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Project Shark: Maldives

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Project Shark: Maldives
After a wonderful week of getting used to the heat and the beautiful turquoise waters in the Maldives, I found myself back on land; waiting at Male airport for the guests booked onto blue o two’s first Project Shark: Maldives week.I was a little nervous to start with, but everyone was really friendly and talkative and I soon felt completely at ease. And so it began!

We dived at South Ari atoll, where we were very fortunate to encounter several manta rays dancing around so gracefully at their cleaning stations. They seemed very curious and came in close to our group, which of course meant the photographers amongst us took some lovely shots! On one dive we happened across a whale shark, which was just beautiful. I’ve never had the honour of diving with one of these creatures before and it was truly amazing.

The next stop was the channels of Felidhu and Meemu; here the currents ranged from mild, to what the dive guides called “oh my gosh”. The early morning dives were the best here; there were more sharks than you could shake a stick at!! Grey reef sharks, white and black tip reef sharks, silvertips…we certainly weren’t short of entertainment! It was a remarkable sight, especially given the worrying status of shark populations worldwide.

Throughout the week, I gave four presentations which discussed sharks and rays in the Maldives, shark and ray biology, threats to shark and ray populations, and global conservation efforts. The presentations were a lot of fun – I had a fantastic audience and it was great to be able to share my knowledge on a subject about which I am very passionate.

I have just finished going through some of the photos we took and, thanks to the resources provided by the Manta Trust, have managed to identify all the mantas we saw! We had the privilege of diving with Rabbit, Roxy, Reject, Snoozer, Spliff and Rat-Fink. The Manta Trust will be adding these photos to their Maldivian Manta Ray Project database, which helps towards learning the movements and behaviour of these mantas – important in aiding implementation of conservation management practices for these wonderful animals.

If you want to experience more sharks than you can shake a stick at and contribute to vital research, join me on the next Project Shark: Maldives adventure on the 28th February 2014!

www.blueotwo.com/Dive-Guide-Blog

Marine Life & Conservation

The BiG Scuba Podcast… with Paul Rose

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Next in a new series of podcasts shared by our friends Gemma and Ian aka The BiG Scuba Podcast…

Ian and Gemma chat to Paul Rose. A man at the front line of exploration and one of the world’s most experienced divers, field science and polar experts, Paul Rose helps scientists unlock and communicate global mysteries in the most remote and challenging regions of the planet.

He is an experienced television presenter and radio broadcaster. With a proven track record in business engagements, Paul is a sought-after speaker, chairman, host and moderator for industry, government and NGO events.

Former Vice President of the Royal Geographical Society(link is external) and Chair of the Expeditions and Fieldwork Division, Paul is currently Expedition Leader for the National Geographic Pristine Seas Expeditions.

He was the Base Commander of Rothera Research Station, Antarctica, for the British Antarctic Survey for 10 years and was awarded HM The Queen’s Polar Medal. For his work with NASA and the Mars Lander project on Mt Erebus, Antarctica, he received the US Polar Medal.

Paul is a mountain and polar guide leading Greenland Icecap crossing and mountaineering expeditions and polar science support logistics. He worked for four years as a Mountain Safety consultant to the oil industry in the Middle East.

On his 2012 Greenland expedition, Paul led the first expedition to successfully traverse a new 275km icecap route of Knud Rasmussen Land and repeated his first ascent of the north face of Gunnsbjørnfjeld, the highest mountain in the Arctic.

His professional diving work includes science support diving in Antarctica as the British Antarctic Survey’s Institute Diving Officer. He ran the US Navy diver training programme at Great Lakes Naval Training Centre and trained many emergency response dive teams including the Police, Fire Department and Underwater Recovery Teams. He remains a current and active PADI Dive Instructor.

Find out more about Paul Rose at www.paulrose.org


Find more podcast episodes and information at www.thebigscuba.com and on most social platforms @thebigscuba 

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Marine Life & Conservation Blogs

How can we do what you do at Blue Planet?

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We at Blue Planet Aquarium usually get asked how people can do what we do; this question usually comes from young adults and children who are dreaming of careers in Marine Biology or Diving, and we make sure to help along the way as much as we can.

If you ask anyone in the industry how they got to where they are, you will always hear a different story, you will hear similarities but there will always be something different. Thus, I would always suggest for people to carve their own path in the industry, and of course this industry is huge with many different areas and avenues for you to go down, which is also what makes the industry so amazing, it allows everyone to have a speciality and to be able to do their part for the single goal of preserving our natural world.

Working as a Diver at Blue Planet is amazing for anyone who wants to make a career in the industry, for several reasons, it is good as it helps you gain diving experience both with animals and teaching students. It gives you chance to practice diving skills in what could be considered difficult diving due to the tasks we have to carry out, and it also allows you to learn about HSE regulations and laws which also helps makes you safe and aware.

Here at Blue Planet, we have people spanning a multitude of different careers, from Marine Biology, Military Diving, Photography and Dive Guiding, it is this that makes the team so amazing as we have a go to person for everything.

The best advice I can give to anyone who wanted to work on the dive team or in an aquarium, would be to have a decent amount of diving experience and be able to demonstrate good diving knowledge, along with being respectful to the environment and animals and being able to work well in a team. It is also helpful to be outgoing and confident as although we work behind the scenes, we are still in the view of guests when we do our feeds or public dives.

For more information about Blue Planet Aquarium please visit their website by clicking here.

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