SCUBA News 243
28 September 2020
SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 243 - September 2020
Hi - welcome to SCUBA News. This month we have a guest article by Joanne Swann about how her dive company is crowdfunding to continue its work clearing the seas of plastic - please contribute if you can. Plus, don't forget you can now get travel insurance which includes COVID-19 cover. You can mix and match this with specialist diving insurance to get the best protection for your trip.
The Red Sea has some of the best diving in the world. With over 1000 species of fish and 150 species of coral, it is rich in life. As the Red Sea has few storms, her corals are intricate and beautiful
Cuba has re-opened diving resorts to tourists. Discover one of the most intact marine ecosystems in the region.
Hi I am a BSAC Dive Leader and according to the (SCUBA Travel) equivalency table I should be able to apply for the CMAS 3 Star. Although after applying BSAC has replied that they would only give me the CMAS 2 Star.
Could you please clarify this.
BSAC Dive Leader used to be equivalent to CMAS 2 Star, but according to their equivalency chart is now equivalent to CMAS 3 Star. I've previously checked this with the BSAC Diving Support Advisor, Geoff Bacon, who confirmed that this was the case. I can send you the correspondence if it helps. Please let us know what happens.
Saving Marine Life during COVID-19
Since 2004, Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures in Malaysian Borneo have been fighting the ever growing problem of ocean trash through beach cleanups and underwater gill net removals. They've saved thousands of marine lives that would have otherwise perished.
Tons of Ocean Trash Collected
Abandoned Gill Nets Collected
COVID-19 threatened to de-rail their efforts.
The pandemic bought worldwide travel to its knees. Malaysian borders were closed and will remain closed until 2021. Currently the dive centre operates with only local divers, at weekends and one or two extra days of the week. Not being out diving everyday with several boats of divers means we are not finding the gill nets quickly enough and can't conduct non-profit charitable work to the same degree as pre-covid.
To tackle the problem we've launched a fundraising initiative to save marine life, clean up ocean trash and help get local people in Malaysia back to work. The concept is a win/win for the environment and the community.
The objective of the appeal is to raise enough funds to complete several projects over the next few months.
Who will benefit from this project?
Marine life such as turtles, sharks, coral reef fish and crustaceans. A rogue fishing net, colloquially termed 'ghost nets' because it continually fishes even after being discarded, can be up to 100m long and 30m wide. Whilst they are left on the reef un-suspecting marine life get snagged in them, they struggle for their freedom and often larger fish will feel the vibrations of an injured creature and become snagged themselves and the devastation continues. Everything from crabs, clown fish, snappers, turtles and sharks entangle in the net, often still alive and waiting to be saved.
Twenty five workers and their families, plus their extended families will benefit. Local families usually have one main income earner with many generations of families living in the same house hold. There has been some government support during covid-19 but people are already struggling. Raising money for these conservation projects means the local team have work on the conservation days which will help substitute the loss of full time income.
Beaches, mangroves & coral reefs will also benefit. Beach clean ups are a routine job for the island team. Sadly ocean trash is an increasing problem world-wide, the plastic tide is seen daily. More than eight million tonnes of plastic is thrown away each year and washed out to sea. It takes centuries to break down. It's eaten by marine creatures and it's in our food chain. Scientists can't say how dangerous plastic is to human health, but it's clear the effect on wildlife is devastating. Fish, whales, dolphins… hundreds of species have eaten plastic.
Prior to COVID-19, we conducted regular 'Beach & Underwater Cleanups', inviting the local community to take part the conservation days were educational encouraging people to become 'Ocean Hero's' and torchbearers by reducing their own waste products.
How are the funds being used?
Historically the team conducted one Ghost Net Search & Recovery and one Beach & Underwater Clean Up per week at an approximate cost of MYR 5,150.00 (GBP 1,050.00) per week. So far the appeal has raised enough money to complete two projects which is fantastic and both projects have been uploaded to the companies youtube channel. I have also set up a fundraising page which is regularly updated.
What’s great about this fundraiser is supporters can be virtually involved and see for themselves the project being completed. Every project is documented and supporters can share the results of their support on their own social media. Companies can support an entire project as part of their own CSR commitment.
To get the latest news on the project status and to donate please visit the Back To Work With Conservation' GoFundMe page.
Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures S/B is a PADI 5 Star IDC Career Development Centre & Travel Company based in Sabah, Borneo.
Ocean Art 2020 underwater photography competition now open
Scientists sound alarm on plastic pollution
Cuvier's beaked whale breaks record with 3 hour 42 minute dive
Welsh seagrass meadow sows hope for global restoration
Loggerhead turtles record a passing hurricane
Israel fish deaths linked to rapid warming of seas
Ocean acidification risks deep-sea reef collapse
World fails to meet a single target to stop destruction of nature - UN report
SCUBA News is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. This means we are happy for you to reuse our material for both commercial and non-commercial use as long as you: credit the name of the author, link back to the SCUBA Travel website and say if you have made any changes. Some of the photos though, might be copyright the photographer. If in doubt please get in touch.
Photo credits: Tim Nicholson, Jill Studholme, Kristin Riser, Jianye Sui
Previous editions of SCUBA News are archived at https://www.scubatravel.co.uk/news.html
SUBSCRIBING AND UNSUBSCRIBING
Visit [UNSUBSCRIBE] and add or remove your e-mail address. To change whether your receive the newsletter in text or HTML (with pictures) format visit [PREFERENCES]
Should you wish to advertise in SCUBA News, please see the special offers at
Other advertising opportunities are at
CONTACTING THE EDITOR
Please send your letters or press releases to:
SCUBA Travel Ltd, 5 Loxford Court, Hulme, Manchester, M15 6AF, UK
Subscribe To SCUBA News
Our newsletter, SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011), is absolutely free. It is a monthly publication, delivered by e-mail. To receive your copy fill in your details below. We will never pass your e-mail address to any third parties, or send you unsolicited e-mail.
You will receive an e-mail confirming your subscription. If you don't receive this you may have entered your e-mail address incorrectly - revisit this page and re-subscribe.