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Marine Life & Conservation

Pro Dive Cairns Launches Conservation Program

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Two young divers from Denmark and Australia have kicked off a new Marine Conservation Program initiative led by Pro Dive Cairns in cooperation with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and No Limit Adventures.

Sally Turner from Melbourne and Asmu Hansen from Denmark had the honour of being the program’s first participants. Based on GBRMPA’s established Rapid Monitoring Program, the new consumer participation Marine Conservation Program will assist GBRMPA’s work with identifying early warning signs of environmental issues and monitoring the overall health of the Great Barrier Reef.

PDC 2

Pro Dive Cairns General Manager, Paul Lim said, “By offering this program, we are not only satisfying the growing interest in conservation based experiences, but enabling participants to contribute in an enjoyable and meaningful way to a recognised program, as well as increasing diving experience and skills. Ultimately we want our participants to come away with a greater depth of knowledge and understanding of the Great Barrier Reef and of the work being conducted to ensure the reef’s sustainability for years to come.”

For Sally and Asmu, the course was a meaningful way to reinforce marine biology studies and the desire to contribute to conservation.

Under the guidance of Pro Dive Cairns’ trained course guide, Lucy Mustoe, both Sally and Asmu completed a total of eight research dives of the set 11 certified dives during their 3 Day 2 Night Liveaboard Dive trip. On each dive participants were able to observe iconic reef species and using survey charts, record and monitor the overall health of the reef. A portion of the time was spent counting specific marine species as well as looking for an area that seemed a typical representation for that particular site. Once selected, this area was then mapped and closely inspected to record the general condition and health of the coral and seabed. After each dive, these findings were discussed and recorded on forms which were later submitted to the reef park managers at GBRMPA.

PDC BThe Marine Conservation Program also includes several information workshops with the use of information guidebooks, presentations throughout the trip as well as referring to several modules on how to recognise fish and coral health. Upon the completion of the program each participant was presented with a certificate.

For further information on Pro Dive Cairns and the conservation projects they run email info@prodivecairns.com or visit www.prodivecairns.com.

Marine Life & Conservation

Join us in supporting Dive Project Cornwall Crowdfunder Project

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Do you have a moment to help protect our oceans?

We’re on a mission and have partnered with DIVE PROJECT CORNWALL to help protect our oceans for future generations to cherish and enjoy.

DIVE PROJECT CORNWALL is a unique EDUCATION and EXPERIENCE initiative, reaching over 3,000 schools with their Ocean Education Programme, inspiring the next generation to protect our oceans for everyone to cherish and enjoy.

At the heart of the project is a competition for 400 lucky teenagers to win the EXPERIENCE of a lifetime. They will take the learning from the classroom straight to the shores of Porthkerris on a 6-day, life changing trip where they will learn to scuba dive and be taught the importance of marine conservation. They will become ‘Ocean Influencers’ for the future.

DIVE PROJECT CORNWALL needs our help.

Can you join us with a gift to DIVE PROJECT CORNWALL?

Whether it’s £5 or £50, a gift from you to the DIVE PROJECT CORNWALL Crowdfunder Project will help their vision of protecting our oceans through the innovative experience designed for school children.

Will you join us and pledge to support 400 lucky teenagers learn from and EXPERIENCE the ocean like never before and give them an EDUCATION they can use to inspire others, not forgetting the memories that will last a lifetime?

For more information, you can read the DIVE PROJECT CORNWALL story HERE.

Help us create the next generation of Ocean Influencers with a donation to DIVE PROJECT CORNWALL and ensure our oceans (and planet) are protected for the future.

WWW.CROWDFUNDER.CO.UK/P/DIVE-PROJECT-CORNWALL

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Marine Life & Conservation

Spring jellyfish blooms bring turtles to UK shores

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Marine Conservation Society’s wildlife sightings project asks beachgoers to share their discoveries and contribute to research

The Marine Conservation Society’s long-running wildlife sightings project focuses on two key species which arrive on UK shores: jellyfish and, as a result, turtles. Both species are vital in supporting ocean biodiversity and are indicators of climate change while being at risk from its impacts.

The charity is asking beach and seagoers to share when they spot either of these marine animals to support ongoing research.

During spring and summer, jellyfish arrive in the UK’s warming waters to feed on plankton blooms or, in fact, anything small enough to get caught. To that extent, jellyfish feed not only on plankton, but also the array of eggs and larvae of fish, crustaceans, starfish and molluscs which rely on plankton as a stage of reproduction.

With healthy fish stocks and rich biodiversity, jellyfish quickly become part of an effective food chain. Everything from tuna to turtles will feed on jellyfish of various sizes, so the population is well controlled. Supported by a rich and diverse ocean ecosystem, jellyfish link the microscopic world of plankton to larger marine animals and the ocean around them.

Jellyfish are especially appealing for marine turtles. Six of the world’s seven marine turtle species have been spotted in UK seas as a result of jellyfish blooms in spring and summer.

The largest sea turtle, and the most common in UK seas, is the leatherback which has a ‘vulnerable’ conservation status. Reporting sightings of these incredible creatures will support the Marine Conservation Society and others in understanding their movements, potential threats and how to better protect them.

Amy Pilsbury, Citizen Science Project Lead at the Marine Conservation Society, said:“For more than 17 years, beachgoers across the UK have been contributing to scientific research by sharing their wildlife sightings with us. It’s a key part of our work and plays a vital role in better understanding and protecting our ocean.”

In 2014, with partners from the University of Exeter, the Marine Conservation Society published the first paper from the survey data, confirming key information about UK jellyfish and including the first distribution maps of the surveyed species.

Since the 2014 paper, the wildlife sightings project has recorded notable events such as massive and extensive annual blooms of barrel jellyfish and several summers of Portuguese Man o’ War mass strandings.

The charity continues to run its wildlife sightings project to see what happens to the distribution and frequency of mass jellyfish blooms over time. The data will help to explore any links jellyfish blooms have with big-picture factors such as climate change.

Jellyfish can be spotted year-round in UK seas, but larger blooms are more likely to appear in spring, lasting through until autumn. Jellyfish sighting records from 2021 suggest that compass jellyfish are the most common around UK shores, making up 36% of reported sightings.

Jellyfish species Percentage of sightings reported
Compass jellyfish 36%
Moon jellyfish 17%
Lion’s mane jellyfish 15%
Barrel jellyfish 14%
Blue jellyfish 9%
Portuguese Man o’ War 6%
Mauve stinger 2%
By the wind sailor 1%

For more information on how to identify jellyfish and turtles, and to report a sighting, please visit the Marine Conservation Society’s website.

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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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