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Marine Life & Conservation

New series: Intro to REEFS GO LIVE with The Central Caribbean Marine Institute – CCMI (Watch Video)

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Introduced by Jeff Goodman…

Exploring a coral reef is beyond the experience and possibly dreams of many people, especially younger ones. Seeing and knowing the incredible diversity and complexity of marine life is exciting and enlightening in both vocational and educational ways.

With today’s incredible advances in communication technology, we are now able to communicate ‘live’ with divers underwater from anywhere in the world. The Central Caribbean Marine Institute – CCMI are doing just that!

As our reefs and greater oceans are being stripped of wildlife, it is important that we learn more about these unique habitats and species before they are beyond saving. With CCMI, students are able to talk with marine scientists diving on a coral reef, in real time from anywhere in the word.

Baba Dioum, a Senegalese forestry engineer born in 1937, famously once said: “In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand and we will understand only what we are taught.”

Covid -19 is affecting us all and as a result CCMI have told me that at present, they cannot confirm when they will be running more live broadcasts but all the previously run broadcasts are available.

Let me introduce you to CCMI ‘Reefs Go Live’ and over the coming weeks, Scubaverse will be a showing a selection of past programme videos and keeping you up to date for future events.

REEFS GO LIVE

As terrestrial beings, most people are challenged to understand the unique processes of the ocean or even fathom being able to take the plunge and dive below the waves. Among the challenges is that urban, rural and geographically land-locked people perceive the ocean to be a distant place beyond their reach. In addition, scientists are often conducting research on relevant topics at remote locations where it is virtually impossible for the majority of the general public to gain a first-hand experience. This reality creates enormous financial, logistical, physical constraints on bringing people into the field where they can directly explore the ocean.

CCMI’s education team has developed a transformational, interactive education programme using Virtual Live Experiences (VLEs) methods to connect students and the public to real-time coral reef activity, in an informal science setting. Scientists use high tech face masks and streaming computer equipment to deliver live lessons from the underwater and lab environment. Innovative technology enables VLEs to reduce barriers to learning by communicating interactive ‘real-life’ experiences in an informal, scalable science setting.

The project is structured to deliver curriculum-relevant lessons which are currently oriented to the Cayman Islands and UK national science curriculum for students in year 5 and year 6 classrooms, and which can be streamed directly anywhere in the world. This groundbreaking work was piloted in local schools initially and has the potential to become an international project, as students have tuned in from Bermuda, the UK, Peru and the United States.


Do you want your students to be a part of this adventure below the waves? Contact CCMI here and look for the Reefs Go Live videos to be posted here and on CCMI’s YouTube channel.

Visit https://reefresearch.org/what-we-do/education/reefs-go-live/ for more information!

Jeff Goodman is the Editor-at-Large for Scubaverse.com with responsibility for conservation and underwater videography. Jeff is an award-winning TV wildlife and underwater cameraman and film maker who lives in Cornwall, UK. With over 10,000 dives to his credit he has dived in many different environments around the world.

Marine Life & Conservation

Video Series: The CCMI Reef Lectures – Part 4 (Watch Video)

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Introduced by Jeff Goodman

Never before since human beings have had major influence over our earths climate and environments, have we come to so close to the brink of global disaster for our seas and marine life. We need to act now if we are not going to crash headlong into irreversible scenarios.

A good start to this is understanding how the marine environment works and what it means to our own continued survival. We can only do this by listening and talking to those with the experience and knowledge to guide us in the right direction.

CCMI (Central Caribbean Marine Institute) are hosting an annual Reef Lecture series that is open to the general public and Scubaverse will be sharing those lectures over the coming months.


Part 4: Stop Whining! Life as an Ocean Ambassador; Ellen Cuylaerts

Ellen Cuylaerts shares her insights on how to act, practice what you preach and use your voice to contribute to constructive change. Ellen is a wildlife and underwater photographer and chooses to take images of subjects that are hard to encounter like harp seal pups, polar bears, orcas, beluga whales and sharks, to name a few. By telling the stories about their environment and the challenges they face, she raises awareness about the effect of climate change on arctic species, the cruel act of shark finning and keeping marine mammals in captivity.

During this seminar, Ellen will take you on a virtual trip and show you the stories behind the shots: how to get there, how to prepare, how to create the most chances to come home with a shot, and how to never give up!

Ellen Cuylaerts is an ocean advocate, underwater & wildlife photographer, explorer, and public speaker.


For more information about the CCMI click here.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Fit filters in washing machines and slow the tide of ocean plastic

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The Marine Conservation Society’s Stop Ocean Threads campaign, which is calling for all new washing machines to be fitted with microfibre filters, by law, by 2024, aims to stop plastic pollution at source by filtering microscopic plastics from washing machine waste water.

To date the charity’s petition has been signed by over 12,000 people. The petition calls on government to introduce legislation which requires all new washing machines to be fitted with microfibre filters by law. Now, the charity is taking direct action and encouraging supporters to tweet washing machine manufacturers, putting pressure on them to fit filters on all new washing machines and slow the tide of microfibres entering the ocean.

Research conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Marine Conservation Society revealed that most (81%) adults surveyed supported legislative change and a quarter (26%) of those said that they would be willing to pay an additional £50 or more for a washing machine fitted with a microfibre filter. Not only is there is clear public support for legislation to Stop Ocean Threads, but consumers are willing to pay extra for their washing machines to have ocean-friendly credentials.

It’s increasingly important to put this issue top of the agenda for washing machine manufacturers who can take action now helping to address the microplastic issue, rather than waiting for legislation to be put in place.

Dr Laura Foster, Marine Conservation Society’s Head of Clean Seas says: “Our research has found that the public is largely supportive of our call for legislation, and consumers are willing to pay a little more to reduce the flow of microplastics into the ocean.

“It’s fantastic to see the support our petition has received so far, but now we need the public to show their support and join our action to engage with manufacturers directly. If we can show manufacturers that the public wants these filters fitted as soon as possible, we hope to speed up the legislative process and get filters fitted in the near future.”

Members of the public are encouraged by the Marine Conservation Society to go direct to washing machine manufacturers, and get involved in the charity’s tweet action.

“Hey @Miele_GB @BekoUK @Hoover_UK @BoschUK @SamsungUK @WhirlpoolCorp  We want washing machine manufacturers to commit to fitting microfibre filters before 2024. Will you do this and help us #StopOceanThreads? Please retweet and share far and wide”

To sign the charity’s Stop Ocean Threads petition, visit the Marine Conservation Society’s website. Find out more on how to get involved in the direct action here.

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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