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Forgotten photos of UK diving pioneers found in New Zealand

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Photographs that had been hidden away for decades on the other side of the world have helped scuba divers in Yorkshire remember how they pioneered the sport 60 years ago.

The pictures of members of the York branch of the British Sub Aqua-Club (BSAC) were discovered by the daughter of one of its founders at her home in Wellington in New Zealand.

Tom Allinson, who died in 2004, emigrated with his family to New Zealand in 1971. But his daughter Wendy has been able to revive his links with the club after finding a batch of photos of the divers in action. She found a contact for the club on the internet and emailed the pictures.

She said: “I was searching through old papers when I came across the old photos from the club, all with notes on the back about where they had been taken – they were fascinating. I am so pleased to be able to share them after all these years with others.”

The images have brought back happy memories for founder members Bernard Wilding and Denis Moor who helped set the club up in 1956 along with Mr Allinson. Both men, who feature in some of the photographs, had lost contact with Mr Allinson when he moved to New Zealand four decades ago with his wife Noreen and their two young children.

Mr Moor said: “It was a great surprise to hear that Tom’s daughter had been in touch and even more of a surprise when she sent the photos over. It really brought back a lot of memories for myself and the other club members. Tom was one of the first members to become a professional diver and worked on all sorts of dives.”

He added: “For me, scuba diving was an exciting thing – it was the early days of the sport, and an adventure. I’d always liked swimming and wanted to give it a go, so I joined the club. I was 30 at the time, and married with children, so it became a social club for me and my wife Jean as well. Tom’s photos really took me back to the early days when the equipment was very basic – things are so different today. Then it was just fins, a mask and a snorkel, without any weights. The breathing tanks were initially just small oxygen tanks, like the ones that pilots had on planes, which we refilled each time.”

For fellow club founder Mr Wilding, a grandfather-of-three from Dringhouses, the old photos brought back memories of the early days when the club was known as York Underwater Research Group.

He said: “We needed 10 members to become a branch of BSAC and finally we got people to put the money up – and so we officially became the 50th BSAC branch.”

Read more of this story here.

 

Source: www.yorkshirepost.co.uk

Marine Life & Conservation

The Big Shark Pledge: Shark Trust’s new campaign kicks off with a call for support

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With the ink still drying on last week’s landmark listing of nearly 100 species of sharks on Appendix II of CITES, the Shark Trust insists that this is not the time for shark conservation to take a break. The UK-based NGO this week launches its biggest-ever concerted campaign to tackle the overfishing of oceanic sharks. They are calling on people across the world to join the call for stricter controls on high seas fisheries.

The Big Shark Pledge is at the heart of an ambitious set of campaign actions. Working to secure science-based catch limits on all sharks and rays affected by the international high seas fishing fleet. The pledge will build the largest campaigning community in shark and ray conservation history to support a raft of policy actions over the vital years ahead.

Many of our best known and much-loved sharks make their home on the high seas. In our shared ocean, these oceanic sharks and rays face a very real threat from a huge international fleet of industrial-scale fishing vessels. Research published in early 2021 confirmed that over three-quarters of oceanic sharks and rays are now at risk of extinction due to the destructive impact of overfishing. They have declined by 71% over the last 50 years.

The Shark Trust is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year and has a long history of securing positive changes for sharks, skates and rays. The Big Shark Pledge will build on the success of their NoLimits? campaign which underpinned landmark catch limits on Blue Sharks and Shortfin Mako in the North Atlantic.

While the listing of so many species on the CITES trade agreement is certainly a positive step, there remains a huge challenge in ensuring that sustainable practices are embedded in international fisheries.” says Shark Trust Director of conservation, Ali Hood. “Sharks on the high seas face extraordinary pressure from excessive fishing practices. This has to be addressed through international agreements such as those secured for Blues and makos.”

There is hope and a feeling of momentum in the shark conservation community. Just last week, in addition to the new CITES listings, the Shark Trust, working with partners in the Shark League, secured the first-ever international quota for South Atlantic Mako at ICCAT meeting in Portugal. The new campaign from the Shark Trust aims to push forwards from here, engaging a wave of support through the Big Shark Pledge to bolster policy action.

This will be a long-term international and collaborative effort. Forging a pathway to rebuild populations of high-seas sharks and rays. By putting science at the heart of shark conservation and fisheries management. And making the vital changes needed to set populations on the road to recovery.

Shark Trust CEO Paul Cox says of the Big Shark Pledge “It’s designed to give everyone who cares about the future of sharks the chance to add their voice to effective and proven conservation action. By adding their name to the Pledge, supporters will be given opportunities to apply pressure at key moments to influence change.

Click here to sign the Big Shark Pledge

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Miscellaneous Blogs

Jeff chats to… Craig Waller, Underwater Lighting Technician on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Craig Waller, Underwater Lighting Technician on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Craig is a Key Grip and Lighting Director with 10,000s of hours of Set Experience.

In Craig’s own words:

I started my career when I was in my first year of college.  I always had that creative side of the brain that needed to be followed as a career.  I thought that would be in designing engineering pieces but wasn’t happy about the idea of an office cubicle and drafting table.

I accidentally found my way onto a big commercial job for a week and decided “THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO”.   I made it my career after that. This is a quick list of recent and big projects in my 35 yrs of TV / Film / Photography.

Most Recently:

  • “Black Panther 2” – UW Lighting Technician / 2nd Unit Underwater Team
  • “Stranger Things” Season 4 – UW Lighting Technician / 2nd Unit Underwater Team
  • “Suicide Squad 2” – UW Gaffer / 2nd Unit Underwater Team
  • NASCAR / FOX Sports 1 – Network TV Lighting Director – 7 years / 700 races of Live BIG track TV shows
  • 10,000s of commercials / music videos / tv shows

I started diving when I was 18 years old with my OW and then AOW with PADI. I was diving with lots of friends in the late 80s and early 90s and then moved onto Kayaking. I got my daughter into diving when she turned 14 and have picked up where I left off.

I have approx 5000 dives now and spend most of my free time diving.

Here are my certs:

  • OW – AOW 1989
  • Adv Nitrox / Deco 2020
  • Cavern – Intro Cave 2021
  • CCR Tech – Fathom – 2021

You can find out more at www.craigwaller.com


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

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