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The UK’s whales and dolphins need YOU!

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This year’s Sea Watch National Whale and Dolphin Watch takes place from Saturday 25th July to Sunday 2nd August 2020, and we’re asking members of the public to help.

  • Collecting data about our resident cetaceans has never been more important. Rising sea surface temperatures and anthropogenic activities have been impacting marine species in the British waters for many years now. The most recenthuman lockdowns most certainly has had an effect on marine species which is also worth investigating.
  • Last year’s Watch revealed an impressive 13 separate species of whales and dolphins in British waters, and the highest (over 2,000) ever recorded number of cetacean sightings.
  • The event allows Sea Watch, a charity which has been running for 30 years, to take direct action to protect species. Sea Watch Foundation research studies of bottlenose dolphins helped lead to two areas in Cardigan Bay being recommended as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) for the species. Since 2001, the organisation has monitored the semi-resident bottlenose dolphin population in Cardigan Bay, providing data for the Welsh Government through Natural Resources Wales.

Who can help?

No previous experience is needed; anyone who is in the UK and near the sea during the event and wants to help can. All that people need to take part is safe access to the coast, patience, a lot of enthusiasm, binoculars, a copy of the Sea Watch recording forms and a cetacean identification guide (downloadable from the Sea Watch website). However, in order to ensure everyone follows UK-government Covid-19 restrictions and to comply with social distancing rules, Sea Watch advises people to conduct watches individually or with a member of their household, unless government guidelines instruct otherwise by the time of the event.

What might you see?

The most memorable sightings from last year’s Watch week included humpback whales in Cornwall and the Outer Hebrides, Northern bottlenose whales in the Inner Hebrides, beaked whales off the Isle of Tiree in the Inner Hebrides, fin whales in the Outer Hebrides, and large pods of Atlantic white-sided dolphins off Freester in Shetland”, says Dr Chiara Giulia Bertulli, Sightings Officer and lead organiser of the NWDW event for the Sea Watch Foundation.

Which parts of the UK are key?

Scotland recorded the highest number of sightings particularly along the western coast and on the Inner and Outer Hebrides. In England, the greatest number of sightings was collected in the South around Cornwall and South Devon with similar numbers also collected on the North-East coast. In Wales, the highest number of sightings was collected on the West coast. But whales, dolphins and harbour porpoises can pop up anywhere all around the UK, so watching from any coastline is important.

Sea Watch Foundation are seeking volunteers to take part in the National Whale and Dolphin Watch 2020 this summer, which takes place 25th July – 2nd August.

The team at Sea Watch will offer online training and advice on how to take part: www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/nwdw-2020-online-training/

Sponsors have also donated amazing prizes for people who participate in the NWDW watches: www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/national-whale-dolphin-watch-2020-competition/

Visit www.seawatchfoundation.org.uk/nwdw/ for details, or contact nwdw@seawatchfoundation.org.uk.

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

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Looking ahead with Regaldive…

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Regaldive is set to launch three NEW small group dive holidays for 2021.

With the news of Covid-19 vaccines on the horizon there is light at the end of the tunnel, and the team at Regaldive have been busy working on some fantastic new itineraries.

Their new small group dive adventures have been designed on a unique land-based, liveaboard concept. The holidays will appeal to divers who like to travel as part of a small group and those who enjoy a liveaboard experience with an action-packed diving itinerary.

Check out some of the great value packages to Egypt, Indonesia and the Maldives here:

SHARM DIVE EXTRAVAGANZA

On this week-long adventure at the authentic family run Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village in Sharm we have included a special diving itinerary with 15 dives! Explore Ras Mohamed National Park, Tiran, the Dunraven wreck and also enjoy a couple of night dives.

This is an exceptional package with accommodation, diving, meals and transfers all included plus for single divers there is no single supplement.

Dates:

  • 6-13 May 2021
  • 10-17 June 2021
  • Price from only £695pp
  • More on this offer HERE

BUNAKEN BONANZA, INDONESIA

This small group holiday is based at the beautiful Tasik Ria Resort on the shores of Manado, facing the Bunaken National Marine Park in North Sulawesi. The spacious family run resort has excellent facilities and you will enjoy warm hospitality from the friendly team.

Our special diving itinerary includes a total of 17 dives! You can take three dives per day and the package also includes a night dive and a trip over to Lembeh Strait to seek out the weird and wonderful. Accommodation, meals, transfers and Nitrox are also included plus for single divers there is no single supplement.

Dates:

  • 01-08 May 2021
  • 04-11 September 2021
  • From only £1345 per person

More on this offer HERE


DIVE & DETOX MALDIVES

This magical dive resort has been specially selected for our small group trip – with just six rooms it offers the perfect base to rewind, detox and enjoy world-class diving. Boutique Beach is ideally located on a local island at the tip of the South Ari Atoll, an area known for excellent whale shark sightings.

We have included 17 dives in our special package, including two full day safaris, a night dive, and some secret dive spots. Accommodation, meals, transfers and Nitrox are also included.

Dates:

  • 25 April-02 May 2021
  • 02-09 October 2021
  • Price from only £1675pp

More on this offer HERE

All prices are quoted on a land-only basis. Flight prices available on request.

Places are limited to just 6-10 divers so don’t delay!


To find out more about these new small group holidays or to book, visit: www.regaldive.co.uk or call 01353 659999.

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Dates announced for Grenada Dive Fest 2021

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The Grenada Scuba Diving Association, in collaboration with Grenada Tourism Authority, has announced the 5th Annual Pure Grenada Dive Fest from the 9th-15th October 2021.

To celebrate the success of the recent fourth event Pure Grenada Dive Fest – ‘A Virtual Experience’, the Grenada Scuba Diving Association, in partnership with Grenada Hotel and Tourism Association and Grenada Tourism Authority, are giving away an awesome prize. Entrants can win a five-night stay at Grenada’s Seabreeze Hotel in 2021!

Entering the giveaway is easy. Find the post on the Instagram or Facebook page @grenadapurediving and simply follow the rules.

Full terms and details can be found on the website by clicking 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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