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Latest News From The Project AWARE Foundation

Scuba Divers Worldwide Focus on Marine Debris

AWARE Divers Haul Debris to the Surface in 90 Countries

When scuba divers surfaced from 800 dive sites around the world this International Cleanup Day, 25 September, people took notice. Volunteer divers hauled up tonnes of debris from underwater environments including tires, shopping carts, electronics and countless cigarette butts and plastic containers.

“About 80 percent of the rubbish we collected was plastic,” said Suzy Phipps, Project AWARE Cleanup Organizer from Utila Dive Center. “One volunteer owns a small snack bar where they use disposable plastic cups, plates and cutlery. After joining this cleanup, the volunteer vowed to find alternatives for his bar.”

Borneo Divers, Borneo, Malaysia used International Cleanup Day as an opportunity to launch its “Say No to Plastic Bottles” campaign. The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Yang Berhormat Datuk Masidi, officially opened International Cleanup Day and announced a ban on all plastic bottles on the islands.

Project AWARE Foundation, leading underwater cleanup events worldwide for 17 years, continues to tabulate data collected from global site organizers this September. “The difference is really in the data,” states Jenny Miller Garmendia, Executive Director, Project AWARE Foundation. “Removing debris from underwater environments is an amazing first step. But to really attack debris issues at the source, we need to understand where the debris comes from and how it ends up in the ocean. That’s what dive volunteers are helping us do – collect data that will help prevent debris over the long-term.”

In 2009, more than 30,000 AWARE Divers and volunteers from 92 countries documented and removed harmful litter surfacing with more than 91,000 plastic bottles and nearly 79,000 plastic bags. Derelict fishing gear such as abandoned traps, nets and fishing line are also of increasing concern due to the extensive damage they cause to underwater habitats.

“The highlight of the day was freeing more than 100 trevally that were caught in an abandoned fish trap. We also removed a big fishing net and freed snappers and crab,” commented Marita Fassbender from Easy Divers, Koh Samui, Thailand.

The pinnacle cleanup event of the year, International Cleanup Day, is held each September in partnership with the Ocean Conservancy. But underwater cleanup efforts don’t just end in September. Project AWARE and dedicated dive volunteers tackle the devastating impacts of marine debris year round.

“International Cleanup Day, organized each September, is a very visual way to highlight a very serious and persistent marine debris issue,” states Jenny Miller Garmendia, Executive Director, Project AWARE Foundation. “But AWARE divers are also committed to the cause year-round with many of them conducting local underwater cleanups multiple times each year.”

After 21 years of activating dive volunteers to protect underwater environments, Project AWARE prepares to re-launch in 2011 with a new organizational vision, mission and strategies for the future. “We’re currently preparing to re-launch our long-standing organization, with new strategies to take these marine debris efforts to a whole new level. And we’re excited to work alongside these dedicated volunteers that fuel this critical cause,” says Garmendia.

Take action with Project AWARE Foundation and support ocean protection efforts worldwide at www.projectaware.org.

Oceans 5 Dive Gili Air The Newest PADI 5 Star Dive Resort on Gili Air

Do you ever dream of diving in a tropical paradise? Then Oceans 5 on Gili Air is the place to be…

Oceans 5, located on Gili Air, Indonesia, offers the full range of PADI dive courses from beginner to professional level. Oceans 5 is a 5 star PADI Dive Resort. Of the three Gili Islands just off the coast of Lombok, Gili Air is located closest to Lombok and is known for its tranquil atmosphere.

Gili Air means “Water Island”, which refers to the lush vegetation on the island. White sandy beaches, no motorized transport (the only transport on the island is by horse cart or bike), friendly local villagers, a good variety of restaurants and accommodation ranging from basic homestays to luxury private villas make Gili Air a serene place for a relaxing, yet adventurous holiday.

Oceans 5 offers diving for everyone!

Oceans 5 is situated in the harbor and has 24h access to more than 20 different dive sites around the islands. Oceans 5’ house reef is located right in front of the dive shop, all the other dive sites are only a short boat ride away. Multilingual instructors can teach you in Dutch, English, German, French and Italian.

B&J Is Organizing an Event on Tioman, Please Get involved

from facebook friday 3rd September from our friends at B&J Diving Centre please support them if you can

B&J is again organizing an event for the International Coastal and Beach Cleanup Day, which will be held on Tioman during the weekend of 25th/26th September 2010. We like to invite you to take part and contribute your part to the conservation of our reefs.

The event will be held from our two centres in Salang Bay and in ABC on Tioman Island and will include a Crown of Thorns (COT) Injection and collection expedition, a house reef cleanup, a beach cleanup and very likely also the sinking of a sailboat for the purpose of becoming an artificial reef.

Crown Of Thorns Starfish:
Even though it is true that we have had some coral bleaching on our reefs, diving is still great and we need to protect our hard corals from the never fasting Crown of Thorns starfish. As emailed earlier this year, we have sponsored an injection unit called SpotGun to inject the COT with a bio-degradable poison (Dry Acid). We’re planning to focus during the event on 4 different dive sites, namely Chebeh Island, Fan Canyon, Sepoi Island and One Tree Bay.

House Reef Cleanup:
Luckily the house reefs on Tioman are not really polluted by rubbish and debris, but unfortunately this can’t be said about the jetty in Salang Bay. As such we will conduct at least one beach dive at this location to collect as much rubbish as we can.

Beach Cleanup:
After a day of diving we will equip ourselves with gloves and rubbish bags and stroll along the beach of Salang and ABC to collect whatever rubbish we might find.

Artificial Reef:
We might even be taking part in sinking a sailboat as an artificial reef at one of our existing dive sites. This boat sunk in the bay of Air Batang (ABC) and the local Marine Park is currently negotiating with the owner to donate it to us for the purpose of becoming an artificial reef.

Costs involved:
We’ve always been a big supporter of PADI’s non profit organization Project AWARE. We believe that we all have to do our part to conserve our oceans for future generations. As such, B&J is not only acting as an organizer for this event but also as a sponsor. As such, we only charge MYR 300.00 for these 5 dives (or MYR 150.00 per day) including BBQ Dinner and wall certificate.

We’re also planning to organize a lucky draw with prices such as T-Shirts, Dive Retail and Free Dives to raise some funds for Project AWARE.

The costs of MYR 150.00 per day do not include accommodation and transportation. We will be happy to assist you with booking ferry tickets (Bluewater Ferries, MYR 35.00 per way) and resort for you (check out http://www.divetioman.com/tioman_accommodation.html).

Possible Itinerary:

Saturday, 25th September:
09:30am: Event briefing at our dive centre in Salang Bay
10:00am: Departure to Chebeh Island for COT Injection and collection
12:00pm: Lunch break at Coral Island
13:00pm: COT Injection and collection at One Tree Bay
14:30pm: Return to Salang Bay
15:00pm: Cleanup dive at the jetty in Salang
17:00pm: Beach Cleanup
19:30pm: BBQ at our dive centre

Sunday, 26th September:
09:30am: Departure to Sepoi Island for COT Injection and collection
12:00pm: Lunch break at Coral Island
13:00pm: COT Injection and collection at Fan Canyon
14:30pm: Return to Salang Bay

Hopefully you can make it for this event. Please email to Martin ([email protected]) to confirm your participation or if you have any questions.

Happy bubbles & healthy reefs,

Your B&J Dive Team

B&J Diving Centre Sdn. Bhd.
Tioman Island – Malaysia

Web: www.divetioman.com
Email: [email protected]
Tel. Salang: +60 9 419 55 55
Tel. ABC: +60 9 419 12 18

Promotion @ DivingScool Koh Chang

Special of the month : PEAK PERFORMANCE BUOYANCY – 8000 THB

Diving isn’t a strenuous activity if you’re doing it right, experienced divers will tell you that the key to this is neutral buoyancy. Your dives will become easier as you gain better control over your buoyancy.

You will feel more confident in the water and you will contribute to protect our valuable coral reefs as perfect buoyancy keeps you from crashing into and  damaging this fragile marine life. During the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course you will learn how to wear the right amount of weight and how to find that perfect diving position.

< style="font-family: Tahoma, 'Times New Roman', 'Bitstream Charter', Times, serif; font-size: small;">One of the most important tools for mastering your buoyancy is your breathing. With slight changes in inhaling and exhaling you can adjust your buoyancy. Getting the hang of perfect buoyancy will improve your air consumption and gives you more energy and confidence.

< style="font-family: Tahoma; font-size: x-small;">Now that you’ve improved your air consumption and your underwater positioning you want to get the maximum out of your dives by extending your bottom times. The < style="font-family: Tahoma; color: #1e33b2; font-size: x-small;">< style="text-decoration: underline;">PADI Enriched Air Diver Specialty < style="font-family: Tahoma; font-size: x-small;">allows you in a safe way to stay longer at your favourites dive sites. < style="font-family: Tahoma; color: #1e33b2; font-size: x-small;">< style="text-decoration: underline;">Contact us < style="font-family: Tahoma; font-size: x-small;">to find out when courses start and availability.

Diving in Puerto Galera (pt 2)

A big thank you to John Carlo Sola  at Mermaid Resort and Dive Centre here’s the second part of the article I hope you enjoy it.

< style="color: #888888;">Part 2


There are over 40 dive sites in Sabang, PG alone. Each of them offers a unique diving thrill ranging from sea life colors to drifts, caves and underwater hot springs. Talk to the dive masters/guides and tell them you’d like to try out something different every dive. It has been my experience that they would be extremely happy to take you around.

Another way to diversify is to take day and night dives. Avid water adventurers know for a fact that it a different wonderland at night and during the day. And don’t limit yourself to just diving. Remember, it’s your whole stay that would determine whether you had a great time or not. That said, try out other activities.

Explore Other Activities in Between Dive

While PG is clearly a SCUBA diver’s paradise, there are quite a number of other activities available to make your stay filled with a variety of experiences. Take, for example, snorkeling. A special pleasure on its own is to have a banca take you around a small area of water to witness marine life with a different perspective a lot of divers may have already forgotten.

All the other activities will be listed in a separate article but here’s an overview. In PG, one can do nature tripping to Tamaraw Falls, go golfing at Ponderosa Golf Course, go island hopping to the many tropical islands around, experience the night life of Sabang, and lots more. In between dives, taking on other activities would in turn be a great way to network with other divers.

Network with Other Divers

There’s no best resource to information than personal experience. So I should say, whenever you can, talk to the regulars of PG. If a great time is what you’re looking for, they’d know what to suggest. There are many ways to network with them. Of course, it already happens in the dive centers. Another would be in day bars where you can have beer with all sorts of diver folk. One more way would be at the resort, while having coffee or having meals.

Stay at the Best Resort

And it goes without saying that the whole diving experience is pretty much affected by where you stay. Waking up in the morning with a backache because of a bad bed, or getting really bad customer service from a hotel staff could very much define your mood the whole day thereby affecting your diving experience. It is highly advisable to stay at a quality resort and you’ll be very happy to see everything else fall into place.

< style="font-family: Verdana, 'Times New Roman', 'Bitstream Charter', Times, serif; color: #4b4b4b;">I hope you enjoyed this great article, we are more than happy to include yours also. write me [email protected]

Diving in Puerto Galera (pt 1)

A big thank you to John Carlo Sola  at Mermaid Resort and Dive Centre for the following two part article I hope you enjoy it.

Diving in Puerto Galera is a must for any serious SCUBA enthusiast as well as for those just about thinking of taking on the underwater sport. With its awesome dive sites teeming with excellent coral reefs and excitingly vibrant marine life, Puerto Galera, dubbed the Pearl of Mindoro, is also part of the “center of the center of marine biodiversity in the world” according to Environmental Biology of Fishes. Underwater photography and videography find subjects in several wrecks, colorful Nudibranchs, sponges, and sea fans, and the main attraction of South East Asia’s Coral Triangle.

But diving in Puerto Galera (PG) is not only about the experience of “getting wet.” The whole package is what counts. Here are a few tips that would make your diving vacation a truly memorable experience.

Book in Advance and Plan your Trip

There is truth to the saying that “He who fails to plan, plans to fail.” No matter how much promise a trip or a destination gives you, there is much more to be gained from a well thought out venture. Read about PG from travel books and travel resources online. Search the web for travel reviews. Ask friends who’ve actually gone diving around these parts.

Map out the trip down to the smallest details from the best places to stay in, the best dive shops to dive with, and all your booking options. You may be surprised to learn how much discounts you can get if you book in advance. While knowing the best dates to book for your vacation could mean either you’ll have the whole place almost exclusively to yourself or there will be a lot of other divers you could network with. Any of the two would be good, depending on your overall plan.

Go with the Best Dive Center Possible

Once you’re done planning your trip and reading about PG, you’ll have a list of some dive centers you can go with. Some of the best dive shops in PG can be found in Sabang. Most often than not, they are the ones that really look good. That is, those with new equipment, a clean compressor room, equipment cleaning areas, and well kept interiors. If it feels and looks great, you’d know the shop actually invested to provide quality service.

The centers to go with are those with clear information ready all over. These are the ones that have printed material on dive sites, rates, courses and those critical to the day such as tide and weather information. Also consider their extras. The best often provide towels, hot and cold showers, and beverages. In addition, go with the SCUBA shops that can actually handle several guests all at the same time. This ability comes in handy when it comes to the next tip, which deals with diversification

(pt 2 to follow soon)

Divemaster Wanted for the Philippines NOW!


BigApple DiveResort

EXPAT DIVEMASTER WANTED FOR FULL TIME WORK & IMMEDIATE START. Must have minimum 1000 dives experience in the local dive sites of Puerto Galera, good rates of pay offered for the right applicant.

Call Neil on +639151954821


Faces of the Sea – South Africa Sardine Run – Details

via facebook

From –  Faces of the Sea

Just a quick update about availability for Sardine Run 2010

We still have availability on the following dates :

— 19th June 2010 to 27th June 2010

— 05th July 2010 to 13th July 2010

9-day Sardine Run South Africa

Day 1 : Arrive Durban & Transfer to Lodge
We will meet you at Durban International Airport or other pick-up points as required. You can arrive at anytime during the day. You will be transferred [+/- 30mins] to the Lodge, where you will meet the team. In the evening you can enjoy dinner at the lodge or a local restaurant. Overnight at the Lodge.

Day 2 : Transfer to Port St. John & Sardine Run
An early start and we transfer south to Port St. Johns [about 5-hours]. On the way down we receive updates about the Sardine Run movements. When we arrive we launch and spend the rest of the day out at sea enjoying the action and getting up close and personal with almost every species of marine animal including birds, dolphins, game fish, whales and sharks. In the late afternoon we return to shore to check in to our accommodation, situated on the river banks at Port St. Johns. The upmarket lodge overlooks the river and has en-suite facilities. There is a fantastic restaurant and bar to enjoy a meal and some drinks. Overnight Port St. Johns.

Day 3 – 7 : Full Day Sardine Run action
Each morning while we have breakfast, we receive updates about the Sardine Run movements. We launch and we spend the day out at sea enjoying the action and getting up close and personal with almost every species of marine animal including birds, dolphins, game fish, whales and sharks. In the late afternoon we return to shore where we can plan a local excursion or you can just relax and enjoy the bar. There are fantastic views and walks. In the evening we enjoy a meal at the local restaurant. Overnight Port St. Johns.

Day 8 : Sardine Run & Transfer to Lodge
An early rise for breakfast and we enjoy a final morning with the Sardine Run before being we transfer north back to the Lodge. In the evening you can enjoy dinner at the lodge or at a local restaurants. Overnight at the Lodge.

Day 9 : Airport Transfers or Extend your stay
In the morning breakfast is served at the lodge and you are then transferred to Durban International Airport where we will bid you farewell.

2010 Package Costs
Diver Package : R19,800 [approx. £1465 or €1720]*
Non-Diver Partner : R11,800 [approx. £875 or €1025]*
Single Supplement : R1,980 [approx. £147 or €172]*

2011 Package Costs
Diver Package : R21,500 [approx. £1590 or €1870]*
Non-Diving Partner : R11,800 [approx. £875 or €1025]*
Single Supplement : R2,150 [approx. £159 or €187]*

* Based on exchange rate R13.50 = £1 / R11.50 = €1 at 01st June 2009

What’s Included :
Return Airport Transfers, Transfers to Port St. Johns, 8-nights Accommodation, Daily Breakfast, 7-days Sardine Run Diving, Cylinders & Air, Weight Belts & Weights & Diver Permits

What’s Not Included :
Flights & Taxes, Personal Insurance, Dive Gear [can be hired], Lunches, Dinners, Drinks, Passports & Visas

If interested for this year or 2011 drop us an email at [email protected]

Geko Dive Bali – Special Offers

I have  couple of special offers for you…

May – 4 days diving and 5th day for free

October -Do your PADI Open Water course and 20% discount on your Advanced course

November – 4 days diving and 5th day for free

December – Free photos for PADI Open water course.

These offers are only if you  quote your THIS website when booking and bookings must be made at least 7 days in advance

Cynthia Kasar
PADI Instructor (MSDT 476568)
Geko Dive Bali (PADI R-6029)
web-site : www.gekodive.com
e-mail : [email protected]