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Dive Worldwide takes the plunge in 2014 with new ‘Just Conservation’ program

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Following on the heels of its sister company Wildlife Worldwide, Dive Worldwide have introduced an entirely new programme of marine conservation holidays for 2014. With five projects and more in the pipeline, the Just Conservation programme allows ordinary people with an enthusiasm for marine life to work alongside renowned scientists and research teams for the sustainable benefit of some the planet’s most threatened sea creatures. By taking the plunge (quite literally), visitors will make a real difference to a range of on-going marine studies, gaining hands-on experiences and new skills; perhaps using hydro-sound equipment to identify whale noises, or a decoy to monitor the behaviour of great white sharks.  Choose from studying mantas in Indonesia or Micronesia, great white sharks in False Bay, blue whales in Quebec or sperm whales in the Azores.

Two of the projects – those that monitor manta rays – require experienced divers. The others just require genuine enthusiasm, curiosity about marine life, and a desire to learn more.

Great White Shark Study in False Bay

Under the guidance of shark legend Dr Alessandro De Maddalena, uncover the mysteries of the great white shark in South Africa, studying the world’s most controversial marine creature at False Bay, the best breaching location. With the help of a decoy from the safety of a boat and cage diving with a snorkel, spend the trip observing, identifying and recording this predator, which has become rare having been hunted by man for their fins and teeth.

Price: 11 days from £3,265 including flights and self-catering accommodation in resort. Departs 24th & 31st August 2014. Group size 1-11.

Monitoring Mantas in Raja Ampat

Explore the underwater paradise of Raja Ampat in Indonesia with The Manta Trust, a new partner for Dive Worldwide. From a luxurious liveaboard vessel, take on the role of research assistant, monitoring manta rays and helping to protect these endangered species. Manta rays face a number of threats, not least the demand for their gill plates placed by Chinese traditional medicine. Dive up to three times per day, using underwater photography to identify, record and name the Mantas.

Price: 11 days in Raja Ampat from £4,865 including flights and full board accommodation. Departs 4th Jan 2014. Group size 1 – 10.

Alternatively head to Micronesia to research mantas in Yap with The Manta Trust, where time is divided between a superb liveaboard in pristine waters and on shore diving. As no other liveaboards visit the area, it is possible to explore waters where no divers have been before.

Price: A 14-day Manta Research in Yap trip costs from £5,295. Departs 30th June & 17th July 2014. Both manta trips are for experienced divers.

Sperm Whales and Bottlenose Dolphins in the Azores

Assist a team in the Azores, led by Dr. Lisa Steiner, with an ongoing study of both the sperm whale and the intelligent, charismatic bottlenose dolphin. Sperm whales, the largest of the toothed whales, hunt at depths of 4,000 metres, making them the deepest diving whales in the ocean. The aim of the research is to study their behaviour and breeding season as they migrate north. While in the archipelago, don’t miss the chance to dive with blue sharks, one of the best destinations for a close underwater encounter.

Price: 6 days from £1,340 including flights, B&B hotel accommodation and full board at sea. Departs June – August 2014. Group size 1-12.

Blue Whale Research in Mingan Islands

Travel to the MinganIsland region in Quebec to study the elusive blue whale – the most imposing animal on earth – with experts who are highly experienced in cetacean research. A rare opportunity to experience the authentic life of marine biologists in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, study the natural habitat and behaviour of the blue whale and other cetaceans: partake in data collection and photo identification;  witness skin biopsies; and use the hydro-sound system to identify sounds. Follow the migration path in a variety of locations between mid-June and mid-September.

Price: 9 days from £2,895 including flights and full board guesthouse accommodation. Group size 1 – 6.

 

There are both tailor-made opportunities with flexible departures and group trips on set departures.

All prices are per person based on two sharing.

For more information Call Dive Worldwide on 0845 130 6980 or visit  www.diveworldwide.com.

News

Diving with… Ana and Miguel, Siladen Resort & Spa, Indonesia

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In this ongoing series, we speak to the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards from around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer…


What is your name?

Ana and Miguel

What is the name of your business?

Siladen Resort & Spa

What is your role within the business?

Co owners and General Managers

How long has the business operated for?

Almost 20 years.

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?

Miguel has dived since 1993 and Ana has dived since 2002. We are both Open Water Scuba Instructors.

What is your favorite type of diving?

We love all dive types, especially wall diving for the wonderful corals and looking out into the blue wondering what other animals will come up next. But as an UW photographer and videographer we both love critter hunting in the sandy slopes. We are both very fond of night dives as we always find interesting animals and different behaviour.

If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?

We have a wonderful location in the heart of Bunaken National Park and we have an amazing team that provides the best service to each guest. We are a fun dive resort; we constantly strive to be as sustainable as possible and safety is our number one priority. If you like sea turtles and beautiful coral reefs you cannot miss this area for diving or snorkelling.

What is your favorite dive in your location and why?

If we have to choose one wall we would say Mandolin as it has beautiful and healthy corals with a wonderful and shallow reef top. We love to search for turtles in the overhangs, look for long nose hawkfish in the black coral bushes, admire the schooling snappers, and spend a long safety stop on the coral gardens on the top that are full of anthias. For critter hunting and night dives we both love Bolung. Here we can find frogfish, ghostpipefishes and nudibranchs, plus at night we often find decorator crabs, octopus and even stargazers on its white sandy slope.

What types of diving are available in your location?

There are very shallow coral reefs surrounding all five islands within Bunaken National Parkpark — beyond the shallow reef, the seabed drops away very quickly, forming the beautiful walls that Bunaken is famed for. Many of these walls are vertical with huge caverns and overhangs, however some are more gentle slopes that allow more reef building corals to form. On the North Sulawesi mainland there are black sand sites that allow amazing muck diving. Close by, we also have white sand sites, which offer some beautiful coral reefs and gentle slopes. There is even a fairly intact (entirely sponge encrusted) wreck within easy access of the resort.

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

Working together in a dive resort that welcomes divers and snorkellers from around the world and sharing with them our passion for diving, snorkeling and uw photography and video is a great pleasure. Besides we have the privilege to dive and snorkel at world class sites every week.

What is your favorite underwater creature?

We both love cephalopods in general for their intelligence, capacity to camouflage, change colors and patterns…. We are fortunate enough to have many encounters with cephalopods in this area, from the tiny bobtail squid to the wonderful broadclub cuttlefish, the flamboyant cuttlefish, squids and Ana even filmed reef octopus mating. We could watch cephalopods for ever. And although we see them often, Ana has a soft spot for turtles.

As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?

The biggest problem we all face as divers and nature lovers is climate change and pollution. We need to work on these issues locally but even more importantly we need to address these issues worldwide.

Is your center involved in any environmental work?

Yes, we clean our beach daily and we organise very frequent island clean-ups. Not only do we clean this area, but we also separate the garbage trying to send as much as we possibly can to be recycled. We often have activities together with local school children to help bring awareness of the dangers of plastic pollution. We reduce our single plastic use as much as possible and all our vegetables and fruit peel leftovers are composted. We also protect the nests of turtles that hatch on our beach.

Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?

We are partnering with Coral Eye Resort in Bangka Island so that guests can have the best service in the best areas of North Sulawesi. We are getting one more boat; we want to make sure our boats are never crowded, besides we keep working to maintain and improve all our facilities.

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?

The industry is doing well and I am happy to see that there are more and more avid snorkellers and not only scuba divers. We would like to see more ocean protection worldwide to ensure the future generations get to enjoy the beautiful reef corals and marine life around the world.

Finally, what would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?

We give you a chance to explore some of the best snorkelling and diving sites in the world while providing you with comfortable accommodation, wonderful food and the best service. Staying in Siladen Resort & Spa you can do up to four dives or snorkelling sessions every day with very experienced guides, while staying in a safe and comfortable resort that aims to provide the best service to each guest.

Where can our visitors find out more about your business?

Visit our website www.siladen.com, find us on Instagram and Facebook (Siladen Resort & Spa) and contact us:

reservations@siladen.com

WA +62 811 44300641

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Marine Life & Conservation

Jeff chats to… Paul Cox, CEO of the Shark Trust about the Big Shark Pledge (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Paul Cox, CEO of the Shark Trust UK about the Big Shark Pledge.

The Big Shark Pledge aims to build one of the biggest campaigning communities in the history of shark conservation. To put pressure on governments and fisheries. And make the positive changes required to safeguard awesome sharks and rays.

Find out more at: www.bigsharkpledge.org and www.sharktrust.org.


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

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Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. Great value for money and perfect for small groups of buddies. Price NOW from just £1195 per person based on sharing a twin cabin/room including: Flights from Gatwick to Hurghada with 23kgs baggage 7 nights in shared cabin 3 meals a day, soft drinks, red wine with dinner 6 days’ diving, guide, 12ltr tank & weights, Marine Park fees and port departure fees Free Nitrox Booking deadline: Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price. Alternative departure airports available at a supplement. Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk. More Less

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