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New Red Sea liveaboard: M/Y Scuba Scene

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Introducing M/Y Scuba Scene, the latest diving liveaboard setting the highest standards for liveaboards in the Egyptian Red Sea, with regards to comfort, safety, attention to detail, honesty and transparency. M/Y Scuba Scene is available exclusively in the UK through Oyster Diving.

Beautifully laid-out and appointed across her four decks, the 43m, steel hulled Scuba Scene is both spacious and comfortable – with each cabin affording guests their own fridge, en-suite bathroom and air-conditioning.

Other on-board facilities include two large ice machines, sundecks, bar, professional coffee and espresso maker, camera tables, as well as lots of international power charging stations and places to store valuables. While a washing machine and dryer mean guests can bring fewer clothes to reduce their luggage weight or bring more of their diving kit!

When it comes to safety, Scuba Scene is fitted to the most rigorous safety standards, including life jackets, life rafts, oxygen and medical first aid, as well as smoke detectors, fire alarms and fire extinguishing systems across the boat.

But what really sets this liveaboard apart is the team who run it, two of the most well-known faces in Red Sea Diving, Ahmed Fadel and Dr. Elke Bojanowski.

Ahmed, an experienced Tech instructor up to Advanced Trimix, has been a guide on liveaboards for over 21 years and is the author of the book ‘Southern Red Sea Dive Guide’.

Elke, having completing her Ph.D in marine biology, set up and now runs the Red Sea Shark Trust, which today boasts the biggest database for Oceanic Whitetip Sharks in the world. Little wonder she is better known to many as ‘The Shark Lady’.

Elke’s shark weeks are renowned for her fascinating talks; underwater she seems to attract the sharks and is only too happy to share her passion and knowledge.

Since January 2019, all dive guides working on Liveaboards in the Egyptian Red Sea have had to attend a mandatory seminar on guidelines and safe diving practices for interactions with Oceanic Whitetip Sharks. The seminar was written and presented by Elke and has been attended by more than 1400 guides and other dive professionals to date.

Both Ahmed and Elke will be running trips focusing on their respective specialities, Tech and sharks, offering additional information and education for their guests on-board Scuba Scene.

A week on Scuba Scene is about having an experience you can cherish and remember forever. Itineraries include Brothers, Daedalus & Elphinstone, Daedulus & St. Johns, Shark Weeks, photography weeks with Duxy, and classic North & Tiran trips. All itineraries are tech-friendly, and special Tech trips are on offer.

Prices start from £1,000 per person for a week including transfers to/from the airport, 7 nights’ accommodation in a twin room, meals and snacks, water, soft drinks, tea & coffee, 12ltr tank and weights, marine park and port fees.

Mark Murphy, the Managing Director of Oyster Diving told us:

“We are thrilled to be working with Ahmed and Elke, and Scuba Scene. We have run many trips with them over the years and customers always tell us how fantastic they are and what an amazing experience they’ve had. The fact that they now manage their own liveaboard means they can introduce all of the finer details that customers have told us they would like over the years but aren’t on existing Red Sea liveaboards. We can’t wait to start sending people on their incredible adventures so they can experience the best way to see one of the world’s greatest diving destinations.”

Due to the still fragile situation of the travel market – even after implementing the new traffic light system with its three-weekly reviews, Oyster Diving are opening up bookings for their dive safaris on board M/Y Scuba Scene in Egypt from October 2021 only.

Divers making bookings at this point are not required to make any deposits, but will be expected to honor their reservations, unless Egypt’s status changes from amber to red at any point from their booking until the departure of the trip.

Divers are encouraged to arrange any bookings through Oyster Diving, giving them the option to book packages including flights while enjoying the financial protection of a fully bonded tour operator.

As Ahmed Fadel, technical instructor and manager of M/Y Scuba Scene explains: “We strongly feel, that this is the most honest and fair way to deal with our valued guests in this period.”

The 2021 & 2022 schedules are published on the Scuba Scene website at www.scubasceneliveaboard.com/trip-schedule.

Or visit www.oysterdiving.com/trip/scuba-scene-egypt or call 0800 699 0243 for more information.

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Diving Redefined: Introducing NovoScuba

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novoscubaAttention all underwater enthusiasts, mermaids, and those who just really enjoy wearing fins! Brace yourselves for the splashiest news in the industry: NovoScuba has burst onto the scuba diving scene like a seal on a beach ball!

Move over, PADI, SSI, SDI, NAUI, RAID, and whoever else is lurking in the depths, because there’s a new fish in town!

But seriously, what gives? Why does NovoScuba think they can swim with the big fish? Are they secretly training dolphins? Are their wetsuits made of magic? Stay tuned as we uncover the mysteries of this underwater revolution!

The team at NovoScuba isn’t just your average squad – we’re a crew of dive store owners, managers, trainers, and pros. We’ve danced with the sharks and wrestled with the currents, so when it comes to the diving industry’s pain points, we’re definitely no strangers. But let’s be real: while existing agencies are stuck in the stone age, we’re here to embrace the 21st century. In a world where even fish have Instagram accounts, the diving industry needs to catch up or sink like a lead weight!

It’s time to challenge a change. Leveraging technology and introducing a breakthrough business model, and digitally native platform, NovoScuba aims to become the most innovative training agency to date.

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Here’s a snapshot of what NovoScuba has up their sleeve for dive pros, managers/owners and students alike.

Owners 

  • Pay as you certify system
  • Fully developed digital course materials in multiple languages
  • No stock required
  • Monthly or annual membership fees
  • Business support and advice FOC
  • 24/7 support. Feedback orientated. Fast response and fast adapting
  • ISO Certified
  • Pain free and low cost transition to NovoScuba
  • Your business, your choice. No exclusivity expected or required
  • Pay in your local currency
  • Our automated system keeps your admin to a minimum. Less time on paperwork cuts costs and gives you more time to focus on your business
  • Co-marketing, advertising and support

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Pros

  • Monthly membership fees
  • Intelligent online log book that automatically updates student records
  • One click certifications
  • Flexible training – student-centric/instructor trusted
  • Easy and inexpensive crossover
  • Pause your membership when you’re not teaching
  • Pro insurance / legal support
  • Job vacancy board

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Students

  • Modern, relevant course materials
  • Fully developed and interactive digital learning
  • Accessible across any digital platform
  • Instant community and support
  • Monthly subscription granting access to all course materials
  • Digital log book for life
  • Streamlined subscription process – minimum admin

novoscuba

What else symbolises the NovoScuba dedication to excellence?

In an era where every other company boasts about being as green as a broccoli smoothie, it’s easy to tune out the noise of eco-friendly claims. But hold your seahorses! NovoScuba isn’t just another fish in the sea of greenwashing. We’re not just dipping our toes in the sustainability pool – we’ve cannonballed straight into it! B-Corp pending, we’re not just talking the talk; we’re doing the fins-on-the-ground work. With a net zero impact that even Captain Planet would applaud, our conservation efforts aren’t some distant pipe dream. Nope, we’re getting our hands wet right in our own diving communities, because let’s face it, saving the planet is a whole lot easier when you can do it in your own backyard – or in this case, your own coral reef!

It’s time to dive into the 21st century and embrace a new, innovative and intelligent training agency. One that fully understands that your success is needed in order for us to succeed. One that is 100% committed to your needs and will grow and adapt in order to keep meeting the challenges of the industry. Welcome to the new age of training. Welcome to NovoScuba – Diving Redefined.

For more information, email info@novoscuba.com or visit www.novoscuba.com.

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Preserving Paradise: Seacology’s Island Conservation Mission

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seacology

Islands are not just pieces of land surrounded by water; they are sanctuaries of biodiversity, cradles of unique cultures, and vital components of our planet’s ecological balance. However, these paradises face numerous threats ranging from habitat destruction to climate change. Recognizing the urgency of protecting these fragile ecosystems, Seacology has emerged as a beacon of hope, championing the preservation of island habitats worldwide while empowering local communities. In this article, we are diving into Seacology’s mission, its global impact, and its generous support for key conservation initiatives in Curaçao.

The Seacology Story:

Seacology, founded in 1991 by Dr. Paul Alan Cox (American ethnobotanist), operates on a simple yet powerful principle: conservation through collaboration. Unlike traditional conservation organizations, Seacology adopts a community-driven approach, partnering directly with island communities to address their needs while safeguarding precious ecosystems.

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At the heart of Seacology’s philosophy lies the belief that sustainable conservation can only be achieved by empowering those who depend on the natural resources of their islands. By working hand in hand with local stakeholders, Seacology fosters a sense of ownership and stewardship, ensuring long-term protection for vital habitats.

A Global Impact of Seacology

Since its inception, Seacology has made remarkable strides in protecting island ecosystems across the globe. Through innovative projects and strategic partnerships, the organization has conserved millions of acres of marine and terrestrial habitat, spanning more than 60 countries.

What sets Seacology apart is its holistic approach, which integrates conservation efforts with community development initiatives. By providing tangible benefits such as clean water, education, and healthcare, Seacology incentivizes local communities to actively participate in conservation efforts, forging a sustainable path towards coexistence with nature.

Curaçao: A Jewel in the Caribbean Crown

Located in the crystalline waters of the Southern Caribbean Sea, Curaçao boasts stunning coral reefs, lush mangroves, and vibrant marine life. However, like many island nations, Curaçao faces a myriad of challenges including overfishing, habitat degradation, and climate change impacts.

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In 2024, Seacology’s commitment to island conservation took center stage in Curaçao, where the organization provided generous support for three key initiatives: Reef Renewal Curaçao, Sea Turtle Conservation Curaçao, and the Queen Conch Hatchery. Additionally, Seacology provided additional funding to advance sustainable fishing practices through educational programs.

Reef Renewal Curaçao

Coral reefs are the lifeblood of marine ecosystems, supporting a quarter of all marine species despite occupying less than 1% of the ocean floor. However, these invaluable ecosystems are under siege from rising sea temperatures, pollution, and destructive fishing practices.

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Reef Renewal Curaçao, a flagship project supported by Seacology, aims to reverse the decline of coral reefs by implementing innovative coral propagation and restoration techniques. By engaging local communities in reef restoration efforts, Seacology is optimistic that their support will enable Reef Renewal Curaçao to continue their important work revitalizingd amaged ecosystems and fostering a sense of stewardship among residents.

Sea Turtle Conservation Curaçao

For millions of years, sea turtles have roamed the world’s oceans, serving as keystone species and indicators of ecosystem health. Yet, these ancient mariners face numerous threats including habitat loss, poaching, and accidental capture in fishing gear.

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In collaboration with Sea Turtle Conservation Curaçao, Seacology is supporting their efforts to protect Curaçao’s sea turtle populations through research, monitoring, and community outreach. By raising awareness about the importance of sea turtles and implementing measures to mitigate threats, Seacology is aiding Sea Turtle Conservation Curaçao to safeguard these iconic creatures for future generations to admire.

The Queen Conch Hatchery

Conch, revered for their succulent meat and ornate shells, are a cultural and culinary staple in many island communities. However, unregulated harvesting has led to depleted populations, jeopardizing both ecological balance and traditional livelihoods.

In Curaçao, Seacology’s support for the Queen Conch Hatchery initiative aims to conserve dwindling conch populations through captive breeding and sustainable harvesting practices. By collaborating with local fishermen and authorities, Seacology is helping to ensure that conch populations thrive while preserving cultural traditions and supporting coastal communities.

The project “Conquer the Future” is investigating the mortality and growth of Queen Conch juveniles, cultured at Curacao Sea Aquarium, after they have been outplanted in the wild. These experiments with small numbers of Queen Conch will take place in both Curaçao (Spanish Water) and Bonaire (Lac Bay). WWF-Dutch Caribbean is the main sponsor of this project, Seacology is the co-sponsor.

Advancing Sustainable Fishing Practices

Fishing is an integral part of Curaçao’s economy and culture, but unsustainable practices have led to overfishing and the depletion of key fish species. Recognizing the need for change, Seacology has provided a grant to the Federation of Cooperative Production (FKUP) to support innovative educational programs aimed at promoting sustainable fishing practices.

Through this initiative, Seacology hopes to instill a sense of environmental stewardship among local fishers. The educational programs focus on teaching sustainable fishing techniques, such as selective gear use, seasonal restrictions, and size limits, which help protect juvenile fish and allow populations to recover. Additionally, the programs emphasize the importance of marine conservation, the impact of overfishing on the ecosystem, and the benefits of sustainable practices for future generations.

seacology

By supporting the FKUP, Seacology is helping to ensure that local fishers have the knowledge and resources to adopt sustainable practices. This not only helps preserve fish stocks and marine biodiversity but also secures the livelihoods of fishing communities in the long term.

WWF-Dutch Caribbean supported in 2023 the first round of the sustainable fishing training organized by FKUP in Curaçao. Due to lack of budget at WWF-DC, FKUP has been looking for another sponsor for this training. They found Seacology to fund more training.

A Beacon of Hope for Island Conservation

In a world grappling with environmental crises, Seacology stands as a shining example of what can be achieved through passion, perseverance, and partnership. By empowering island communities, Seacology not only protects precious ecosystems but also enriches lives and preserves cultural heritage.

As we navigate the uncertain waters of the 21st century, organizations like Seacology remind us that the fate of our planet lies in our hands. Through collective action and unwavering dedication, we can safeguard the treasures of our islands and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.

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