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Diving With…. Cipooz Guadez, Atlantis Azores Liveaboard

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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?

Cipooz Guadez

What is the name of your business?

Atlantis Dive Resorts and Liveaboards

What is your role within the business?

Cruise Director at Atlantis Azores. I am responsible for all onboard hospitality and dive activities.

How long has the business operated for?

The Azores started life with Atlantis in January 2010, so we are ten years old.

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

I first went diving in 1999 and really loved it. I then became an Instructor in 2014.

What is your favorite type of diving?

Muck Diving is my top pick, but drift diving and night diving are also my favorites.

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

The People, the authentic Filipino hospitality and service, where guests go first before we do. Our experienced staff have been with us for decades and that makes you feel like a homecoming on your return. And, not to mention the diversity of reefs and Island culture; it’s an authentic tropical island paradise experience.

What is your favorite dive in your location and why?

Our locations offer a variety of diverse underwater seascapes. From dynamic drop offs, flat reefs or slopes, and each place offers a different experience from great muck dives, schools of fish, to big stuff like whale shark and mantas. They are all my favorites.

What types of diving are available in your location?

I am lucky as we dive three separate itineraries through the year – so I get to dive most of the Philippines! Almost all types of diving are available, from reef dive, wreck, drift, night dive, from shore to boat dive, we love doing it…

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

The best reward is getting paid to do what you love, meeting different people and connecting with them and sharing the passion of diving and lifestyle.

What is your favorite underwater creature?

I love the encounter of gentle giants like Mantas and Whalesharks but I always enjoy the small critters too, especially nudibranches.

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

There is always a rainbow after the rain. I have always believed that every trial and tribulation that has come has a purpose. Coping and overcoming all of this makes us more driven and motivated to move forward. I am excited for the next chapter after this and will embrace it strongly.

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

As our world is facing this health crisis, all are affected; normal life and businesses are interrupted.

Is your center involved in any environmental work?

Our center works with researchers and ocean advocates and is involved in helping and protecting our environment, especially our ocean.

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

I hope not much changes except being aware that this pandemic taught us a lot and we should better protect ourselves and others.

What would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?

Our mother Earth is healing, and let’s heal together with it. The ocean is our sanctuary, diving is one of our therapies.

We are ready and prepared to welcome you back with us.

Where can our visitors find out more about your business?

Website: www.atlantishotel.com/dumaguete-resort/

Facebook: @atlantisdiveresorts


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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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