UK-based Tour Operator have a great Easter Egg Facebook Competition this weekend. Check out the Scuba Travel Facebook page to enter their “guess the egg” competition – each day they will be posting a photo of different marine life eggs – identify which egg it is and you’ll be in with a chance to win a Scuba Travel voucher every day!
There’s also some fantastic dive holiday deals! Happy Easter!
Emperor Serenity from £1595
Jim is back from his amazing adventure on Emperor Serenity where he was spoilt with sightings. He dived with sharks and manta in abundance from the luxurious Emperor Serenity – read his trip report on the Scuba Travel blog and get a taste for what’s in store if you book one of these beauties:
- 29th April – Best of the Maldives Itinerary £1645
- 13th May – Best of the Maldives Itinerary £1595
The Maldives are a must see location for all divers. Watch manta as they come to be cleaned, schools of fish in breathtaking numbers on the edge of the drop off or zip through the channels on a speedy drift. Serenity gives you the opportunity to dive the best sites and discover a dream destination from the comfort of a contemporary, sleek liveaboard.
Carpe Diem – 20th April – £1945
Carpe Diem combines superb service, exceptional diving and on board comfort at affordable prices. The large saloon features a big flat screen and audio system and is a great area for briefings. Outside of the lounge is an outdoor seating area. The meals are served al fresco in the dedicated dining area on the upper deck. After diving, enjoy the sun deck to soak up some rays or relax in the shade.
The popular Best of the Maldives itinerary delivers what it says on the tin. Dive the classic sites that made the Maldives so famous. Focusing on the hottest sites around Male & Ari atolls, there are pelagics a plenty, with manta, sharks and even whalesharks.
Dive Komodo on Mermaid 2 – £2895
Join the experienced crew on this diver friendly, steel-hulled liveaboard to cruise the big fish hotspots of Indonesia. The food on board is a hearty mix of Thai and western dishes, all served in the main deck dining room. Mermaid 2 has everything on board to make her your home away from home as you cruise the Indonesian islands.
Komodo National Park is a must see for all photographers and videographers with excellent viz all year round and an enviable selection of exotic and far flung dives.
- 17th May – Save £200 only £2895
- 09th June – save £200 only £2895
Komodo Dragons, manta and sharks await beneath the seas of Komodo Island, with speedy drift dives and bio diversity being the highlights of these outstanding pristine reefs.
Tempest – 21st April Wrecks & Reefs – only £795
Book by 7th April! The flexible Wrecks and Reefs itinerary offers the best of both worlds, iconic wreck dives and breathtaking reef dives every day. Fill your log books with dive sites such as the Thistlegorm, Shark and Yolanda, Abu Nuhas and Tiran, as well as the stunning drop offs of Ras Mohammed.
- 21st April – Wrecks and Reefs
Tempest is a well loved liveaboard in the Red Sea and with only 12 places on board she is smaller than most. A popular choice, she boasts a friendly atmosphere and a spacious and comfortable stay.
Scuba Seraya, Bali – only £1595
What an amazing price to dive in Bali! The intimate Scuba Seraya resort is a popular choice with Scuba Travel’s customers who come back year after year. This resort is totally set up for divers in lush gardens on their private beachfront. Soak up the Balinese sun in your outside bathroom or pull up a chair on your veranda, with partial sea or volcano views.
- 14th April – Save £300 only £1595
- 9th June – Save £300 only £1595
Bali is an excellent Indonesian diving destination with rich reef dives, cool critters a plenty, and you are only moments from the famous Liberty wreck. It’s a laid back location with bags to offer divers and non divers alike! Price includes return flights, 7 nights full board, morning boat dives and unlimited housereef dives in the afternoons – a deal not to be missed!
Whales & Orcas at Bunaken Oasis!
The beautiful Bunaken Oasis Luxury Resort has had some very special visitors recently. Some of the oceans larger inhabitants have swung by to check it out with orcas spotted last week and a sperm whale this week WOW – we wonder who will turn up next?!
- 3rd May – save £350, only £2795
- 17th May – only £2895
This 5 star luxury resort on Bunaken Island delivers outstanding service both on land and in the sea. Set amid tranquil gardens, meander between the spa and freeform infinity pool. At the end of each relaxing day, the multi-level cocktail bar is the place to be before you make your way to dinner. Explore Bunaken’s stunning wall dives and coral fields, with optional mangrove and muck diving to boot.
Turks & Caicos Aggressor – save £600, only £1495
The Turks & Caicos Aggressor sleeps 18 guests in a range of well appointed cabins. At the end of the day, put your feet up with a sundowner at the wet bar. The freshly made food is served up in the dining area and the sun deck has a choice of shady and sunny spots so everyone can relax in peace between dives.
- 28th April – Save £600 Only £1495
- 12th May – Save £600 Only £1495
The Turks & Caicos Aggressor is a special kind of diving holiday in the Caribbean. Sail between the endless cays and islands in complete comfort, breaking up your day only to dive. The Provo to Provo itinerary offers outstanding wall diving with plenty of chances for pelagics from the comfort of your Aggressor liveaboard.
Oman Aggressor – only £1845 excl. flights
This is a fantastic introductory offer to dive the hot new region in Oman. Diving highlights are undoubtedly the opportunity to see the resident population of humpback whales but the islands are a paradise of untouched dive sites where whale sharks, dolphins, turtles, reef sharks and big balls of reef fish wait on pristine, unspoilt reefs.
- 21st April – save £750
- 2nd June – save £750
- 14th July – save £750
The Oman Aggressor is a fantastic 45m liveaboard with a range of stylish cabins all boasting aircon and ensuite bathrooms. For relaxation after your dives you have the choice of the large sundeck with shade, a jacuzzi and bar, or the spacious saloon area. Enjoy a variety of local Omani and international cuisine from the onboard chef.
Dive with a purpose – with the Carpe Fleet
There is a growing school of thought that the Maldivian ‘big three’ – whale sharks, manta rays and turtles – react to the changes in the monsoon seasons by moving to sites on the leeward side of the atolls. In May 2018, Carpe Novo will become a research platform for biologists from the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme providing them, and 20 lucky guests, an unprecedented opportunity to explore this phenomenon. The goal of this particular Dive with a Purpose expedition is to begin the 2018 southwest season’s data collection, documenting the movements of these iconic, yet enigmatic, animals.
The Rescue a Reef trips on Carpe Vita are accompanied by a Reef CPR marine biologist. Join these special weeks to help identify and remove crown of thorns from reef eco systems. All training will be given on board.
- 25th May – Whale Research
- 14th July – Rescue a REEF
- 8th Sept – Rescue a REEF
Give us a call on 0800 0728221 to find out more about these exciting expeditions!
Silent Reef Keepers: The Fight to Save the Caribbean Reef Shark
The Kingdom of the Netherlands will ask for increased protection for the Caribbean reef shark during next month’s Conference of Parties for the Cartagena Convention (COPs) on Aruba. Caribbean reef sharks play a critical role in maintaining a healthy reef ecosystem and building resilience within the oceans. This increased protection is critical for ensuring a sustainable future for this iconic species.
The Caribbean Sea is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and a dazzling array of marine life. Among the charismatic inhabitants of this underwater paradise is the Caribbean Reef Shark (Carcharhinus perezii), a species that plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of coral reef ecosystems. In the Dutch Caribbean, these apex predators face mounting threats, but there is hope on the horizon. At the upcoming Conference of Parties for the Cartagena Convention (COPs), the Kingdom of the Netherlands will seek increased protection for these magnificent creatures by listing this species on Annex III of the SPAW Protocol. Annex III includes plant and animal species which require additional protection to ensure this species is able to adequately recover their populations in the Wider Caribbean Region.
Caribbean reef sharks thrive in warm, tropical waters of the Caribbean region, with a distribution range that stretches from Florida to Brazil. This species is one of the most encountered reef shark species throughout the whole Caribbean Sea. Growing up to 3m (9.8ft) in length, this shark is one of the largest apex predators in the reef ecosystem and is at the top of the marine food web, having only a few natural predators.
In addition to being of great economic value, as shark diving is a major draw for divers from around the world, this species is also critical for maintaining balance within the reef ecosystem. Their presence helps regulate the population of smaller prey species, which in turn, prevents overgrazing on seagrass beds and coral reefs and eliminates sick or weak fish from the population. This balance is essential for maintaining the health and diversity of the entire coral reef.
Despite their ecological and economic significance, Caribbean reef sharks in the Caribbean face numerous threats that have led to a population reduction estimated to be between 50–79% over the past 29 years. In the (Dutch) Caribbean this is mainly caused by:
Habitat Degradation: The degradation of coral reefs and seagrass beds due to climate change, pollution, and coastal development has a direct impact on the availability of prey for these sharks. Loss of habitat reduces their ability to find food and shelter.
Overfishing: Overfishing poses one of the most immediate threats to Caribbean reef sharks. They are often caught incidentally in commercial fisheries, where fishermen are targeting other species, or intentionally, where they are sought after for their fins, used in shark fin soup.
A Call for Increased Protection
There are different organizations and individuals working to protect sharks and their habitats in the Dutch Caribbean. A significant milestone was the establishment of protected areas such as the Yarari Marine Mammal and Shark Sanctuary between Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius. Another milestone was in 2019 when the Dutch government adopted an International Shark Strategy. The strategy sets out which protective and management actions for sharks and rays are to be taken by the government in all seas and oceans where the Netherlands has influence (including the Dutch Caribbean). Additional efforts are still needed to create more marine protected areas, enhance enforcement, reduce pollution in the ocean, and promote sustainable fishing practices. These species know no (political) boundaries and their protection requires broadscale conservation efforts within the Dutch Caribbean and beyond.
The Caribbean reef shark is a species of paramount importance to the (Dutch) Caribbean’s coral reefs. With the extra protection being requested during the next COPS meeting in Aruba, there is hope that this species will have a healthy future. By recognizing their ecological significance and the challenges they face, we can work together to ensure a brighter future for the Caribbean Reef Shark in the Dutch Caribbean and beyond.
The Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA) supports science communication and outreach in the Dutch Caribbean region by making nature-related scientific information more widely available through amongst others the Dutch Caribbean Biodiversity Database, DCNA’s news platform BioNews and the press. This article contains the results from several scientific studies but the studies themselves are not DCNA studies. No rights can be derived from the content. DCNA is not liable for the content and the in(direct) impacts resulting from publishing this article.
Photo + photo credit: Jim Abernethy-all rights reserved
For more information, please contact: research@DCNAnature.org
Dive Pirates Foundation nominated for DEMA’s Community Champion Award, asking for DEMA Members to vote now!
Dive Pirates Foundation is proud to announce it has been nominated for DEMA’s 2023 Diving Community Champions award. The Foundation is asking all DEMA members to support the crew and vote to recognize the great efforts achieved in 2023!
Specifically, DPF is being recognized for this year’s “Find Your Inner Treasure” effort, which brought the world of scuba diving to 6 adults living with disabilities. Through this effort, the recipients – 5 of whom are military veterans – were equipped fully and trained by their local dive shops before enjoying a week-long dive trip to Cayman Brac Beach Resort. While at the resort, DPF provided additional volunteer instructors and adaptive buddies for all participants to dive adaptively alongside industry professionals and returning adaptive divers alike. For many of the new divers, these dives were their first open water diving experiences. By the end of the week, all new divers had completed more than a dozen open water dives, with some also earning their open water diver certification.
However, Dive Pirates’ “Find Your Inner Treasure” effort also provides something much more than a scuba diving trip: freedom. The new divers frequently used this word to describe the feeling of scuba diving, with many expressing that they thought diving was unattainable for them with their disability. For them, this trip was much more than a vacation. It was a confidence boost and validation of their ability.
New participants also found themselves welcomed into the Dive Pirates family and the dive community at large. Throughout the trip, DPF provided its participants new and old with fun events at the resort in order to build camaraderie and to promote a welcoming, inclusive environment for the 6 new divers. With the new members eager to return for future dives, as well as 8 past recipients, one stowaway adaptive diver, and other divers making this their vacation volunteer effort resulting in 64 travelers, 2023 marked another successful year for the Dive Pirates Foundation.
Now, DPF needs you to vote so they can be recognized for their amazing work! Voting closes October 12, 2023, at 4:00 pm US Pacific Time. DEMA members can vote for DPF here.
The Dive Pirates Foundation a 501(c)3 organization, positively impacts the lives of its recipients; injured military, first responders, law enforcement and others with mobile disabilities, by welcoming them into adaptive scuba diving which fosters accomplishment, self-worth and community. The Foundation trains, equips and conducts dive trips year-round to calm, warm-water locations for the safety of those with spinal cord injuries, networking with facilities willing to empower all participants with compassion and adaptation for a positive experience diving, team building and networking.
WIN a c-monsta Wetsuit Hanger!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with c-monsta to give away one of their wetsuit hangers as a prize!...
WIN a Sharkskin Performance 40L Duffle Bag!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Liquid Sports to give away a Sharkskin Performance 40L Duffle Bag as...
Win a Vasili Lights Fish Lantern!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with Vasili Lights to give away one of their beautiful Fish Lanterns! Inspired...
WIN a Beuchat Maxlux S Mask and Spy Snorkel!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Beuchat to give away Maxlux S Mask and Spy Snorkel!...
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