(Dive Travel Business News - July 12, 2012) -- W. Australia -- After being named the deadliest place in the world for shark attacks after four deaths in seven months, Western Australian Fisheries Minister Norman Moore recently announced that regulations were being drafted for a State ban on targeted or dedicated shark tourism ventures, including cage diving operations, based on the attraction of sharks, according to the Ministry website.
Shark tourism and shark cage diving is a popular activity in Southern Australia and South Africa but operators will be prevented from setting up businesses on Australia’s west coast for fear of attracting more sharks.
"I have decided that Western Australia will not be the place for shark cage tourism, like those currently operating in South Australia and South Africa," Mr Moore said.
"While such ventures may generate direct or indirect economic benefits, there are also concerns that sustained activities to attract sharks to feeding opportunities have the potential to change the behaviour patterns of those sharks. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - June 18, 2012) -- The Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) is now offering free online education. These "fishinars" are short webinars presented by experts that teach the finer points of identifying fish and invertebrates underwater.
The Fishinars are open to divers, snorkelers, and devout landlubbers alike. The online education is designed to be simple to understand and participate in. Common names, not scientific names, are used and the learning focuses on how to ID each critter. Participants don't need a microphone or a webcam. The webinars use online GoToMeeting technology that works with a standard computer with an internet connection.
The primary reason for the Fishinars is to help divers learn how to become citizen scientists and help monitor marine life on their recreational dives. Data gathered goes into REEF's online database to help students, researchers, scientists, etc.
(Dive Travel Business News - April 23, 2012) -- Recent scientific evidence shows that a ten-year effort to protect the spawning aggregation sites for the endangered Nassau Grouper has resulted in a growing and healthy population of the species on the reefs near Little Cayman‹a harbinger that the recovery of the species may spread throughout the Caribbean.
"After ten years the detective work is finally done," said an exuberant Dr. Guy Harvey, a Cayman resident and an ardent conservationist and internationally known marine wildlife artist.
Dr. Harvey, who has worked closely with research leaders REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation), Oregon State University and the Cayman Islands Department of Environment (DOE) to bring about legislation to protect the species, continued: The work is finally done and science indicates the groupers need to have aggregation sites projected to help them survive. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - April 23, 2012) -- The first Utila Dive Festival, to be held August 18-25, 2012, is a week-long schedule of events above and below the water with diving, dancing, dining and discovering the tiny diving Mecca of Utila, one of The Bay Islands located in the Western Caribbean just South of Belize.
Underwater highlights include themed daily dives, and specialized diving activities held throughout the week including a photography competition, advanced buoyancy workshops, reef ecology and whale shark talks, tec and sidemount try dives including closed circuit rebreathers. Topside, there are social events, opening and closing beach parties, Taste of Utila food fair, and prize giveaways. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - April 19, 2012) -- Has a client complained of a red bumpy itchy rash within a day of being in seawater? And it takes days, sometimes weeks, for it to clear up? It's "Sea Itch" time of year in the Caribbean. Also known as "Sea Bather's Euption", Sea Itch is an intensely itchy red rash with small blisters, sometimes in clusters and elevated areas of skin which affects the bathing suit-covered - rather than the exposed - areas of the body. Sea Itch usually becomes noticeable between four and 24 hours after exposure. A tingling sensation under the bathing suit (breasts, groin, cuffs and ankles of wetsuits) is often first noticed while still in the water.
Although it can occur at anytime of year, Sea Itch tends to be a seasonal affliction for water goers, with outbreaks occurring intermittently between March and August, and peaking between mid–April and early July. Sea Itch affects most of the coastal United States, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean islands, Mexico, and South America. It is also present in the Pacific, notably in parts of the Philippines, Thailand and Australia. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - March 29, 2012) -- The Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) will soon start a pilot project in Bonaire, assisting local authorities and a local coral reef restoration group in developing a restoration program on the main island of Bonaire and adjacent island of Klein Bonaire. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - March 28, 2012) -- Just a few days away, the first Great Fiji Shark Count will be launched. Throughout the month of April 2012, and again in November, sharks, rays and turtles will be identified and counted over all the regions of Fiji.
Event organizers hope that tourists, school children, scientists and all people with an interest in the marine environment will take to the reefs with us to search for the Sharks of Fiji! Easy to do, the Count itself can be done during a normal fishing, SCUBA diving or snorkel trip with a local operator or guide. Participants can do a single count, or take part as many times as they like during that month, and can cover different reefs. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - March 13, 2012) -- CNN has named Ken Nedimyer a CNN Hero for his pioneering efforts to develop techniques to preserve coral reefs and motivate public support for a cause that attracts environmentally conscious vacationers. Nedimyer is founder and president of Key Largo-based Coral Restoration Foundation.
Over 40 years ago, Nedimyer started diving Florida's coral reefs. He became a commercial fisherman and tropical fish collector, working in the ocean nearly every day of the year. But by the mid-1980s, he noticed a troubling trend.
Two of the region's most important corals, staghorn and elkhorn, were in drastic decline. The corals -- tiny, stationary marine animals that make up the reefs -- were dying because of many reasons, including climate change, pollution and overfishing, experts said. Today, they're on the endangered species list. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - January 22, 2012) -- This article is provided by shark specialist Debbie Smith, owner of eco-tourism company Diving With Sharks. Her specialty area is annual Sardine Run in South Africa. read more »
(Dive Travel Business News - Nov 9, 2011) -- With more than 400 servings of a new menu item last month, Bimini Big Game Club‘s General Manager Michael Weber and Chef Alvarez Bastian have found a recipe to help the environment and sate the most discriminating palate at the same time.
The Bimini Big Game Club’s Panko Breaded Lionfish Nuggets are the talk of the island, a gourmand’s answer to a tasty snack and an eco-solution for helping to rid nearby reefs of an aggressive and non-native predator.
“Our lionfish nuggets have become a huge seller. Though we don’t serve endangered species such as grouper – and we were the first Bahamas resort to feature a shark free marina - we have absolutely no problem turning lionfish into a menu item,” said Weber. read more »