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Grenada Dive Fest – Our first taste of diving the Spice Island

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After a stunning start to our Pure Grenada Dive Fest adventures on the smaller island of Carriacou, it was time for our first dives on the main island. And what a day we had planned – with 3 dives in the day and a night dive to look forward to.

We started the day meeting up with the team at ScubaTech who cater for both recreational and technical divers from their base at the Calabash Hotel. After a bit of discussion, we decided on a reef and a wreck for our two morning dives and headed out for a short boat ride to a site called Purple Rain. A great name for a dive site, that had us humming all the way round, especially when we saw how it got its name, as a huge school of Creole Wrasse descended on us.

Our second dive was on the Tyrrel Bay wreck, a recent addition to the huge fleet of wrecks that have made the diving here famous. It was sunk in 2018, and yet already had signs of life taking hold. The famous compass has a coral fringe and glass fish patrol the rooms within. The wreck lies just off the reef and so once we had explored the wreck fully, we made our way to the shallows along the reef, prolonging our dive time. In just a single morning set of dives, we had already seen why divers flock to the fabulous island.

The ScubaTech guys had dropped us off on the beach in front of Eco Dive Grenada and helped us with our gear, so we had time for a quick lunch from an eco-friendly vegan take away restuarant and we were ready for more diving. News of our love of frogfish had reached the team and so they took us out to a dive site where their resident photographer had found some the day before – Flamingo Bay. This is an easy going, shallow dive site with a mixture of reef and sandy seabed to explore. Sure enough, tucked under a sponge, there was well camouflaged frogfish for us to enjoy.

Our final dive of the day was to be a night dive on the wreck of the Veronica L. This was a dive we were really excited about, as we had heard it is covered in orange cup corals that open up in all their glory as the sun goes down. It exceeded expectations! While Christie modeled for Nick, I went in search of little critters and found tiny crabs covering the sponges, while octopus hunted them. We had to be dragged back to the surface!

After a truly wonderful day of diving the wrecks and reefs of Grenada, our perfect day was topped off by visiting the first craft ale brewery on the island, the West Indies Beer Company. Great beer, food & live music with friends made for a perfect end to our day.


Read more about our trip to Grenada in the new WINTER 2020 edition of Dive Travel Adventures magazine! You can find out where you can obtain your personal printed copy HERE or download a digital version for free, right HERE!

If you want to join in on all the fun at Pure Grenada Dive Fest 2020, save the date: 3rd – 9th October 2020. Watch out for more information coming soon here.

For more information on Grenada visit the Pure Grenada website by clicking here.

Dive Centres featured in this blog:

ScubaTech

Eco Dive Grenada

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

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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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