Worldwide Diving News
Our blog is the place to find diving news from all our destinations. Whether is environmental news, marine life sightings, new dive sites or trip reports, it will all be here.
Useful Worldwide Diving Links
Scroll down to read all Dive The World’s current worldwide dive news in chronological order.
World Turtle Day 23 May 2013 Say No Thank you to Plastic!
Today is world turtle day and sadly 6 of the 7 marine turtle species are either threatened or critically endangered by our actions. Global warming, ocean pollution, coastal development, entanglement in fishing gear, poaching and illegal trade of eggs, meat shells and plastic debris are the main threats to these enigmatic creatures. So find out what can you do to help marine turtles?
One thing you can start doing today is cut down on your use of plastic. The United Nations Enviromental Program estimates that on average nearly 50,000 pieces of plastic debris float in every single square mile of ocean. Turtles and many other marine species can either become entangled or mistake it for food items such as jellyfish, fish larvae and plank-tonic crustaceans. This results in death from either starvation or a blocked throat.
Many countries around the world have drastically cut down or penalize the use of plastic bags but many still haven’t, in Thailand at the local convenience store staff have tried to give me 4 bags for 4 items! And lets face it our usual eco friendly habits can become somewhat slack on our holidays. So as well as the usual phrases we try to learn before traveling to a foreign country – hello, goodbye, thankyou and can I have a beer please, lets add no plastic bag thank you. To start you off in Thailand we say ” Mai (no) Ow (want) Toung (bag) and finish with Kha (for women)/Khap (for men) to be polite. So if you know how to say it in other languages post it on our Dive The World Facebook page and lets see how many we can get.
4 New Conservation Iniatives From The Aggressor/Dancer Fleet!
As well as being one of the most recognizable brands in liveaboard diving and with reputation of excellence and safety the Aggressor/Dancer fleet also put in the hard yards to help preserve our oceans for future generations. Four fantastic initiatives have been implemented in the last few months giving divers their chance to contribute to saving our seas:
- Sea of Change – The Sea of Change Foundation collects all the unused leftover foreign change that you bring back from your liveaboard adventure. It is convert in to usable currency and donated to organizations around the world that benefit our ocean environments.
- Partnering with Shark Savers to Study Sharks in the Galapagos – Working with the Charles Darwin Foundation and with the participation of the Galapagos Aggressors, Shark Savers is collecting data on shark populations to be used in the first study of the role shark populations are playing with tourism in Galapagos. The study involves both conducting a visual census of pelagic species and conducting surveys with guests to assess their experiences with sharks.
- Supporting the Great Fiji Shark Count – Shark Savers is pleased to be both a sponsor and participant in the Great Fiji Shark Count, the first national count of sharks by recreational divers as citizen scientists. More than 3,000 people joined the April Count, logging over 12,000 shark sightings which will help in conservation planning and studying patterns of marine ecosystem health. The data that is collected during the Shark Count will help to map shark distribution and abundance in Fiji. Importantly, via Shark Savers, the exact locations of valuable sharks will only be shared with scientific and conservation-planning partners in order to protect these important, local shark populations. Join the stunning Fiji Island Dancer II
- Turks & Caicos Reef Fund – The Aggressor Fleet has generously donated a trip for 2 on the Turks & Caicos Aggressor II as a raffle prize to support the efforts of the Turks & Caicos Reef Fund. Tickets for this one week cruise are $25 each and only 500 will be sold. The drawing will be held on November 2, 2013 aboard the Turks & Caicos Aggressor II. The value of this raffle prize is $5,590. All proceeds go to support the Turks & Caicos Reef Fund’s dive and snorkel boat mooring project which is being conducted under an agreement with and the support of the TCI Government’s Department of Environment and Maritime Affairs.
to do your bit.
CITES Votes for Protection of Manta Rays and 5 Shark Species
A landmark vote was passed today at the CITES convention in Bangkok, Thailand. The hunting of manta rays, oceanic whitetip, porbeagle and smooth, great and scalloped hammerhead sharks will be strictly regulated after the proposal for listing them on the CITES appendix II was accepted.
Carlos Drews, head of WWF’s delegation at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) issued the following statement today in response to decisions from world governments to offer better protection for five species of sharks:
“This is a landmark moment showing that the world’s governments support sustainable fisheries and are concerned about the reckless over-exploitation of sharks for commercial use. Today’s decision will go a long way in slowing down the frenzied overfishing of sharks that is pushing them to the brink of collapse to feed the luxury goods market.”
“Regulating the trade of marine species like sharks, which are facing unprecedented commercial pressures, is key to saving them and ensuring our oceans contribute to food security by staying healthy and productive”.
This isn’t the first time that such proposals have been put to CITES, but with new support from West Africa and Latin America along with a promise of funds from European countries to assist in changing fishing practices, this time it has been successful.
The global populations of the enigmatic manta rays that we all know and love are being devastated. Their gill plates are used to make a tonic that the Chinese medicine market. Around 5,000 of these magnificent animals are killed every year, generating US$ 5m for the traders against the US$ 140m that tourism brings in from areas where they are protected. These figures must give us some hope, the animals are simply more valuable to the local communities alive.
How you can help:
That’s the simple part. The illegal hunting of sharks and manta’s has little benefit for the local communities, tourism does! It generates long term income and employment for local people, without them on board protection and enforcement of laws is nigh on impossible. By taking a diving holiday, you can directly contribute to the protection of these creatures and sharing your experiences with fellow tourists and divers helps spread the word. It’s an incredible experience diving with any of these magnificent animals, by doing it today you can ensure future generations will also have the opportunity.
Have a look at our scuba diving video gallery for footage manta rays and sharks.
You can dive with manta rays and sharks at many of our dive destinations including Komodo, Raja Ampat, the Great Barrier Reef, Fiji, the Maldives, Cocos Island, the Galapagos Islands, Thailand, Burma, the Red Sea and Belize.
Are you longing for some awesome manta ray or shark diving? Then contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.
The Plight of Mantas and Mobulas – Ray of Hope Project
One of the most popular marine creatures among divers manta rays are graceful, majestic creatures. Encountering one underwater as it swoops past while feeding or glides slowly through a cleaning station is a truly awe-inspiring experience.
Their popularity means a single animal can ‘earn’ more than US$ 1 million over its lifetime for local eco dive-tourism. However, despite this fact these gentle giants are fast disappearing from the oceans due to the extreme pressures of fishing.
It is a little known fact that rays are slaughtered for their gill rakers much like sharks are for their fins. These bony projections off the gill arch help mantas and mobula rays to feed by retaining tiny prey. The gill rakers are used by Chinese medicine practitioners as an unproven health tonic and have an estimated market value of US$ 11 million annually, and demand is increasing. However, that amount is a fraction of the value of manta ray diving and snorkelling tourism which is estimated at well over US$ 100 million a year globally.
Most of the general public are unaware of the danger of extinction rays face in some parts of the world but a new report by the Manta Ray of Hope Project, which is a collaboration between Shark Savers and WildAid, has highlighted their plight.
The report entitled “Manta Ray of Hope: The Global Threat to Manta and Mobula Rays” includes the most in-depth research ever carried out into the intensive fishing of mantas and mobulas and the trade in their gill rakers – a trade which could see the collapse of the population in certain seas.
“If action is not taken quickly, manta and mobula rays will likely face regional extinctions because of unregulated fisheries”, said Michael Skoletsky, Executive Director of Shark Savers “Anyone who has gone diving with mantas knows them to be intelligent, graceful, and engaging animals. It would be a tragedy to lose them.” the Manta Ray of Hope Project is now developing a campaign to obtain moratoriums against fishing mantas.
How you can help:
By taking a diving holiday, you can directly contribute to the protection of these creatures and help to educate your fellow tourists and divers. Marine and National parks rely on your entrance fee to fund patrols, monitor marine welfare and enforce no-fishing laws. As a dive tourist you are also sending a powerful message to the local government that manta rays are worth more alive than dead. Your trip can have a positive impact on the local environment and the protection of mantas and mobula rays in the future. What’s more it will be a thrilling and inspiring experience!
Have a look at our scuba diving video gallery for footage of mobula and manta rays.
You can dive with manta and mobula rays at many of our dive destinations including Komodo, Raja Ampat, the Great Barrier Reef, Fiji, the Maldives, Cocos Island, the Galapagos Islands, Thailand, Burma, the Red Sea and Belize.
1 Holiday, 2 Amazing Dive Destinations!
Did you know that these days it is very easy to get to and fly between the best dive destinations in the world? Low cost air travel and plenty of regular routes is great news for the keen diver and means you can combine more than one world-class diving destination into your trip itinerary.
Imagine a dive holiday combining Bali and the Similan Islands, or Sipadan and the Maldives or even diving in Fiji after the Great Barrier Reef!
There are some fabulous possibilities if you have the time and the imagination…..
Dive the Similan Islands and Bali!
How about combining a Similan Islands Liveaboard cruise with a dive safari in Bali? The Similans are world-renowned dive sites offering stunning underwater topography and thriving coral reefs. The island of Bali and its neighbouring isle of Nusa Penida have numerous and diverse dive sites boasting a feast of marine life. Imagine diving these two stunning tropical locations in one trip?
How easy is it? Phuket is the gateway to liveaboard cruises visiting the Similan Islands and you can fly direct between Bali and Phuket with Air Asia in just 3 ½ hours – it’s that easy! To get to Phuket or Bali, there are direct international flights with carriers such as Thai Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Air Australia and KLM.
Dive at Sipadan Island and the Maldives!
Are you ready for some thrilling drift dives with lots of shark action on a Maldives Liveaboard cruise? And then how about hopping over to Malaysia to experience the fabulous diving at Sipadan where you can stay in one of the tropical resorts on Mabul Island or Kapalai, or take a Liveaboard cruise.
How easy is it? Both Male in the Maldives, and Tawau (the nearest airport to Sipadan) have direct flights from Kuala Lumpur. If you time your flights right you can simply land in KL after diving the Maldives and then straight away be on a plane to Sipadan! What a combination!
Dive the Great Barrier Reef and Fiji!
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest and most famous reef and apart from fish galore, it is home to several species of turtles, sharks, dolphins and whales. Experience the best diving the reef has to offer on a liveaboard cruise departing from Cairns. And what could be better then following that with stunning colourful diving in the ‘Soft Coral Capital of the World’, Fiji?
How easy is it? You can fly direct from Sydney or Brisbane, Australia to Nadi in Fiji with Jetstar, Virgin Blue and Air Pacific. There are numerous daily flights between Sydney and Cairns or Brisbane and Cairns to access the Great Barrier Reef with Jetstar, Virgin Blue, Sunstate and Quantas.
There are countless examples of destinations that can be combined as we have shown you, and you don’t have to be limited to Asia-Pacific. We can even make your Cocos and Galapagos dreams come true!
If you’d like to combine your favourite destinations in one trip or tick off a few of those on your bucket list, then just let us know and we’ll help you create the perfect itinerary!
Have a look at our Scuba Diving Video Library for even more inspiration!
So if you’re excited about the possibilities for your next diving trip contact Dive The World for more information right away. Call us on +66 (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.
Dive The World’s Annual Operator of the Year Awards
The New Year period is a great time to look ahead at what diving delights await us in 2012!
However it is also a time for looking back at the year just gone. So it is with great excitement that we announce the 2011 winners of our ‘Operator of the Year’ awards – the highest accolade in the world of scuba diving.
Each year we analyse the performance of all the operators we work with throughout the world. We look at customer satisfaction, service quality and reliability. Then we consider which operators have really exceeded expectations when it comes to ensuring that Dive The World guests are well looked after and given the dream dive holiday they are hoping for.
This year we are delighted with our 2 winners, who have both gone that extra mile to ensure that the guests we sent them came away with huge smiles of satisfaction.
Liveaboard of the Year 2011 goes to – MV Emperor Elite in The Red Sea.
Our overjoyed winners gave this response to the news;
“We are delighted that our flagship, MV Elite, has been declared the winner of the Dive The World Liveaboard of the Year 2011. The award is testament to the hard work the whole team put into making our guests trips as rewarding as possible; this award recognises their hard work. Also a big thank you to our guests for providing the positive feedback that wins awards like this but also allows us to maintain our high standards “ Carmen Bates, Emperor Divers.
Dive Resort of the Year 2011 goes to – Tulamben Wreck Divers Resort, Bali
Our very deserving Resort Diving winners said;
“Dot, Wayan and I are very happy receiving this award. But most of all we are very proud of our staff, as we train them well and then they are able to give that service to our clients. Thank you all.” Tony Medcraft, Tulamben Wreck Divers Resort.
Do you feel excited about your next diving vacation? Would you like to see for yourself why The Red Sea liveaboard MV Emperor Elite or Bali’s Tulamben Wreck Divers Resort are so deserving of this award? Then contact Dive the World right away on +66 (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.
Dive The World’s Latest Scuba Diving Videos
Would you like to be able to see exactly what the diving will be like on your next dive vacation?
Then take a look at the latest additions to Dive The World’s scuba diving video gallery and see the exciting destinations that we have hand-picked just for you.
Take a few minutes to lose yourself in the stunning imagery of these video tours before you book your dive vacation. You will get a taste of the diving delights that you will find and making a decision about your next trip will be a breeze.
- Dive in Raja Ampat with manta rays, walking shark, wobbegong and turtles. Irian Jaya diving at its best. Raja Ampat Scuba Diving Video
- Come and dive Bunaken Nationl Park’s walls with us. Enjoy the healthy reefs, turtles, mandarinfish and cuttlefish. Scuba Diving in Bunaken, Sulawesi Video
- Watch this video for scenes from the best dive sites in Komodo National Park. Experience the vibrancy of the reefs, manta rays, turtles, sharks and moray eels. Scuba Diving Video Komodo
- Watch this underwater video for the Banda Islands dive sites with sea snakes, turtles and big schools of fish. Banda Islands Diving Video
- Watch this diving in Bali video with underwater footage from Tulamben, Nusa Lemongan and Nusa Penida plus the famour Liberty wreck dive. Check out the Mola Mola, manta rays and healthy reefs of Bali. Bali Scuba Diving Video
- Experience the best muck diving in the world in Lembeh Strait, Sulawesi – dive with frogfish, seahorses, mimic octopus, and countless more amazing critters. Scuba Diving in Lembeh Strait Video
- Underwater video of Burma includes pristine healthy reefs surrounded by life including eagle rays, manta rays, sharks and morays. Also see clips of Burma’s great macro life: nudibranchs, seahorse and crustaceans. Diving in Burma Video
- Experience the dive sites that surround Cocos Island, Costa Rica. Underwater video includes a school of hammerhead sharks, manta rays and diving with dolphins. Scuba Diving Cocos Video
- Experience the dive sites of Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and dive with dolphins, sharks, hammerhead sharks, seals, sea lions and even iguanas! Galapagos Scuba Diving Video
Shark Fins Now Illegal In Hawaii
In Hawaii, a landmark shark conservation law came into effect recently banning shark fin soup and other shark fin products in the state. This is a great step forward for shark conservation and it is hoped that the ban will set the standard for other countries around the world.
In China, shark fin soup is considered a delicacy, but the demand for it has devastated shark populations worldwide. Shark finners cut the fins from sharks and then dump the creature back overboard to die a long painful death. Shark finning takes place at sea so the fishers have only the fins to transport; shark meat is considered low value and therefore not worth the cost of transporting. Any shark is taken regardless of age, size, or species. Longlines, used in shark finning operations, are the most significant cause of losses in shark populations worldwide.
Shark finning is widespread, and largely unmonitored. It has increased significantly over the past decade due to the increasing demand for shark fins – for shark fin soup and traditional cures, better fishing technology and improved market economics. Shark specialists estimate that 100 million sharks are killed for their fins annually.
But on the 1st of July the tradition of eating, possessing or selling shark fin soup or anything else containing shark fins became illegal in Hawaii. Guam, the Northern Marianas Islands and Washington state have approved similar bans with Oregon and California expected to follow.
Most divers woudl agree that diving with sharks is both exhilarating and awe-inspiring. Fortunately there are still places around the world where you can see schools of sharks in great numbers such as Cocos Island or the Red Sea. However experts estimate that if longlining continues at the same rate, most species of sharks will be lost within a decade.
The majority of sharks are harmless to divers and shark attacks on humans are extremely rare. Several species such as leopard sharks and the mighty whale shark are quite docile and close-up encounters are common. Divers can even experience being surrounded by feeding sharks in places like Fiji – a very exciting experience!
The United Nations Convention on the Trade of Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) lists the the whale shark, basking shark and great white shark as species that could become threatened if trade is not controlled. To date, 169 countries have agreed to be legally bound by CITES but this is largely unmonitored. Shark finning should be made a practice of the past so that we all able to see and admire sharks in the future.
You can help end the cruel, wasteful practice of sharkfinning by diving with sharks. The more money that goes into shark tourism the more governments will realise the value of keeping sharks alive.
Watch our scuba diving shark encounters at our video gallery.
Would you like to dive with sharks? Contact Dive The World for more information on the best destinations worldwide for a shark encounter. You can send us an email, fill in our enquiry form or call us on +66 (0)83 505 7794.
Outrage At Luxury Resort’s Wild Dolphin Capture
Twenty-five wild bottlenose dolphins that until recently roamed free, are now facing a life of captivity and sadness as permanent residents of Resorts World Sentosa, Singapore. The pod was swimming peacefully in the Solomon Islands when nets closed in from behind trapping 25 of them for the luxury resort’s latest exhibit. They are now being kept in tiny tanks in the Philippines while the new facility at Resorts World Sentosa is being built. Two of them have already tragically died.
For wild dolphins captivity is frightening and stressful. Their powerful sonar bounces off the walls back at them and most die young from stress-related illnesses. If the wealthy Resorts World Sentosa succeeds in keeping this group captive then it is likely that half of them will die in the first 2 years. This cruel act will also legitimise the widely banned practice of capturing dolphins in the wild.
We can’t let that happen! Join the campaign now to help set the dolphins free!
Half of all wild dolphins captured and kept in captivity die within 7 years from capture shock, pneumonia, intestinal disease, ulcers, chlorine poisoning, and other stress-induced illnesses. In many tanks the water is full of chemicals as well as bacteria, causing various health problems in dolphins including blindness. Some may die due to the stress endured during transportation.
Add your voice now to the growing public outcry! Say NO to captivity and help create a massive lobby to free these beautiful, intelligent creatures. Maybe together we can bring an end to the global wild dolphin trade too so that we can all continue to enjoy diving with dolphins in the wild for many years to come.
Sign Avaaz’s petition and they will deliver it to Resorts World and the media. Sign here now and tell all your friends to please do the same!
This petition is supported by Ric O’Barry, Save the Blood Dolphins, The Dolphin Project, Save Japan Dolphins and Earth Island Institute. Ric O’Barry, the marine mammal specialist has also offered his help to rehabilitate and release the dolphins back to the wild, in the Solomon Islands, off Papua New Guinea.
Would you like to dive with dolphins and experience a life-changing encounter with these most intelligent of mammals? Then contact Dive The World for more information on the world’s best dolphin diving destinations. You can send us an email or call us on +66 (0)83 505 7794.
Huge Whale Shark Gathering Off The Mexican Coast
Seeing a majestic whale shark while diving is at the top of many divers ‘must do’ lists. So imagine encountering 420 of them!
According to a press release issued by the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, around that number of whale sharks gathered recently off the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico.
This is the world’s largest known gathering of the shark and contradicts the belief that the species are solitary creatures. The assembly proves that they will group for reasons such as food.
Mike Maslanka, biologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and head of the Department of Nutrition Sciences, says in the press release “Whale sharks are the largest species of fish in the world, yet they mostly feed on the smallest organisms in the ocean, such as zooplankton. Our research revealed that in this case the hundreds of whale sharks had gathered to feed on dense patches of fish eggs.”
In spite of their enormous size; they can grow up to 12 metres long and weigh up to 36,000 kilos, whale sharks are docile and move slowly and gracefully through the ocean. They are filter feeders and are often seen gliding with their mouths open ready for food to float in. These majestic sharks occur in all tropical and subtropical ocean regions around the globe.
Maslanka and his team identified the whale shark assembly using both surface and aerial surveys which proved to be a truly amazing sight.
Researchers are calling the gathering the “Afuera” aggregation. During the study, scientists used fine nets to collect food samples in the water around the group of feeding whale sharks. Tests showed that the sought-after fish eggs were from little tunny, a member of the mackerel family, and revealed a previosuly unknown spawning ground for these fish.
As well as the “Afuera,” the scientists also found another aggregation of whale sharks off the northern tip of the Yucatán Peninsula. Named the Cabo Catoche, this second aggregation was due to the presence of small crustaceans and shrimp. In both groups of sharks the sex ratio was the same suggesting that whole families are drawn to a specific area for feeding purposes.
This research highlights the need for more concerted conservation efforts in the northeastern Yucatán marine region. With two significant whale shark aggregation areas and at least one active spawning ground for little tunny this is obviously a marine habitat of critical importance.
Whale sharks are listed as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, primarily due to harpoon fishing in Southeast Asia and accidental capture by other fishing technologies around the world. You can assist in thier protection by taking a liveaboard diving trip or dive resort holiday to observe them in their natural environment. This helps to demonstrate to local governments the enormous economic value of this creature alive not dead.
Click here to watch a video of diving with whale sharks in Thailand.
Would you like to dive with the majestic whale shark? There are several destinations offering this possibilty around the world such as the Maldives, Thailand and Lankayan in Malaysia.
Contact Dive The World to find out more about diving with whale sharks. You can send us an email or call us on +66 (0)83 505 7794.