning dive in Tiran, the Dunraven wreck and two thrilling night dives. The group stays at Sharks Bay Umbi Village resort, built in traditional Bedouin style, with fantastic views over the Red Sea, an on-site restaurant and private beach.

Price: from £645pp, including 7 nights’ accommodation, full board meal plan 15 dive package, sunset BBQ and transfers with Dive Worldwide. International flights extra. Depart 6 May or 10 June 2021. No single supplement.

Dive & Detox Maldives

On this small group trip, guests stay at the Boutique Beach Resort on Dhigurah Island, a local island at the tip of the South Ari Atoll. With just six rooms, the resort ensures personal experience for divers, and has won awards for its sustainability and work with the local community. Here, divers will be in the heart of the action with the superb Kudarah Thila just 10 minutes from the resort, and Broken Rocks, another well-known dive site, nearby. The highlight though is the resort’s proximity to whale sharks, and the British whale shark conservation group, also based on Dhigurah Island, have recorded around 350 whale sharks in the area.

Price: from £1,675pp sharing, including 7 nights’ accommodation, full board meal plan,17 dive package and transfers with Dive Worldwide. International flights extra. Depart 25 April or 2 October 2021.

Bunaken Bonanza

In 2021 Indonesia’s Bunaken National Park celebrates its 30th anniversary and on this new group tour guests stay on the edge of the Park at the charming Tasik Ria resort. Family-owned and set in landscaped tropical gardens, Tasik Ria is a haven compared to the bustle of nearby Manado. From here, the group will enjoy some of the 50 dive sites with the National Park where the mixture of hard and soft corals provide an amazing variety of marine life, from bumphead parrot fish and Napoleon wrasse to eagle rays and reef sharks. The week’s diving itinerary also includes a dawn and night dive,  plus a trip to the Lembeh Strait, home to the weird and wonderful and the best muck diving on earth.

Price: from £1,345pp, including 7 nights’ accommodation, full board meal plan, 17 dive package and transfers with Dive Worldwide. International flights extra. Depart 1 May or 4 September 2021. No single supplement.


For further information visit Dive Worldwide at www.diveworldwide.com or call 01962 302087.

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PADI meets with Maldivian Ministry to confirm protection of sharks

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Over recent weeks, there has been speculation about the possibility of the Maldivian government lifting the ban on shark fishing in the country’s waters. PADI®, and the dive industry at large, were instrumental in establishing these protections over a decade ago.

With concern for the continued protection of sharks in the Maldives, the PADI organisation and Project AWARE®, along with 200 concerned local and international stakeholders opposing the lifting of the shark fishing ban, called on the government to continue to enforce the legal protections of sharks. PADI staff met with Maldivian Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources, and Agriculture Zaha Waheed to reinforce the position of the dive community and critical role sharks play in dive tourism.

In those meetings, Minister Waheed assured PADI that the Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources, and Agriculture has no intentions to lift the ban on shark fishing. She affirmed that they remain committed to sustainable and responsible management of fisheries and marine resources in the Maldives. On 20 April 2021, the Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources, and Agriculture released a statement asserting that “the Maldives does not intend to permit a targeted shark fishery in the Maldives.”

“Sharks are a dominant force in dive tourism in the Maldives. We congratulate the Maldives’s commitment to their ongoing protection,” says Drew Richardson, President and CEO of PADI Worldwide. “The Maldives continues to lead by example, among the most progressive countries on this critical issue.”

There are currently 17 shark sanctuaries in the world; the first established in Palau in 2009 and others in popular dive destinations including French Polynesia, Honduras, The Bahamas and several others in the Caribbean. The Maldives shark sanctuary was established in 2010 and covers 916,000 km2 (353,000 square miles).

Tourism accounts for an estimated 25 percent of Maldives’ GDP (according to 2014 figures), with diving and snorkeling being the most popular tourism activity. Prior to the formation of the Maldivian sanctuary, shark fishing was worth US$0.7 million to the Maldives’ economy, compared to US$2.3 million from shark tourism. In 2018, the shark sanctuary increased dive-trip demand in the Maldives by 15 percent, raising an additional US$6 million. Consumer research indicates that any re-opening of a Maldives shark fishery could potentially decrease dive tourism demand by over 50 percent, which could result in a loss of US$24 million.

Sharks are some of the most endangered species in the ocean, with recent research showing that the global number of oceanic sharks has declined by 71 percent. Over a third of shark and ray species are threatened, facing an increased threat of extinction, primarily due to overfishing.  There are an estimated 600,000 shark watchers globally spending $314 million per year and directly supporting 10,000 jobs. Research indicates these figures are expected to rise as global tourism returns to pre-pandemic levels.

As part of its commitment to ocean conservation, PADI will continue to stand up for sharks and advocate for their protection. For more information on responsible shark tourism, read Project AWARE’s Guide to Best Practices. To learn more about PADI’s efforts and how you can join the community of PADI Torchbearers working to save the ocean, visit padi.com/conservation.

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Miscellaneous Blogs

The BiG Scuba Podcast… with Rosemary Lunn

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Ian and Gemma chat among themselves and are also are joined by well-known Dive Industry Professional Rosemary Lunn.

We talk about dive fitness and entering the CrossFit 2021 open games and being members of our local CrossFit Box. You can also listen to our new member of the team – Rosemary Lunn – answer some scuba diving questions.

Find out more about Rosemary at www.tumc.co.uk.


Find more podcast episodes and information at the new www.thebigscuba.com  website and on most social platforms @thebigscuba 

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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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