Thursday, 21 April 2011

Help Give Sharks A Fighting Chance - Sign the Petition

Shark populations are devastated by overexploitation, including targeted fishing, bycatch and finning. Join thousands of AWARE divers and shark advocates who are serious about shark protection. Support the goal to reach 100,000 petition signatures from around the world by June 8th, World Ocean Day. Sign the petition and urge your friends and colleagues to do the same.

Together, we’re gaining the attention of policymakers worldwide. We’re closing loopholes in existing global shark management policies and insisting on full protections for Endangered and Critically Endangered sharks.

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Yes, I'm appalled at the failure of the world's environment leaders at CITES 2010 in Qatar to approve trade protections for some of the Earth's most vulnerable and heavily traded shark species.

Each year, tens of millions of sharks are killed by Earth's most dangerous predators - humans. Too many of them fall victim to the cruel and wasteful practice of shark finning - the act of removing shark fins and discarding the often still alive shark overboard. As Asian demand for fins remains strong, markets for shark meat are growing, helping to push shark species to the brink.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) analyses, all shark species proposed at the meeting met the criteria for listing under CITES Appendix II. Such listing requires that trade is controlled in order to avoid use that threatens the species' survival. Despite the depletion of sharks worldwide, restrictions on international trade are in place for only three shark species - whale shark, great white shark and basking shark.

I join with Project AWARE, divers and activists worldwide, calling on CITES Parties, between now and the next CITES Conference, to:

  • Heed all available scientific advice for limiting shark catches;
  • Fully protect shark species listed as Endangered or Critically Endangered by the IUCN;
  • Set precautionary shark fishing limits [where no advice exists];
  • Ensure all sharks are landed with their fins naturally attached;
  • Work with other countries to prepare and promote shark listing proposals for the next CITES Conference; and
  • Improve shark trade data collection by taking national action to list all species proposed at CITES 2010 on Appendix III before the next CITES meeting in 2013.

We call on governments around the world to heed scientific advice to provide better protection for all sharks and their ocean ecosystem.

Help Give Sharks A Fighting Chance - Sign the Petition Here!

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Underwater Photography Seminar at Matava in August 2011

You’re a pretty good underwater photographer, but not a pro. You want to step up your game by sharpening your eye, honing your photo trigger finger and getting your lighting down. If you just had one week, you’re thinking, you could get it done. And if you had a patient instructor, minus the intimidating resume and overinflated ego, who’s willing to spend as much time with you as you need, you’d be all set.

Wait! Did you hear that knocking at your door? It’s opportunity. Scuba Travel Ventures is now proud to offer divers the chance to spend a week luxuriating in a Pacific paradise while elevating their underwater photography skills. Noted underwater photographer Dr. Andre Smith is leading a seminar on the subject from Thursday, August 11 to Saturday, August 20 at Matava – Fiji’s leading eco-adventure resort, on the island of Kadavu – for shooters of all levels of skill and experience.

“We’re taking all comers, aiming to make sure that everyone gets the right level of attention,” says Smith, an anesthesiologist by profession who originally hails from South Africa but now calls British Columbia home. “Some resorts and live-aboards offer courses, but they forget that people are on holiday and want to have fun. The diving will be fun and easy and not pressurized.”
The diving goes down in the Great Astrolabe Reef, one of the Pacific’s most radiant dive jewels, located on Kadavu’s southern shore. With an area of about 75 miles, the reef is the world’s fourth largest and features encounters with graceful manta rays, curious reef sharks, a rainbow palette of tropical fish, spectacularly colorful hard and soft corals, walls and mesmerizing passages. Some of the sexiest sites include a handful in the immaculate Naiqoro Marine Reserve, the aptly named Manta Reef, the richly colored Japanese Gardens and Coral Wonderland. It’s all yours to photograph.

Smith says the course – which also features instruction by shooter and trip leader Randy Osgerby – will involve daily classroom sessions, with two days devoted to macro, three to wide-angle and the final day devoted to a diver’s choice, with a slide show at the end of the trip. The majority of the work Smith says he’ll do with his new students will be underwater and after dives to check out the results.

“There’s lots of multitasking on dives and I’m hoping to simplify things for divers so the photography part becomes second nature,” Smith says. “I’m not looking for shooters to compete with each other. But by the end of the week, we’re hoping to turn out confident photographers.”

To check out more of Dr. Andre Smith’s fabulous underwater photography click this link or visit his website: http://andresmith.speedalbum.com/home.htm.

Dive Package $2899

August 11 - 20, 2011

This package includes Round trip airfare from LAX, 7 nights Ocean View Bure accommodations, taxes and airport transfers, all meals, 5 days unlimited seminar boat dives, 5 days underwater digital photography and unlimited shore diving, prizes and give-aways, Traditional Lovo Feast and Kava Ceremony.

Call 1-800-298-9009

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Winner of Dive Boat Name Announced!

Michael Caro of Michigan, USA won the competition!


We are pleased to announce that we have the name of our new dive boat:


"BELOW ME"

The winner is Michael Caro from Michigan, USA, sent in through his dive travel agent Scuba Planners!.

He's won himself a Scuba Dive Kadavu Package

  • 5 day of 2 tanks diving (10 dives) at Mad Fish Dive Centre
  • All day free access to shore diving at The Critter Junction
  • 7 nights in Oceanview Traditional Bure
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, unlimited tea/coffee)
  • Traditional Lovo Feast and Kava ceremony
  • Airport and boat transfers to/from Kadavu airport
  • All taxes
Congratulations Michael!

Thanks to everyone who sent in names, we were overwhelmed by the number of emails and suggestions.

Follow along the construction on our blogs and the photos on Flickr.

View our photos on flickr 


 We hope you all had some fun, we certainly did judging the entries.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Matava's new dive boat BELOW ME

Matava's new dive boat BELOW ME welding in progress!