עדכון לסביבת הלימוד האלקטרוני של PADI

בכדי לספק לצוללי PADI מסע אלגנטי מנקודת הרכישה עד לשימוש במוצר, ארגון PADI פתח במשימה דיגיטאלית. PADI תמיד היה ארגון מוביל ברמה העולמית בחינוך צוללים ותמיד פעל מתוך מחוייבות ליצירת תוכנית האימון עם חומרי הלימוד הטובים בעולם והפצתם לרחבי העולם לרשת מרכזי הצלילה של PADI וחברי הארגון. חברי הארגון של PADI תמיד הציעו את תעודת ההסמכה לצלילה המבוקשת ביותר בעולם וצמיד אפשרו לאנשים להכיר את העולם התת מימי באופן בטוח ומקיף. אז מה חדש? שכל אלו הפכו כעת להרבה יותר קלים. PADI מכניס לפועל מספר שינויים מהותיים לתוכנית (בשמה החדש) סביבת הלימוד האלקטרוני – eLearning Environment.

כיום, חברי PADI שולחים קוד ממרכז ההסמכות שבאתר לחניכים שלהם בכדי לאפשר לאלה להשתמש במוצרים, ולבחור האפשרות התקשורת דרך הודעות דואר אלקטרוני בשפה שיבחרו. צעדים אלה נשארו ללא שינוי.

החל מעכשיו, כשהמשתמשים יקליקו על הקישור במייל שיקבלו, הם ינותבו לעמוד אינטרנט מעוצב באופן מרענן שבו יפתחו את חשבון המשתמש שלהם במוצרים הדיגיטאליים שלהם. (אם הם כבר משתמשים רשומים, הם פשוט יקלידו את נתוני המשתמש שלהם בכדי להיכנס למוצרים החדשים שלהם.) מהירות הכניסה והשימוש במוצרים עברו שדרוג ושיפור משמעותיים.

סביבת הלימוד החדשה נקיה וממוקדת. יש תפריט בחירה לאורך חלקה העליון, שמקל על המשתמשים למצוא את מבוקשם. הכניסה מתאפשרת בקלות דרך העמוד PADI.com (על ידי בחירה של הלוגו או כפתור ה PADI.com בתפריט הבחירה). קל מאד לבצע החלפת שפה. יש אפשרות לעזרה בה המשתמשים יכולים למצוא את מספר הטלפון להתקשרות (או לבחור באפשרות דואר אלקטרוני ישיר) עם משרד PADI המתאים עבורם. כמו כן ישנה אפשרות השחזור סיסמה הפופולארית בה משתמשים יכולים להיכנס מחדש דרך קישור שילח אל תיבת הדואר  האלקטרוני שלהם. אייקונים עם מידע נוסף מופיעים בעמוד. זוהי דרך קלה וידידותית בה קשה מאד להתבלבל.

כמשתמש נכנס לעמוד יש לו את האפשרות לעדכן או לשנות את כתובתו. כמו כן הלוגו שמויע בצידו השמאלי של המסך ישתנה מPADI ל PADI eLearning®  , בכדי לוודא שהמשתמשים נמצאים בסביבת ה  eLearning®שבה כל הקורסים שיבצעו נמצאים. (יש תת כותרת בשם הקורס שלי שתוודא זאת).

פנל זיהוי שפוט וממוקד מזהה כל קורס. המשתמשים יכולים לבחור בתמונה שעל הפאנל, או בתיבת הקורסים כדי להיכנס לכל הקורסים שבחבילת ההסמכה שלהם. כל התכנים האלה רשומים באופן ברור ומסודר ופתוחים לכניסה, עם קישורים ידידותיים למשתמש, ואחד מהחידושים הטובים ביותר הוא שכעת נדרשת רק כניסה אחת לסביבת הלימוד האלקטרוני.

בחומרי הלימוד האלקטרוני, המשתמשים יכולים לראות את כל ההסמכות והמוצרים בערכות ההסמכה שלהם: מוצרי הטאבלט, הספרות ברזולוציה מכווצת, טבלת מתכנן הצלילה ה eRDPMLÔ, ויומן הצלילות האלקטרוני עם קישור ישיר ל ScubaEarth שם יירשמו הצלילות (ללא צורך להיכנס מחדש לאתר ה ScubaEarth.) מרכיבי הספרות ישתנו כמובן לפי הקורס המיועד.

בשורה התחתונה זוהי סביבה נקיה, מאורגנת וידידותית יותר למשתמש. תפריט הבחירה מופיע בכל המסכים כך שתמיד ניתן לבחור מחדש את האפשרויות. דרך הלימוד הפכה קלה יותר למשתמשים בתכנים האלקטרוניים. ישנן אפשרויות רבות בחנות, ותוכלו לצפות לאופציות חדשות שיופיעו בקרוב באופן סדיר.

דרישות טכניות/ הדפס קטן

מכשירים ניידים וטאבלטים

  • מכשירי טאבלט וטלפונים חכמים עם מערכת הפעלה 9 (ביכולות מוגבלות) 10 ו-11. הגרסה הנכחית, ושתי הגרסאות הקודמות.
  • מכשירי טאבלט וטלפונים אשר פועלים עם מערכת הפעלה של Nougat ומערכת Oreo. גרסת ההפעלה הנוכחית ושתי הגרסאות הקודמות.

מחשב נייח/ דפדפן רשת

  • מכשירי Mac OSX 10.10 ומכשירים מתקדמים יותר עם דפדפן Chrome, Firefox, Safari.
  • מערכת הפעלה Windows 7, 8.x עם דפדפן הרשת בגרסה הכי מתקדמת וזאת הקודמת לה של Chrome, Firefox, internet explorer 11 ומעלה.
  • דפדפן רשת למחשב נייח שאינו תומך בטאבלטים וטלפונים.

PADI eLearning ympäristön päivitys

Pyrkiessään tarjoamaan PADI sukeltajille tyylikkään asiakasmatkan ostotilanteesta tuotteen läpikäyntiin, PADI on digitaalisten tuotteiden missiolla. PADI on aina ollut sukelluskoulutuksessa maailmanluokan edelläkävijä ja on aina omistautunut luomaan maailman parhaita sukelluskoulutusmateriaaleja ja toimittamaan niitä kansäinväliselle verkostolle PADI Dive Centereitä, Resortteja ja PADI ammattilaisia. PADI jäsenet ovat aina tarjonneet maailman halutuimpia sukellusluokituksia ja ovat aina mahdollistaneet ihmisten tutustua vesiplaneettaamme luottavaisesti ja pätevästi. Joten, mikä on uutta? Tämä on vain tullut huomattavasti helpommaksi. PADI julkaisee joitakin merkittäviä päivityksiä (uudelleen nimettyyn) eLearning ympäristöön.

Tänään, PADI jäsenet lähettävät koodin online-käsittelykeskuksesta oppilailleen, jotta näillä käyttäjillä on pääsy eLearning tuotteisiin. Käyttäjät saavat sitten sähköpostissa linkin tuotteeseen ja mahdollisuuden valita yhteydenpidon sähköpostit haluamallaan kielellä. Mikään näistä vaiheista ei ole muuttunut.

Mutta nyt, kun käyttäjät klikkaavat sähköpostissa olevaa linkkiä, heidät viedään juuri uudistetulle sivulle, jossa he luovat tilin digitaalisten tuotteidensa käyttöön. (Jos heillä on jo tili, he yksinkertaisesti kirjautuvat ja pääsevät käyttämään uusia materiaalejaan.) Kirjautumisprosessin nopeus ja tehokkuus ovat myös parantuneet huomattavasti.

Uusi ympäristö on puhdas ja selkeä. Yläreunassa on valikkopalkki, jonka avulla käyttäjän on mukavaa ja yksinkertaista navigoida. PADI.com sivustolle on helppo pääsy. (Joko klikkaamalla logoa tai PADI.com nimikettä valikkopalkissa.) Kieltä on helppo vaihtaa. Help optiossa on puhelinnumero, johon käyttäjät voivat soittaa (tai klikata linkkiä ja lähettää sähköpostia suoraan) PADI toimistoon, joka palvelee heitä. Siellä on myös aina suosittu unohtunut salasana -optio johon käyttäjät voivat kirjoittaa tilinsä sähköpostiosoitteen ja saada linkin asettaakseen salasanansa uudelleen. Tieto-kuvakkeet tarjoavat lisätietoja, jos käyttäjät tarvitsevat sitä. Se on puhdas, yksinkertainen käyttöliittymä, ja siinä on vaikea mennä sekaisin.

Kun käyttäjät kirjautuvat, heillä on mahdollisuus vahvistaa tai muuttaa osoitettaan. Nyt kuvake ylhäällä vasemmalla vaihtuu PADI:sta PADI eLearning®:ksi, vahvistaen käyttäjien olevan eLearning ympäristössä, missä kaikki heidän kurssinsa ovat. (Kurssini alaotsikko vahvistaa tämän). Yksinkertainen, puhdas paneeli yksilöi jokaisen kurssin. Käyttäjät voivat joko klikata paneelin kuvaketta tai Katso Kursseja -laatikkoa päästäkseen kaikkeen heidän luokituspaketissaan. Kaikki sisältö on selkeästi listattu ja niihin on saumaton pääsy käyttäjäystävällisillä linkeillä. Yksi suurista parannuksista on nyt yksi ainoa kirjautuminen eLearning ympäristöön.

eLearning materiaaleissaan, käyttäjät voivat nähdä kaikki luokituspakettiensa osat: tabletti tuote, matalaresoluutioinen manuaali, eRDPML ja eTraining Dive Log täydellisenä linkkeineen suoraan ScubaEarth:iin missä loki on (sen sijaan, että täytyisi taas kirjautua ScubaEarth:iin). Luonnollisesti osat vaihtelevat kurssin mukaan.

Tärkeintä on, että se on paljon puhtaampi ja selkeämpi käyttäjäympäristö. Valikkopalkki seuraa käyttäjiä mihin he menevätkään, joten heillä on aina samat vaihtoehdot. Asiat helpottuvat eOppilaille. Varastossa on paljon enemmän odottamassa uusien ominaisuuksien julkaisemista säännöllisesti.

Pienellä painettu/Tekniset ominaisuudet

Tabletti ja mobiililaitteet
• iOS tabletti ja puhelimen OS 9 (rajoitettu tuki) 10 and 11. Nykyinen versio ja kaksi aiempaa versiota
• Android tabletti ja puhelimen OS Nougat ja Oreo. Nykyinen versio ja kaksi aiempaa versiota

Desktop/Web Viewer
• Mac OSX 10.10 tai uudempi jossa Safarin, Chromen tai Firefoxin kaksi viimeisintä selainversiota
• Windows 7 tai 8.x jossa Chromen tai Firefoxin kaksi viimeisintä selainversiota tai Internet Explorer 11 tai uudempi
• Desktop Web Viewer ei ole tuettu tableteissa ja puhelimissa

PADI Power!

Are you getting the most from your PADI marketing power?

The PADI logo is the most distinctive and powerful logo in the diving industry. Recognised as a sign of quality diver training and service, divers around the planet proudly state that they have ‘got my PADI’.

As a PADI dive centre, a key benefit of your membership is the right to utilise the power of the PADI brand to bring more custom to your dive centre – here are some suggestions on how to make sure you are doing this effectively:

  1. Use your PADI Dive Centre Marketing kit to its full effect. Every renewed PADI dive centre receives a physical marketing tool kit which includes flags, banner and other marketing collateral completely free of charge. Maldivian dive centres can get their tool kits through MA Services, the official PADI material distributor in the Maldives. If you have not yet received your pack, make sure you contact them directly to arrange collection.
  2. Use your digital resources – make sure your website shows the PADI logo – you can download a range of logos by logging into the PADI Pro Site and clicking the following link: https://www2.padi.com/mypadi/templates/cb-login.aspx?id=2782
  3. Also make sure you are using the latest images and text to boost your website’s impact! All dive centres in the Maldives have been sent an email providing them with a digital marketing tool kit that includes pictures, videos and text for you to use on social media and websites. If you have not accessed this yet, contact matt.wenger@padi.com for more information

If you want more information on how to effectively boost your marketing, and drive more custom to your centre, join us at a PADI Business Academy! Next event is scheduled in September in Male.

 

 

A New Home for PADI in the Maldives!

We are delighted to officially announce that PADI has a new home in Male’!

Last month, MA Services, the official PADI distributor in the Maldives, opened a spacious new retail outlet on Male’ Square, the latest shopping and dining destination in the capital.

As part of the move, the PADI store also relocated and is now open during regular shopping hours, welcoming divers and shoppers until 10pm.

Although we know that many of you have already visited the new store, which is just off Majeedhee Magu, we invite all of you who haven’t popped in yet to drop by and say hello! With our extended opening hours, we hope that many more of you will now have the opportunity to do so.

Alongside all PADI merchandise and services, the store will be home to a wide range of products stocked by MA Services. As the official distributor of PADI, Bauer Kompressoren, Scubapro, UWATEC, Hatz and Analox, the store is a one-stop-shop for all your diving needs and will offer customers a more streamlined approach to placing orders and purchasing new equipment.

The MA Services service centre remains in the same location and will continue to provide all the same facilities as previously.

We look forward to welcoming you soon!

PADI

 

Technology Driven Travel Trends

Written by Ted Alan Steadman

The Digital Age may not be new, but changing technology opens doors while closing others. Maybe nowhere else is that more evident than in the world of travel.

Technology’s influence on travel has made it among the digital revolution’s most impacted industries. Travel agents of the 1980s and 1990s gave way to website searches and online bookings, creating a major shake-up for how we research, plan and execute travel. Back then, could anybody have envisioned the technology integration and convenience that modern travelers enjoy?

“Online travel agencies have been among the clear winners of the digital travel revolution, which has changed the way today’s consumers plan and book their trips,” says Angelo Rossini, contributing analyst at Euromonitor International, a global marketing research organization. “The next few years will see travelers requiring an increasingly personalized service, with companies able to suggest to them customized products on the basis of their profiles and past behavior.”

Our predisposition to being digitally connected around-the-clock plays heavily on consumer behavior. Tech-savvy travelers expect tech-savvy experiences through digital platforms. For instance, in its 2017 survey of major travel companies and professionals on five continents, travel commerce website Travelport Digital reported “90 percent of travel brands said that having a ‘mobile strategy’ is ‘crucial’ or ‘very important’ to the future success of their organization.”

Further evidence? Global hotel titan Starwood Hotels and Resorts knows the deep roots digital now plays with travel consumers. “Digital technology has changed the way we connect with guests, creating a 24/7 relationship in and out of stays,” says Stephan Croix, Starwood’s Vice President of Marketing. “With many travelers already seeking a more customized and local experience, truly personalized trips are already taking off.”

 

Where PADI Travel™ Comes In

This just-launched division replaces the former PADI Travel Network® with a more comprehensive, sophisticated and reward-based program designed with every segment of the global PADI® community in mind. Thanks to its technology, the dive travel experience can be easier and more profitable than ever for you. This new network gives PADI Dive Centers the ability to easily sell dive-destination packages literally around the globe, while PADI Resorts suddenly have a presence in the world’s most comprehensive dive travel platform.

To clearly see where dive travel is today, just take a look at the past. It all goes back to 1988 when John Cronin, PADI’s co-founder, had the idea of starting a travel company catering to dive travelers – a novel concept at the time. The original PADI Travel Network began as a wholesale tour operator specializing in dive vacations for individuals and groups, and was based at PADI Worldwide in Orange County, California, USA. It operated on the philosophy that growing the dive industry depended on what Cronin called the “Three Es” – Education, Equipment and Experience (the fourth E – Environment – was added later). After the first two Es, travel provided the experience he believed was crucial to keep divers engaged. In addition, he saw travel connecting PADI Dive Centers and Resorts throughout the world – hence PADI Travel Network.

Fast forward into the 21st century, and with the help of more sophisticated online platforms, improved visual presentations and mobile technology, PADI Travel revamps and reawakens the concept, integrating every aspect of the dive travel experience under one roof, so dive travel shoppers get exactly what they want.

“This is a completely new offering,” says Sandro Lonardi, PADI Travel Marketing Manager, who explains that people are becoming more independent when choosing their vacations and have higher expectations. They expect to manage their vacation experience with the click on their laptops, tablets and mobile devices. “We’ve designed the new PADI Travel to be the ultimate online travel agency for divers,” says Lonardi.

Navigating the PADI Travel space at travel.padi.com enables divers to easily research, compare and book dive vacations anywhere in the world, 24/7, through a directory offering one of the largest selections of liveaboards and dive destinations in the marketplace. With a click, PADI Travel site visitors find a user-friendly interface that informs, educates and empowers them to dial-in whatever experience they seek. “Dive travelers use search engines and social networks to research and plan their dive vacations,” says Lonardi, “and being on a website like travel.padi.com makes it easy for dive operators and resorts to be in front of their target audience. PADI Travel is designed to attract thousands of divers looking for vacations.”

 

What Customers See

PADI Travel includes more than 300 colorful dive destination guides with custom information about diving and traveling, marine life sightings, best times to go, best sites, discounts and more. About 300 liveaboards are represented with full descriptions, postcard-quality photos, alluring videos and more than 3,000 separate itineraries listed with availability, prices and other information for curious dive travelers. Along with PADI Dive Resorts, Centers, Eco Travel itineraries and Destination Guides, dive travelers have access to dedicated dive experts as well, offering personalized planning advice spanning 80 countries.

Dive travel customers are just one of the beneficiaries, however. PADI Travel sellers can register as affiliates to receive commissions and discounts. With the program, PADI Dive Centers with inhouse travel programs gain access to an immense selection of liveaboards and dive destinations as well as dive travel experts who can answer questions in advance. That access gives individual dive centers a global reach that would be prohibitive or difficult to maintain without the program. PADI Resorts, meanwhile, can earn support and business through PADI Travel’s interconnected network of dive travel sellers and registered agents.

To top it off, the aim is to maintain the highest customer satisfaction with expert customer support 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The travel program’s network of experienced dive travel experts – PADI Travel representatives average around 2,500 dives each – adds the personal touch that travel industry experts say is absolutely critical for travel professionals today.

 

Growing Dive Travel

“Creating and assembling PADI Travel has been a huge ongoing effort,” says Lonardi. “We can cater to groups and individuals alike. PADI Travel has harnessed the latest platform technology to combine the best of online booking with concierge-level travel consultancy.” Not only will PADI Dive Centers find it easier to sell travel packages and PADI Resorts will gain broader reach, but PADI Pros will also have increased opportunities for participation to help motivate dive travel sales.

For tech-savvy PADI Members who are on board with emerging digital marketing opportunities, many aspects of PADI Travel will be familiar. For others looking to implement a more strategic marketing effort, it carries on the PADI family philosophy of growing the overall dive community.

 

Achievements and Milestones

In 2017, you and your fellow PADI® Members helped improve the lives of more people than ever by opening their eyes to the magic of the underwater world. Dedicated PADI Pros issued more certifications than ever in PADI’s history, supported by the ever-growing number of PADI Dive Centers and Resorts around the world.

As a PADI Member, you play a pivotal role in making people’s diving dreams come true. Teaching the world’s most sought-after diver certification courses, you transform divers’ lives –your role transcends beyond diver safety and education because you’re also creating a global force for good that can drive positive change in our communities and the environment. Together, we’re positioned to help preserve our oceans for future generations. You are an integral part of a tribe committed to being best in and for the world.

Check out the list of PADI Members who reached 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40 and 45 years of membership in 2017, along with PADI Dive Centers that reached 30, 35 and 40 years of membership.

We are PADI℠ – The Way the World Learns to Dive®.

How You Can Help Sustainability and Eco Tourism in the Maldives

Eco tourism and sustainable tourism may be a hot topic in the travel industry at the moment but it has always been an integral part of our philosophy and part of our mission statement.

Secret Paradise tours are designed to allow our guests to experience the best from the paradise we call home, whilst ensuring that there is limited or no negative impact on the community or the environment.

We are committed to informing and demonstrating to our competitors, our team, our partners and ultimately our guests that we are committed to following social and environmental best practices.

At Secret Paradise we see this as an ongoing commitment in the development of sustainable tourism in the Maldives and pride ourselves that we were longlisted for the World Responsible Tourism Awards 2015.

The following are a few simple tips that require very little effort on your part during your holiday but which will help ensure that any effect you have on the locations you visit is positive rather than negative.

Reusing towels and saving electricity in your guest house

It is seen all over the world in small and large hotels, businesses trying to reduce their carbon foot print and the Maldives is no different. Re-use your towels in your guest bedroom rather than having them refreshed each day. Turn off your air conditioning when you leave your room. Make sure all the lights are switched off. All small actions that will provide long term positive results to the environment for you and future generations.

Plastic in the Ocean

The Maldives, like many countries has experienced a real challenge in recent years with plastic bottles, straws and plastic bags washing up on the beaches. Local Island residents are making huge efforts to work together with many islands organising regular beach clean ups. Education and awareness regarding littering and how to reduce the use of plastic in daily life has also started to be introduced led by NGOs and dive centres in particular. But as a tourist you can also help. Bring a re-useable bottle with you and re-fill your water bottles where possible. Take your own bags with you when you go shopping and refuse plastic bags every time you leave a shop. Remove packaging from newly acquired items before leaving home and consider taking home as much plastic waste as you can.

For more details on local initiatives check out http://www.savethebeachmaldives.org

Buy Local

By staying in local island guest houses you are contributing to the local economy and increasing local employment. Local island guest houses in the Maldives are usually run by local island families where everyone is instrumental in the day to day running of the guest house. As a guest you benefit from meeting these local families and learning about their cultures and traditions; take it from us nothing beats Maldivian hospitality.

Buying local and eating local means that you are contributing to the local economy just like when you stay in the guest houses. Buying locally made souvenirs and eating local produce means that local farmers and small businesses benefit.Don’t be afraid to ask where produce or souvenirs have originated as there unfortunately is still a lot of imported souvenirs on offer.

Leave no traces of your visit behind

Many people say ‘I am just one person how can I make a difference to the environment on my own?’ But all you need to do is take responsibility for yourself and the people you are travelling with. Don’t leave litter on the beaches or around the islands. Don’t throw garbage over board when on the boats travelling around the islands. Lead by example and pick up rubbish and dispose in the nearest waste receptacle. Every small effort like this will have a positive effect on the future of our environment.

Leave the ocean as you found it

As tempting as it is to take a piece of beautiful coral home or chase after the sea turtles, mantas or whale sharks and touch them – you are destroying the oceans natural habitat by doing these things. Maldives turtles and Whale sharks are endangered species and need protection. Feel free to view the beautiful underwater world of the Maldives but leave it where it is. The ocean life is wild and we want it to remain that way. The Maldives is one of the many countries affected by coral bleaching due to rising temperatures in the sea and global warming. Campaigns run by Save the Beach and local island guest houses like Eco Dive Club in Maafushi are working hard to rebuild these areas by planting coral nurseries and researching the effects of global warming.

Respect local culture and dress codes

The Maldives is an Islamic country and tourists should respect cultural differences not try to change them, we are after all only guests in someone’s home. Dress respectably away from beaches, ask permission (and ladies cover your head) if you are visiting religious places. Note local dress codes and follow them. There is so much culture in the Maldives and the local island people love to share their traditions and culture with tourists so ask, learn and enjoy.

Want to help more?

Volunteer/beach clean up

Many local islands are running initiatives like volunteer beach clean ups on a regular basis. Ask your Secret Paradise guide or guesthouse owner if there is one scheduled during your stay, it’s a great way to meet the local community and you are contributing to environmental clean ups.

How about learning more about the local communities and initiatives?

Secret Paradise Maldives and Sun sHADe Volunteers provide opportunities for responsible and meaningful working holidays in one of the most beautiful places in the world. More details about this program can be viewed here: https://secretparadise.mv/product/volunteer-local

Remember together we can make a difference #letusguideyou

You can also view our full Responsible Tourism Policy here

https://secretparadise.mv/responsible-tourism-policy

 

From Doomed Voyager to Victorious Wreckage

The story beneath one of the most famous dive sites in the Maldives

Part Two

The skeletal beauty

“Victory sank on the captain’s second voyage to the Maldives,” said Saeed. “On his first journey, the captain miscalculated the distance to Male and ended up all the way in Vaavu Atoll. Then on his second journey…” he trailed off with a wry laugh.

Though Victory met a watery death on the unfortunate captain’s second trip, the expensive goods she was carrying were not beyond saving. A team was put together which, led by Hassan “Lakudiboa” Manik, began the operation to salvage the wreck’s cargo.

“The cars were the first things we salvaged,” he had said in an interview to veteran diver Adam Ashraf. The recovered goods were later auctioned off.

A diver during an excursion to the wreck of MV Victory. PHOTO – MOHAMED SEENEEN

Amongst those who got to see the salvage process was Hussain “Sendi” Rasheed, a renowned name in the Maldivian diving industry.

“My first dive was at the Victory wreck,” revealed Sendi, who had regularly visited the site between 1981 and 2003.

Over the course of 20 years, Sendi was able to observe MV Victory’s metamorphosis from lifeless skeleton to a vibrant ecosystem pulsing with life. Lying upright and parallel to Hulhule’s reef, she naturally became a breeding ground for corals; and the multitude of marine life she attracted, along with great visibility due to the currents in that area, established Victory as one of the hottest dive spots in the Maldives.

The wreck of MV Victory off the coast of Hulhule. PHOTO – MOHAMED SEENEEN

“This is one of the most beautiful wrecks, and one of the biggest. It’s around 110 metres in length,” stated Sendi.

However, even 37 metres underwater, Victory did not lie undisturbed for long. Bits and pieces began to disappear. Portholes, doors, the anchor and steering wheel fell prey to scavengers until all that remained by the year 2000 was “a metal skeleton”.

The culprits behind the robberies included local and tourist divers – a foreigner had personally shown Sendi one of Victory’s portholes, wrapped up and ready to be shipped to her home country as a souvenir.

“Everything that could be physically removed was gone … It’s like breaking into a museum,” said Sendi, expressing frustration over the lack of established laws and regulations to ensure the protection of shipwrecks.

Though the rich coral life and abundant fish surrounding MV Victory remained ever picturesque, Sendi noted with remorse that her true beauty remained lost to those viewing her after the new millenium.

Onslaught of damages

Victory, and by extension the diving sector, suffered more blows years later when the site was closed down in March 2016 for the development of the China-Maldives Friendship Bridge between Male and Hulhule. The bridge is a mere 500 metres away from Victory’s resting place.

The first setback was the abrupt cessation of revenue. Wreck diving, though a rather obscure activity for most civilians, holds a significant popularity for divers who travel to the Maldives from around the world. As such, MV Victory was responsible for contributing to the attraction of hoards of visitors daily from within the central atoll dive circuit.

According to Sendi, local dive guides typically escorted a minimum of eight dive boats, with around 15 divers on each, to Victory every day.
“That’s an income of at least USD 3  million from Victory alone, every year,” said Sendi.

Illustration depicting the value of Dive Sites around Central Male region. IMAGE_ RAE MUNAVVAR_THE EDITION

The second blow to MV Victory did not take place till later that year when Dive Instructor Adam Ashraf, having extensively researched the wreckage for years, approached the government regarding protecting the wreck during the construction and development of the bridge. He led a team of divers to set up four buoys to mark Victory’s location so that bridge workers would steer clear of the wreck site.

Damages caused to Victory Wreck

However, later it was discovered that Victory had sustained damages of magnitudes that could only be caused by dropping anchors of vessels, which were deployed around the bridge, onto the wreck. With the housing ministry’s permission, a team of divers inspected and documented the damages: two wings of Victory’s wheelhouse had been destroyed, while several cabins on one side, including the captain’s, were crushed.

Subsequently, Ashraf proceeded to meet with the boat captains working around the bridge, intending to expand their awareness on MV Victory’s importance. However, her proximity to the bridge meant other adverse effects continued; the ongoing construction work disrupted the ocean floor, encasing the wreck in the suspended sediments, thus suffocating the corals and chasing marine life away from their homes.

Heaving a sigh, Sendi recalled his last dive to Victory, accompanied by Ashraf: “There’s no more life now.”

“Shipwrecks are underwater museums”

Though Sendi and Ashraf remained optimistic that coral and other marine life would return to Victory once the bridge has been completed, both admitted that all the damages might not be repairable – damages that could have been prevented had there been proper protocols.

“We need to regulate diving, or establish standards and regulations for wreck diving,” said Sendi.

The divers stressed that it was imperative for authorities to protect shipwrecks for the sake of heritage and tourism promotion. Though all sunken vessels become state property under Maldivian law, they claimed that proper steps have not been taken to preserve them.

Inside the wreck of MV Victory off the coast of Hulhule. PHOTO – ADAM ASHRAF

“[Victory] belongs to the museum. It should be an asset of the museum,” Sendi declared, stating that all shipwrecks in Maldivian waters should fall under the ownership of the National Museum.

Describing them as underwater heritage sites, Sendi said that under the museum’s protection, shipwrecks could be properly maintained and conserved for future generations.

He added that preserved shipwreck sites could possibly generate sustainable revenue towards the maintenance of these sites by providing additional income serving the needs of the hospitality sector.

The wreck of MV Victory off the coast of Hulhule. PHOTO – MOHAMED SEENEEN

“Wreck sites could be sold as facilities for wreck diving training,” said Sendi. “… The museum could also charge fees for divers to visit wrecks.”

It is the divers’ long-enduring wish to see a day when the shipwrecks, scattered across the atolls, would be properly protected and conserved. Listing some of his favourite sites such as the wrecks at Fesdhoo, Halaveli, and Macchafushi, Sendi added, “Every individual wreck has a story” – such as the tanker “British Loyalty”, which was torpedoed by the German navy in 1944 and later scuttled by British forces off the coast of Addu Atoll’s Hithadhoo in 1946; a unique relic of the Second World War that is now another top dive site in the Maldives.

“Underwater archaeology, museums, history – shipwrecks are symbols that represent all of these.”

PADI’s guest blogger  Fathmath Shaahunaz  introduces herself:

Fathmath Shaahunaz is a long-established shinnichi currently writing as senior Journalist at The Edition. A self described ‘english nerd’, she also harbours a deep appreciation for ocean and all things magical.  The Edition brings readers the most comprehensive news coverage throughout the Maldives delivering the latest in breaking news and updates covering defining moments in politics, business, sports, travel, entertainment and lifestyle across the country and the region. 

www.edition.mv

USING PADI TRADEMARKS

 

As global awareness of the PADI brand continues to increase, it’s time for a reminder of existing trademark usage guidelines and how these apply to social media.

Trademark (“Marks”) usage rights granted to PADI Members have not changed, and are clearly stated in the License Agreement for PADI Members.  These rights are given on an individual, non-transferable basis, which means that rights cannot be provided to a third party such as a non-PADI dive store, etc. This is the case even if the individual PADI Member works there or owns the business.

There are various uses of the Marks that are specifically not allowed, most particularly the use of any of the PADI, DSAT, EFR or PAF company names, trade names or Marks in internet domain names or email addresses. This means that PADI Members may not use a PADI Mark or trade name in a personal or store website root URL, so that no one  member is able to obtain a marketing advantage over others by setting up exclusive PADI domain names. However, it is acceptable (and positively encouraged) for PADI course listings to be shown in a member website URL, such as www.xyzscuba.com/padiidc or www.xyzdivers.com/padiopenwaterdivercouse. To put it more simply, the wording following the first forward slash, which refers to the page path, is not subject to the “no use” rule.

There is a similar need to avoid exclusive uses of PADI’s names and Marks in social media, however in order to encourage good social media strategy, PADI Members are permitted to use the Marks to create PADI Diver, etc., groups on Facebook and other social media pages. However, if you create such Pages, Profiles or Groups, there must be a personal identifier to the name and URL to make it clear who has set it up, and to make sure again that no one member obtains exclusive rights to use a PADI name. As simple examples:

Acceptable: https://www.facebook.com/PADIDiveInstructorJohnSmith

Not acceptable: https://www.facebook.com/PADIDivingThailand

These guidelines would also apply to other social media channels, such as LinkedIn, You Tube and Instagram.

The use of PADI Marks by non-PADI members, both individuals and businesses, remains prohibited however, and will be dealt with appropriately.

Hopefully, these guidelines will help you maintain effective and appropriate trademark use going forward in these digitally expanding times. For further information or questions regarding the acceptable use of PADI Trademarks, contact your Regional Training Consultant, or the Quality Management team (qm.emea@padi.com) at PADI.

Reef Restoration at Gili Lankanfushi – “Mahuge Veshi”

Home to more than a quarter of all marine species, coral reefs are one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet. But these reefs are now under threat.

Of the many problems facing coral reefs, rising sea temperatures due to global warming are perhaps the most serious. In 1998, a complex climate event in the Pacific Ocean known as ‘El Niño’ pushed global temperatures to new highs and killed 16% of coral worldwide; this was declared the first major global coral bleaching event. The El Niño of 2010 triggered the second global event, and in October 2015 The US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced a third global bleaching event – so far this has been the longest event recorded, impacting some reefs in successive years.

Here in the Maldives, we witnessed the effects of global warming first hand when the bleaching event caught up with us in 2016 – affecting about 60% of corals.

In view of the environmental and economic value of coral reefs there is considerable interest in preventing further damage as well as rehabilitating and/or restoring coral reefs subjected to damage. A widely adopted method for reef restoration is the construction of Artificial Reefs (AR’s). The main purpose of these structures is to attract fish by providing them with habitats that are as favourable as those that are present in the original environment.

Gili Lankanfushi is surrounded by a beautiful and diverse coral reef, but we weren’t exempt from the bleaching of 2016, and some of the varied habitat once provided by corals has disappeared. To aid the reef we recently constructed a small AR adjacent the damaged coral. In this instance, the term ‘artificial reef’ is somewhat of a misnomer as its purpose is to rehabilitate an already existing reef; so a better way to think of our project is the building of ‘fish homes’. To maintain the natural aesthetic we are accustomed to here at Gili, the AR was constructed using natural rock from around the island. After settling on a location the rocks were assembled in a pyramid shape and care was taken to leave several openings as previous studies found that reef blocks which had a higher number of holes also possessed the greatest fish species richness and abundance. We have named our structure Mahuge Veshi (Pronunciation: ma-hoo-geh veh-she), meaning fish environment.

AR’s tend to develop in fairly predictable stages: When an ocean current encounters a vertical structure it creates a plankton-rich upwelling. This upwelling provides a reliable feeding spot for small fish, which draw in pelagic predators such as trevallies and sharks. Next come creatures seeking protection – hole and crevice dwellers such as grouper, snapper, squirrelfish, eels, and triggerfish. Over months and years the reef structure becomes encrusted with algae, tunicates, hard and soft corals, and sponges which add to the structural integrity of the AR. There is an expectation that ecologically the AR will resemble the local natural environment over the long term as plant and animal assemblages associate with the structure.

We know from previous studies that AR’s can increase the total aggregate of fish and invertebrate species, and in some cases the abundance of corals have exceeded that of adjacent natural reef areas.

The use of AR’s to increase fish populations goes back at least 400 years, but there have been suggestions that they don’t actually increase the total numbers of fish, and act simply as attractors; moving fish from one place to another. However, we know from well documented studies between animals and their environment that when a habitat range is extended their numbers tend go up. Imagine an island populated with birds: their population is at its limit, until one day another island appears within flying distance. What we would expect to see is a sequence of events:

  1. Arrival – Some of the birds would migrate from the old island to the new one.
  2. Population increase – With more nesting space available the populations of each island would increase.
  3. Persistence – Assuming a steady supply of resources (food, nests, etc.) the birds on each island would thrive.

AR’s can be thought of like underwater islands, and for each one built we essentially extend the geographical range of the animals that live within reef structures, and so we would expect to see the same sequence of events mentioned above.

So far Mahuge Veshi has been visited by large schools of surgeonfish, butterflyfish, and on last inspection a large moray eel had made itself at home within the structure. The Mahuge Veshi project is a simple, environmentally friendly and self-sustaining venture. All being well, the structure will help grow the natural area and support help marine life while our corals recover.

PADI guest blogger Jon Fry introduces himself:

After receiving my degree in Marine Biology & Coastal Ecology from Plymouth University I worked in Madagascar where I gained experience in reef restoration and tropical biology. I believe awareness is the most important tool we have in conservation, and I am pleased to be here at Gili Lankanfushi where I can educate the curious about marine life and sustainability.