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Shark Sanctuaries Announced Around Dutch Caribbean Islands



On the 2nd September the Dutch government announced that the waters surrounding Bonaire and Saba in the Caribbean Sea will become shark sanctuaries.

Dutch State Secretary for Economic Affairs Sharon Dijksma unveiled the sanctuary plans in Kralendijk, Bonaire’s capital, and in Fort Bay on Saba. The declarations came in response to official letters written in early 2015 by the governors of the two islands in support of shark protections in their waters.

“The reserves will teach us more about the important role sharks play in the marine ecosystem,” Dijksma said. “This knowledge will contribute to the better protection of sharks.”

The sanctuaries will cover the islands’ full exclusive economic zones (EEZs). Once they are implemented, all commercial shark fishing will be prohibited up to 200 nautical miles from each island, a combined total of 22,382 square kilometers (8,816 square miles).

These actions will establish the world’s 11th and 12th shark sanctuaries. Both will also include protections for marine mammals and will be known collectively as Yarari. Regulations will be passed in the coming months to begin implementation of the two shark sanctuaries.

Worldwide, an estimated 100 million sharks are killed each year in commercial fisheries, while nearly 30 percent of all known shark species assessed by scientists are threatened with extinction. This declaration will protect some 27 species of sharks found in the waters of the Dutch Caribbean. Among those threatened and endangered are scalloped hammerhead and Caribbean reef sharks.

“Congratulations to the Dutch government and the island governments of Bonaire and Saba for raising the Caribbean’s high bar for shark protections,” said Luke Warwick, who directs Pew’s global shark conservation project. “Economic studies have demonstrated that sharks are worth far more alive than dead. Guarding sharks around these islands is beneficial, not only for the future of these ecologically important species, but also for protecting the islands’ tourism-based economies.”

The announcement follows “Dutch Shark Week,” a series of outreach and education events that started on the 24th August. Shark Week is part of a larger “Save our Sharks” project, funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery, the largest charity lottery in the Netherlands, and managed by the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance (DCNA).

Nature management organizations on the Dutch Caribbean islands, including Bonaire National Parks Foundation, Saba Conservation Foundation, St. Maarten Nature Foundation, and Arikok National Park Foundation on Aruba, organized shark conservation awareness events during the week. They are working to build awareness and support for shark conservation locally, as parallel efforts organized by the Dutch Elasmobranch Society have been underway in the Netherlands.

“This is a very important step in our shark conservation efforts in the Dutch Caribbean, and we are very grateful to have State Secretary Dijksma make the announcement,” said Tadzio Bervoets, chairman of the Dutch Caribbean Nature Alliance Shark Committee. “The DCNA has launched a three-year shark conservation project to protect these crucially important, yet very misunderstood, creatures in all waters of the Dutch Caribbean. Official protection for Saba and Bonaire is a huge deal for us.”

If the Dutch Caribbean jurisdictions of St. Eustatius, Curacao, Aruba, and St. Maarten follow suit and announce permanent shark protections throughout their waters, the entire Dutch Caribbean would be recognized as a regional shark sanctuary.

Sharks play an important role in maintaining the health of the entire ocean, but they grow and reproduce slowly, which makes them particularly vulnerable to fishing pressure. Protecting all sharks by way of a sanctuary makes clear that these top predators warrant the same status as other vulnerable marine wildlife, such as turtles and whales.

Sharks are among the top species that attract scuba divers, making their presence important to the tourism industry. Safeguarding sharks strengthens the marine ecosystem, including coral reefs and commercial fish stocks. It also helps strengthen industries that depend on a healthy ocean.



WIN one of the NEW Momentum M20 Dive Watches!!!



For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Nautilus Diving to give away one of Momentum’s new M20 Dive Watches as a prize!

Leading watch brand Momentum has introduced the new M20 series of watches. The new collection includes the M20 DSS Diver with a classic black dial, or striking Bahama yellow dial, and the M20 GMT Diver in a black & blue “Batman” version.

The M20 Dive watch features a solid 316L stainless steel case that is beautifully rounded and polished, taking its design cues from our original 1990’s Aquamatic model. The case is just under 42mm in diameter, but the smooth curves make it feel much smaller. Style, performance and unmatched comfort on the wrist.

The M20’s elegant yet durable design allows it to be worn in almost any situation. It has a 200M depth rating along with an off-set screw-down crown for added comfort.

The M20’s are also very legible, with its double-dome sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating there is virtually no glare. At night, the SuperLuminova luminous dial and hands come to life, a vital feature for serious divers where light may not reach certain depths.

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent post on (which you can find here), we reported that the Women Divers Hall of Fame have announced the selection of how many new members who will constitute the Class of 2021?

Is it:

  • A) five
  • B) six
  • C) seven

Answer, A, B or C to the question above:

Nautilus Diving Momentum M20 Dive Watch October 2020

  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to except for members of the Scubaverse team and their families, or employees of Nautilus Diving and their families. A valid answer to the competition’s question must be entered. If no valid answer to the competition’s question is entered, your entry will be invalid. Only one competition entry per entrant permitted (multiple entries will lead to disqualification). Only one prize per winner. All prizes are non-transferable, and no cash alternative will be offered. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liability will be attached to When prizes are supplied by third parties, is acting as their agents and as such we exclude all liability for loss or damage you may suffer as a result of this competition. Your information will be shared with the competition's sponsor unless you tick the opt out box. This competition closes on 09/12/20. The winner will be notified by email. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

  • The following fields are optional, however if you fill them in it will help us to determine what prizes to source in the future.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
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Dive Training Blogs

5 Easy Steps For Choosing A Scuba Diving Center You’ll LOVE! (Watch Video)



How do you pick which dive operation wins your money for your scuba diving vacation? If you only get to dive on vacation, you want to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth and getting experiences you enjoy. That’s why we are giving you our easy 5-step process for filtering out dive centers and narrowing down your selection to find the scuba team you want to be diving with!

In this example–driven video, we are showing you our procedure for how we pick our scuba dive operator. In this case, I use the island of Barbados, as I’ve actually never been scuba diving there.

THANK YOU so much to EVERYONE who is a part of this great community. We promise we have so much more planned for this channel. We’re going to keep spreading information and positivity to the Scuba Divers around the world! IMPROVE. INSPIRE. EXPLORE.

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