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Get into the Show Spirit with Regaldive

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UK based diving holiday specialist Regaldive is getting into the show spirit early this year with the launch of some fantastic deals and discounts, valid from today. With limited availability across most resorts, low deposits and early bird flight savings on offer, it really does pay for divers to book early this year.

Save up to 30% on Red Sea Liveaboards

Divers can benefit from a huge 30% discount on Red Sea liveaboards journeying on the M/Y Elite, M/Y Superior and M/Y Asmaa on selected dates in 2014 and 2015*.

Regaldive’s Classic Cruise, departing on 20th March 2015 and journeying on the M/Y Superior, now costs from just £799 per person, including flights. Starting in Hurghada and sailing north, the liveaboard offers a perfect combination of reef and wreck diving. Divers can explore the famous horseshoe shaped reef of Shaab El Erg; discover the Giannis D, Thistlegorm, Carnatic, lentil wreck and tile wreck; visit ‘Shark Reef’ and undertake some night dives along the way. The price includes flights, transfers, full board accommodation, six days diving, guide, tanks, weights, Nitrox and Marine Park fees. For those who want to arrange their own flights, the package now costs from £429 per person, boat only.

To see the full range of Red Sea Liveaboard show offers, click here.

Save on Red Sea dive packs and courses

Regaldive customers, whether they are experienced divers or complete beginners, can benefit from savings on dive packs and dive courses with Emperor Divers and Orca Dive Clubs**:

Red Sea Dive Inclusive Packages from £145 per person

Regaldive is offering a range of great value Red Sea dive inclusive packages, costing from just £145 per person for selected dates in 2014***.

Seven nights’ at the Falcon Naama Star in Sharm El Sheikh cost from just £489 per person to include flights, transfers, seven nights’ hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis and three days boat diving. The package costs from £145 per person without flights.

Seven nights’ at the Resta Club Marina View in Marsa Alam cost from £499 per person to include flights, transfers, seven nights’ hotel accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis and three days boat diving. The package costs from £155 per person without flights.

Seven nights’ at the Concorde Moreen Beach Resort in Marsa Alam cost from £679 per person to include flights, transfers, seven nights’ hotel accommodation on an all-inclusive basis and three days house reef diving. The package costs from £325 per person without flights.

Seven nights’ at the Zabargad Berenice Resort in Hamata cost from £699 per person to include flights, transfers, seven nights’ hotel accommodation on an all-inclusive basis and three days house reef diving. The package costs from £249 without flights.

Seven nights’ at the Wadi Lahami Azur Resort in Hamata cost from £789 per person to include flights, transfers, seven nights’ hotel accommodation on an all-inclusive basis and three days house reef diving. The package costs from £338 without flights.

Andreas Elia, Managing Director of Regaldive, commented “With such huge savings on offer, we’ve decided to launch our dive show discounts early this year so that divers have as much time as possible to take advantage of them.”

He continued, “Regaldive will be exhibiting at the Destinations Show in Earls Court this weekend, at the Outdoors Show in ExCel on 14th – 16th February, and at the London International Dive Show in ExCel on 15th – 16th February. These great offers aren’t just for people visiting the shows however. If you can’t make it, visit our website or give us a call on +44 (0)1353 659 999 for further information”.

For further information, or to book, visit www.regaldive.co.uk or call +(0)1353 659 999.

*Offers valid for new bookings between 1st February and 4th March, 2014.

**Emperor Divers offer valid for departures between 15th February and 26th December 2014. Book by 24th February 2014. Orca Dive Clubs offer valid for departures between 15th February and 26th October 2014. Book by 28th February 2014.

***Offers valid for new bookings between 1st and 24th February, 2014.

Regaldive will be on stand AA80 at Destinations (Earl’s Court) from 7th – 9th February, 2014.

Regaldive will be on stand AT242 at the Outdoors Show (ExCel) from 14th – 16th February, 2014.

Regaldive will be on stand 410 at the London International Dive Show (ExCel) from 15th – 16th February, 2014.

Marine Life & Conservation

Ghost Fishing UK land the prize catch at the Fishing News Awards

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The charity Ghost Fishing UK was stunned to win the Sustainability Award.

The winners were selected by a panel of industry judges and the award recognises innovation and achievement in improving sustainability and environmental responsibility within the UK or Irish fishing industries in 2021.

Nominees must have demonstrated a unique and innovative response to an environmental sustainability issue within the UK or Irish industry, demonstrating that the project has gone above and beyond standard practice, and provided evidence of its impact. The judges look particularly for projects that have influenced a significant change in behaviour and/or that have inspired broader awareness and/or engagement.

Ghost Fishing UK originated in 2015, training voluntary scuba divers to survey and recover lost fishing gear, with the aim to either return it to the fishing industry or recycle it. The charity is run entirely by volunteers and has gone from strength to strength, only last year winning the Best Plastic Campaign at the Plastic Free Awards.

Now, the charity has also been recognised at seemingly the opposite end of the spectrum. This is a unique achievement as trustee Christine Grosart explains;

We have always held the belief that working with the fishing industry is far more productive than being against it, in terms of achieving our goals to reduce and remove lost fishing gear.

The positive response to our fisheries reporting system that we received from both the fishing industry and the marine environment sector, was evidence that working together delivers results.

The feedback we got from the awards evening and the two-day Scottish Skipper Expo where we had an exhibit the following day, was that the fishing industry despises lost fishing gear as much as we do and the fishers here are very rarely at fault. It is costly to them to lose gear and they will make every effort to get it back, but sometimes they can’t. That is where we come in, to try to help. Everyone wins, most of all the environment. You can’t ask for much more.”

Following the awards, Ghost Fishing UK held an exhibit at the Scottish Skipper expo at the new P&J Live exhibition centre in Aberdeen.

This gave us a fantastic opportunity to meet so many people in the fishing industry, all of whom were highly supportive of our work and wanted to help us in any way they could. This has opened so many opportunities for the charity and our wish list which has been on the slow burner for the last 7 years, was exceeded in just 3 days. We came away from the events exhausted, elated, humbled, grateful and most of all, excited.”

Trustee and Operations Officer, Fred Nunn, is in charge of the diving logistics such as arranging boats and organising the divers, who the charity trains in house, to give up their free time to volunteer.

He drove from Cornwall to attend the awards and the exhibition: “What a crazy and amazing few days up in Scotland! It was awesome to meet such a variety of different people throughout the industry, who are all looking at different ways of improving the sustainability and reduction of the environmental impact of the fishing industry.

It was exciting to have so many people from the fishing industry approaching us to find out more about what we do, but also what they could offer. Fishermen came to us with reports and offers of help, using their vessels and other exhibitors tried to find ways that their product or service could assist in our mission.”

  • Ghost Fishing UK uses hard boat charters from Cornwall to Scotland for the diving projects, paying it forward to the diving community.
  • The charity relies on reports of lost fishing gear from the diving and fishing community and to date has received well over 200 reports, culminating on over 150 survey and ghost gear recovery dives, amounting to over 1000 individual dives and diver hours by the volunteer team members.
  • You can find more information at ghostfishing.co.uk
  • If you are a fisher who knows of any lost fishing gear, you can report it to the charity here: ghostfishing.co.uk/fishermans-reporting
  • The charity is heading to Shetland for a week-long project in the summer of 2023. If you would like to support this project, please contact them at: info@ghostfishing.co.uk

Chair of Ghost Fishing UK and professional technical diving instructor Dr Richard Walker was immensely proud of the team’s achievements;

I’ve been a scuba diver since 1991 and have met thousands of divers in that time. I’d be hard pushed to think of one of them that wasn’t concerned about conservation of our marine environment. To be recognised by the fishing industry for our efforts in sustainability is a huge honour for us, and has encouraged our team to work even harder to find, survey and remove lost fishing gear from the seas. The fact that the fishing industry recognises our efforts, and appreciates our stance as a group that wants to work alongside them is one of the highlights of our charity’s history, and we look forward to building the relationship further.

To find out more about Ghost Fishing UK visit their website here.


All images: Ghost Fishing UK

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Marine Life & Conservation

Komodo National Park found to be Manta Hotspot

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Through a collaborative effort between citizen divers, scientists from the Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF), and Murdoch University, a new study reports a large number of manta rays in the waters of Komodo National Park, Indonesian, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, suggesting the area may hold the key to regional recovery of the threatened species.

Reef mantas (Mobula alfredi), which grow up to 5m, tend to reside and feed in shallow, coastal habitats. They also visit ‘cleaning stations’ on coral reefs to have parasites, or dead skin picked off by small fish. Courtship ‘trains’ are also observed adjacent to cleaning stations. In Komodo National Park, manta rays are present year-round, challenging the famous Komodo dragon as the most sought-after megafauna for visitors.

Scientists teamed up with the dive operator community to source identification photographs of manta rays visiting the parks’ waters and submit them to MantaMatcher.org – a crowdsourced online database for mantas and other rays. Most of the photographs came from just four locations from over 20 commonly visited by tourism boats.

I was amazed by how receptive the local dive community was in helping collect much-needed data on these threatened animals,” said lead author Dr. Elitza Germanov. “With their support, we were able to identify over 1,000 individual manta rays from over 4,000 photographs.

People love manta rays—they are one of the most iconic animals in our oceans. The rise of the number of people engaging in SCUBA diving, snorkeling, and the advent of affordable underwater cameras meant that photos and videos taken by the public during their holidays could be used to quickly and affordably scale data collection,” said MMF co-founder and study co-author Dr. Andrea Marshall.

The photographs’ accompanying time and location data is used to construct sighting histories of individual manta rays, which can then be analyzed with statistical movement models. These models predict the likelihood that manta rays are inhabiting or traveling in between specific sites. The study’s results showed that some manta rays moved around the park and others as far as the Nusa Penida MPA (>450 km to the west), but overall, manta rays showed individual preferences for specific sites within the Park.

I found it very interesting how some manta rays appear to prefer spending their time in some sites more than others, even when sites are 5 km apart, which are short distances for manta rays,” said Dr. Elitza Germanov. “This means that manta rays which prefer sites where fishing activities continue to occur or that are more popular with tourism will endure greater impacts.”

Fishing activities have been prohibited in many coastal areas within Komodo NP since 1984, offering some protection to manta rays prior to the 2014 nationwide protection. However, due to illegal fishing activity and manta ray movements into heavily fished waters, manta rays continue to face a number of threats from fisheries. About 5% of Komodo’s manta rays have permanent injuries that are likely the result of encounters with fishing gear.

The popularity of tourism to these sites grew by 34% during the course of the study. An increase in human activity can negatively impact manta rays and their habitats. In 2019, the Komodo National Park Authority introduced limits on the number of boats and people that visit one of the most famous manta sites.

This study shows that the places where tourists commonly observe manta rays are important for the animals to feed, clean, and mate. This means that the Komodo National Park should create measures to limit the disturbance at these sites,” said Mr. Ande Kefi, an employee of the Komodo National Park involved with this study. “I hope that this study will encourage tourism operators to understand the need for the regulations already imposed and increase compliance.”

Despite Indonesia’s history with intensive manta ray fisheries, Komodo National Park still retains large manta ray aggregations that with careful ongoing management and threat reduction will benefit regional manta ray populations. The study highlights that marine protected areas that are large enough to host important manta ray habitats are a beneficial tool for manta ray conservation.

For more information about MMF visit their website here.

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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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