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Dive Worldwide Reveal Plans For The World’s Largest Manta Ray Sanctuary In Indonesia

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This week marks a huge milestone in manta conservation – tailor-made specialist Dive Worldwide is delighted to reveal that the Indonesian government is to establish the world’s largest manta ray sanctuary, encompassing a massive 6 million sq. kms. of ocean. The new legislation now enforces full, nationwide protection for both manta species across Indonesia. To protect these giant rays still further, UK based tour operator Dive Worldwide are introducing a conservation holiday that monitors the mantas in Raja Ampat, an archipelago of islands in eastern Indonesia, at the epicentre of the Coral Triangle.

Indonesia boasts the second-largest manta tourism industry in the world, making the species vital for many communities relying on ecotourism for their livelihood. However, manta rays are a highly threatened species as they are targeted for their gill plates which are sold as a medicinal tonic on the Asian market, despite no scientifically proven health benefits. Although there is clear evidence that stocks are in decline, these fisheries continue to increase their fishing efforts, posing a huge threat to the survival of manta populations.

Dive Worldwide offers its new trip in association with the Manta Trust which continues to research and monitor the Indonesian manta population and works closely with local communities to increase awareness and support of alternative, sustainable incomes.

Guy Stevens, chief executive of Dive Worldwide’s new partner in conservation, the Manta Trust,commented: “Manta rays are an iconic species; they symbolise what is at stake if we choose not to protect our oceans and their inhabitants for our future generations. The Indonesian Government’s decision to legally protect manta rays is a great step along the road to effective conservation of these increasingly vulnerable species. I applaud the government for this positive action and I strongly urge other nations to follow in their footsteps.”

New Dive Worldwide Conservation Trips in Partnership with the Manta Trust

As the only UK tour operator to work in partnership with the Manta Trust, Dive Worldwide has introduced the following trips to its Just Conservation programme in Indonesia and elsewhere:

Monitoring Mantas in Raja Ampat, Indonesia: This trip invites divers to explore the underwater paradise of Raja Ampat in Indonesia. From a luxurious liveaboard vessel, visitors can take on the role of research assistant, monitoring manta rays, collecting data, taking underwater photographs to identify them, or naming one if it’s unknown. Dive up to three times per day.

Price: An 11-day trip costs from £4,865 pp inc. international flights and full board accommodation. Group size 1 – 10. Recommended for experienced divers.

Manta Research in Yap: Head to Micronesia to join the Manta Trust, where time is divided between a superb liveaboard in pristine waters and on shore diving. Research assistants use diving skills to help identify manta populations and to collect habitat data. As no other liveaboards exist in the area, it is possible to explore waters where no divers have previously been.

Price: A 14-day trip costs from £5,385 pp inc. international flights, transfers, and 12 nights’ lodge / liveaboard accommodation. Departs 30 June & 7 July 2014. Group size 1 – 10. Recommended for experienced divers.

Manta Monitoring in the Maldives: working alongside expert Dr Guy Stevens (founder of the Manta Trust), the team will cruise the less explored Baa Atoll, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, on board The Explorer, a luxury Four Seasons liveaboard. While taking on the role of research assistant, witness the incredible mass feeding natural phenomenon, and study both reef and giant oceanic manta rays – with aggregations of up to 150 mantas. Divers are also likely to see hawksbill and green turtles, whale sharks, honeycomb moray eel, Napoleon wrasse, scorpion fish, titan trigger fish, schooling banner fish and colourful coral reefs.

Price: A 10-day trip costs from £5,325pp inc. international flights, 7 nights’ full board on the liveaboard, all transfers, and up to 4 dives daily. Departs 20 August & 10 September 2014.

All prices are per person based on two sharing and include a donation of £100 to the Manta Trust.

For further information visit www.diveworldwide.com or call 0845 1306980.

Marine Life & Conservation

Join us in supporting Dive Project Cornwall Crowdfunder Project

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Do you have a moment to help protect our oceans?

We’re on a mission and have partnered with DIVE PROJECT CORNWALL to help protect our oceans for future generations to cherish and enjoy.

DIVE PROJECT CORNWALL is a unique EDUCATION and EXPERIENCE initiative, reaching over 3,000 schools with their Ocean Education Programme, inspiring the next generation to protect our oceans for everyone to cherish and enjoy.

At the heart of the project is a competition for 400 lucky teenagers to win the EXPERIENCE of a lifetime. They will take the learning from the classroom straight to the shores of Porthkerris on a 6-day, life changing trip where they will learn to scuba dive and be taught the importance of marine conservation. They will become ‘Ocean Influencers’ for the future.

DIVE PROJECT CORNWALL needs our help.

Can you join us with a gift to DIVE PROJECT CORNWALL?

Whether it’s £5 or £50, a gift from you to the DIVE PROJECT CORNWALL Crowdfunder Project will help their vision of protecting our oceans through the innovative experience designed for school children.

Will you join us and pledge to support 400 lucky teenagers learn from and EXPERIENCE the ocean like never before and give them an EDUCATION they can use to inspire others, not forgetting the memories that will last a lifetime?

For more information, you can read the DIVE PROJECT CORNWALL story HERE.

Help us create the next generation of Ocean Influencers with a donation to DIVE PROJECT CORNWALL and ensure our oceans (and planet) are protected for the future.

WWW.CROWDFUNDER.CO.UK/P/DIVE-PROJECT-CORNWALL

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Marine Life & Conservation

Spring jellyfish blooms bring turtles to UK shores

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Marine Conservation Society’s wildlife sightings project asks beachgoers to share their discoveries and contribute to research

The Marine Conservation Society’s long-running wildlife sightings project focuses on two key species which arrive on UK shores: jellyfish and, as a result, turtles. Both species are vital in supporting ocean biodiversity and are indicators of climate change while being at risk from its impacts.

The charity is asking beach and seagoers to share when they spot either of these marine animals to support ongoing research.

During spring and summer, jellyfish arrive in the UK’s warming waters to feed on plankton blooms or, in fact, anything small enough to get caught. To that extent, jellyfish feed not only on plankton, but also the array of eggs and larvae of fish, crustaceans, starfish and molluscs which rely on plankton as a stage of reproduction.

With healthy fish stocks and rich biodiversity, jellyfish quickly become part of an effective food chain. Everything from tuna to turtles will feed on jellyfish of various sizes, so the population is well controlled. Supported by a rich and diverse ocean ecosystem, jellyfish link the microscopic world of plankton to larger marine animals and the ocean around them.

Jellyfish are especially appealing for marine turtles. Six of the world’s seven marine turtle species have been spotted in UK seas as a result of jellyfish blooms in spring and summer.

The largest sea turtle, and the most common in UK seas, is the leatherback which has a ‘vulnerable’ conservation status. Reporting sightings of these incredible creatures will support the Marine Conservation Society and others in understanding their movements, potential threats and how to better protect them.

Amy Pilsbury, Citizen Science Project Lead at the Marine Conservation Society, said:“For more than 17 years, beachgoers across the UK have been contributing to scientific research by sharing their wildlife sightings with us. It’s a key part of our work and plays a vital role in better understanding and protecting our ocean.”

In 2014, with partners from the University of Exeter, the Marine Conservation Society published the first paper from the survey data, confirming key information about UK jellyfish and including the first distribution maps of the surveyed species.

Since the 2014 paper, the wildlife sightings project has recorded notable events such as massive and extensive annual blooms of barrel jellyfish and several summers of Portuguese Man o’ War mass strandings.

The charity continues to run its wildlife sightings project to see what happens to the distribution and frequency of mass jellyfish blooms over time. The data will help to explore any links jellyfish blooms have with big-picture factors such as climate change.

Jellyfish can be spotted year-round in UK seas, but larger blooms are more likely to appear in spring, lasting through until autumn. Jellyfish sighting records from 2021 suggest that compass jellyfish are the most common around UK shores, making up 36% of reported sightings.

Jellyfish species Percentage of sightings reported
Compass jellyfish 36%
Moon jellyfish 17%
Lion’s mane jellyfish 15%
Barrel jellyfish 14%
Blue jellyfish 9%
Portuguese Man o’ War 6%
Mauve stinger 2%
By the wind sailor 1%

For more information on how to identify jellyfish and turtles, and to report a sighting, please visit the Marine Conservation Society’s website.

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A luxurious dive resort in the heart of Lembeh Strait. Enjoy refined services while exploring the rich waters of Indonesia.

The resort is nestled around an ocean front deck and swimming-pool (with pool-bar) which is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail at the end of a busy day of critter-diving.

All accommodation is full board and includes three sumptuous meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are buffet meals and in the evening dining is a la carte.

Book and stay before the end of June and benefit from no single supplements in all room types!

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – book and stay before end of June 2022

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

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