Mobula Ray madness at Gili Lankanfushi

What’s that…? A bird? A dolphin? No it’s a ray! A mobula ray can be seen leaping over one metre out of the water and making an impressive splash for reasons only known to itself.

Even with its large size the mobula ray is an elusive animal with the largest brain to body ratio of any fish. It has a complicated classification record and life history, making it not only a mystery to divers and snorkelers, but also researchers. It is from the family called Mobulidae, which also includes oceanic and reef manta rays. They can be found worldwide in temperate and tropical waters. Different species prefer different oceans; for example the giant mobula ray can be found relatively commonly in the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic, whereas the short-fin pygmy mobula ray can be found in the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific. Large aggregations can be encountered in Hawaii, Republic of Maldives and Mexico, but recently due to population decline these aggregations are getting smaller and less frequent.

Mobula rays are often referred to as devil rays, due to their horned appearance which results from their cephalic fins (fins on either side of their mouth) being rolled up. Despite their name devil rays are considered harmless and shy. Originally there were thought to be 12 distinct mobula ray species, but due to advances in molecular biology and genetic studies it has been concluded that there are only nine species and that manta rays are included in the mobula ray family. Currently two separate species of manta rays are recognised, but there could be a third: the black morph manta ray (Manta birostris sensu). This species is currently undergoing DNA examination by Dr. Andrea Marshall of the Marine Megafauna Foundation.

The current classifcation of mobula rays. Picture: Zoological Journal of the Linnaean Society.

From fossil records it has been concluded that mobula rays first appeared 25 million years ago with other species evolving over time. For example, the manta ray species appeared in fossil records five million years ago. Mobula rays originally evolved from stingrays, which is why some still possess the stinging spine at the base of their tail. Unlike their predecessor who have spiracles to aid their breathing mobula rays must constantly stay mobile to oxygenate their blood.

Mobula rays are the only species of vertebrate that have three working limbs (pectoral, pelvic and cephalic fins). The smallest species of mobula ray is around one metre in wingspan whereas the largest, the oceanic manta ray has an impressive eight metre wingspan. Mobula rays are known to perform amazing aerial displays, including high jumps, twists and belly flops. There is debate over the reasons behind this; theories include communication, courtship displays, escaping predation threats and removing parasites.

Mobula rays are ovoviviparous. This means that females produce eggs which are hatched internally so that they give birth to live young. Normally a single pup is delivered, but occasionally two can be born. Mobula rays have long gestation periods; for example the giant devil ray has a pregnancy period of two years. All species of pups are born relatively large; for example manta ray pups are around one metre in wingspan at birth. This is because there is no maternal bond between mother and pup, and so after birth the pup is left to fend for itself, usually its only defense against predation is its size. Some species, however do have the additional defense of a stinger.

It is estimated that mobula rays live between 40 – 50 years, with females reaching sexual maturity between eight to ten years and males at six years. There is a period of two – five years between each birth and females can have offspring for around 30 years. The mating seasons for these rays depends on the species and location. In Japan oceanic manta rays have been seen to mate in summer, whereas in the Maldives higher sexual encounters are seen in October, November, March and April. Mating occurs in warm water and generally around cleaning stations. Males will venture to cleaning stations in search of a receptive female. These females illustrate their reproductive readiness by releasing mating hormones into the water.

Courtship displays are long (sometimes lasting weeks) and very expressive. Up to 30 males surround the receptive female and compete to mate. They form mating trains whereby they follow the female, who performs elaborate acrobatics that the males must follow. The most impressive male will be selected and have mating rights. The male will then bite the left pectoral fin of the female to hold her in place. They will then go belly to belly and the male will insert one of his claspers into the female for fertilisation. This process takes place in a couple of seconds after which the male disappears. Mating brings together large numbers of rays as does feeding.

Mobula rays can be found individually, although they generally form large schools when food is in high concentration. They are considered planktivores, although they can feed on small fish and zooplankton. They consume food by using their cephalic fins to funnel the plankton into their wide mouth. Different feeding methods are used depending on food availability; for example benthic feeding can be seen in low food concentrations, whereas surface feeding using barrel rolls and feeding trains can be seen when concentrations of plankton are higher. Cyclone feeding is the rarest type of feeding and can only be seen when the plankton concentration is 80% or higher. Hanifaru bay in Baa Atoll (Maldives) is a world renowned manta feeding site and one of the few places on Earth where cyclone feeding can be seen. In manta season (June – November) sightings of 200 manta rays and a couple of whalesharks are common.

It has also been found that devil rays can dive to depths of two kilometers for over an hour to find plankton, making them some of the deepest diving animals in the world. As the temperature at this depth is low the rays must come up and bask in the sun to rewarm and oxygenate their blood. Some rays have a dark band between their eyes which helps warm their brains faster. The oceanic manta ray also has a counter-current heat exchange system which allows them more control over their body temperature than other fish, making them effectively warm-blooded and enabling their deep dives.

Mobula ray populations are declining because they are vulnerable to overfishing, boat traffic, habitat decline, pollution, by-catch and entanglement. They also have limited reproductive capacity, limited habitat range and are slow growing. The biggest threat to mobula rays are targeted fisheries. They are hunted for their gill rakers which are used in ‘medicine’. There is NO evidence to suggest that gill rakers help with any ailments, in fact it is suggested that gill raker ‘medicines’ may actually pose a significant health risk to those taking it, especially pregnant mothers. In a study mobula ray gill raker samples were chemically analysed and arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead were detected in all samples. Arsenic levels where found to be 20 times higher than permissible levels and cadmium triple permissible levels. A study found a 163% increase in profitability in gill raker markets in China over a three year period, highlighting that this trade is getting worse. A mobula ray population reduction of 50% has been observed in some areas.

In the Maldives all mobula ray species are protected. More countries are also now protecting their mobula rays due to the tourism potential. For example, in 2011 in the Maldives mobula rays were worth eight million dollars to the dive tourism industry – rays are certainly worth significantly more alive than dead.

Over the last two months we have had many sightings of the short-fin pygmy devil ray on snorkels, dives, from the jetties and the villas. Although we cannot be sure why we have had a sudden increase in mobula ray sightings we have hypothesised that it could be due to upwelling currents bringing in plankton which the mobula rays are then feeding on. Either way we are very lucky and we hope to share the experience with you!

PADI’s guest blogger Emma Bell introduces herself:

I am a marine biologist and scuba diver from England. I have had the privilege of working in Greece, Seychelles and Maldives. I have worked in an aquaculture research centre where I focused on hormonal manipulation of a pelagic fish species. In addition, I have experience with coral restoration projects including frames and ropes; habitat restoration – crown of thorns, drupella and invasive plant species removal; educational activities and social media updates including blogs. I have also monitored population dynamics of bird, turtle, shark and cetacean species to aid in their conservation. I started my career working in the Maldives and I have done a round trip via Greece, England and Seychelles, I hope to increase my skills set and knowledge further whilst I am at Gili Lankanfushi, Maldives.

PADI Women’s Dive Day – An Interview with PADI CD Marlies Lang

When did you fall in love with the ocean?

I did my open water course in the middle of winter in New Zealand and confined training was done in a swimming pool – the first open water dive literally blew my mind – the colours of the marine world were amazing and the topography stunning – I felt like discovering a whole new world…

 

How did you start diving?

I joined a PADI Open Water Course in 1995 in the middle of winter in New Zealand. I still remember loving the feeling of being weightless under water – it changed my life for the better.

When did you become a PADI instructor?

After working as a Divemaster for a while I felt it was time to better myself and become a PADI instructor – little did I know then how much I would enjoy teaching people how to dive – a hobby turned into a passion!

Why did you become a PADI Course Director?

Working as a PADI instructor and Staff instructor for 8 years I wanted to take another step up and trained to be a PADI Course Director. I know for sure that I have the best job in the world not only being able to introduce people to the wonders of the underwater world but also train dive professionals and prepare them to become an instructor themselves to LIVE THE DREAM AND TRAVEL THE WORLD!

What would you tell our readers especially women who are interested in diving?

Come and try diving today!! You will not be disappointed of what the silent world has to offer – the PADIs woman’s dive day is the perfect opportunity to finally make it happen!  Come and dive with us at Sea Dancer Dive centre here in Dahab!

Why did you chose to work in Egypt as a PADI professional?

I fell in love with Egypt 16 years ago – the people – the culture – the nature – and specially of course the magic that happens under water! Here in Dahab the wonderful coral reefs are only footsteps away from the shore and with dive sites like the Famous Blue Hole and The Canyon one of the top diving destinations in the world. Come and see it for yourself – and all you woman out there that are curious but not sure – try diving on PADI’s woman’s dive day!!

See you under water

Marlies Lang

PADI Course Director

Reporting Incidents

PADI Standards require you to report incidents that occur so that they can be appropriately tracked, identified and managed if the need arises. As part of your PADI Membership Agreement, you agree to file a PADI Incident Report Form with PADI for any incident relating to your activities as a PADI Member. Additionally, PADI Standards require you to “submit a PADI Incident Report Form to your PADI Office immediately after you witness or are involved in a diving or dive operation-related accident/incident, regardless of whether the incident occurred in or out of the water; is training related, recreational, technical or seemingly insignificant.”

While the Incident Report Form is largely focused on collecting information related to scuba diving incidents, it’s important to remember that you are also obliged to report incidents that occur during snorkelling, skin diving and freediving activities, as well as any incident that involves divers, dive customers, dive staff or anyone in or around a dive business.

Incident Report Forms should be submitted directly to the Quality Management department (preferably by email, to incident.emea@padi.com) as soon as possible following the incident. This ensures that important information is captured while your recollection of events is still fresh. Always use the most current version of the Incident Report Form, which can be found on the PADI Pros’ Site (Training Essentials/Forms and Applications/General) to ensure that all of the required information is recorded. If the incident occurred during a PADI training course, don’t forget that you will also need to submit copies of all of the student’s course paperwork alongside the Incident Report Form.

If more than one person from the same facility is involved in, or witnesses, the incident, it is acceptable to have one person complete the Incident Report Form and then either have each individual sign the summary, or complete a covering letter, signed by all, stating that they agree with all the details contained in the report (email statements to this effect from all Members involved, originating from the email address currently on file with PADI, are also acceptable).

If you have any questions regarding the incident reporting requirements, contact the Quality Management department directly on qm.emea@padi.com for clarification.

Diving in the fast line, DPV diving in the Maldives

Seeing the concerned and rather worried faces of divers before a DPV (Dive Propulsion Vehicle) dive, is part of the “game”. In contrast to this, seeing the smiles from ear to ear after the dive is just priceless.

PADI in conjunction with BluEmotion have conducted a series of very successful DPV workshops over the last few months. These workshops were powered by SUEX, an Italian manufacturer of reliable and affordable DPV’s, which are distributed and serviced by BluEmotion in the Maldives.

From the north to the south of the Maldives, a total of 13 workshops have been conducted and over 40 new PADI DPV instructors have been trained. Results show that these workshops have been highly successful and have created a new source of revenue for many dive operators.

by Virgilio Gabriele

Testimonies from some workshop participants include:

Manuel Tobolars, General Manager of Dive Butler Maldives:

“We are super pleased with the DPV’s and have in less than two months got our investment back. Staff are also excited as it gives them an alternative option to dive and ways to explore the surrounding reefs”

by Jessica Ogliar Badessi

Hussein Shifau, Dive Centre Manager Bandos Island Resort:

“We weren’t sure in the beginning if we should invest in DPV’s. However we made a move to purchase three machines and haven’t regretted this investment at all. We have issued over 30 DPV certifications at Bandos in less than three months, and we have actually just placed an order for another three units.”

by Virgilio Gabriele

The workshop will be complimentary and will be conducted by PADI Regional Manager Matt Wenger, who will be working with experts from BluEmotion who specialise in the use of DPVs in the Maldives. These workshops are aimed at your PADI staff and will include:

  • How to effectively teach this course
  • Marketing techniques for increasing certifications
  • How to integrate the use of DPVs into your business model
  • Pricing strategies
  • How to set up and run a DPV wing of your dive business
  • Specific details on the Suex DPV and their use
  • The opportunity to register as a PADI DPV Centre of Excellence and receive special prices on Suex products in order to facilitate an easy and economical way of integrating this equipment into your existing business
  • PADI instructors whom aren’t yet DPV instructors will have the opportunity to be trained, free of charge

If you would like to be included in this project, please send an email to matt.wenger@padi.com so that we can plan the event We will then be in contact with you to confirm specific details of your personalised training.

 

PADI Women’s Dive Day – An Interview with PADI CD Jilly Healey

My name is Jilly, I am a PADI Course Director and here is my story. I am originally from Manchester, England but I have lived in Egypt for nearly half my life. From the moment I arrived here, it felt like coming home.

My story really begins about 20 years before I was born; my mum lived in Fayed, Ismailia as a little girl so I always had a fascination with Egypt as a child. In 1995, my mum returned to live in Sharm El Sheikh and got a job in a hotel here. In November 1998 after a busy year running my own bar, I was in desperate need of a holiday so I popped over to visit mum for a couple of weeks.

I love my mum to bits she is my best friend and an inspiration to me, but she is a sneaky one, she told me she had booked me onto the PADI Open Water course, to which I told her no I wasn’t interested, I wanted to sit on a beach and relax. She told me she had paid for it and “ tough luck young lady you are going to do it because I have bought it for your Christmas present” what do you say to that apart from “ Yes mum, Thank you Mum” and off I trundled to the dive centre.

I have always been a water babe but wouldn’t say I was a great fan of the sea, we had a speed boat as a kid so was always around water but I had this belief there was a giant octopus in the sea that would get me ( I had a big brother so I wonder where I got that kind of info from, probably the same place as the crocodiles at the side of my bed and the lion in the cupboard in the bathroom!) So did I fall in love with the ocean straight away, no not at all, but I did fall in love with my dive instructor, he spoke English with a French accent that made me go weak at the knees.

I still don’t think I particularly liked diving whilst doing my open water, I was scared of fish (big fish were fine, it was the little ones that moved fast that scared me), the dive tables were just confusing, I couldn’t get to grips with the compass ( honestly my buddy and I winged that one- I have never told my instructor that, hope he doesn’t read this!) but I got through it. Once I passed my mum admitted she had lied to me and that she had got the course for free because she worked at the hotel but knew if she told me she hadn’t paid for it I wouldn’t have gone, see I told you she was sneaky.

Something in the Open Water must have peaked my interest because 2 days later, having a French PADI Instructor as my new boyfriend I started my PADI Advanced course. This is when I fell in love with it all. I left Sharm after that holiday sold my bar and was back doing my PADI Rescue course on January 20th 1999. By the end of that year, I was a PADI Instructor – Thanks Mum.

At that time, as a female in a male orientated career and environment I had to work hard to prove myself, I think the women that came before me paved a way for me and I would like to think I did the same for women who came after me. I had to prove to the male Egyptian boat crews that I was strong enough to tie mooring lines as good as any of my male counterparts, that I would carry the tanks and equipment and in the water I was a good as anyone else, the crews watched me and spoke amongst themselves and I gained their respect. I often get asked by women how I have dealt with being female and working in Egypt, my answer is I work alongside the boat crews as a unit, I chat with the skippers when deciding dive sites, they know the sea much better than I ever will, I help the deckhands where I can, I don’t think it matters whether you are male or female it matters whether you have the respect for each other and are willing to work hard and I have proved that I do and I can. I strongly believe in being a role model to others and feel if you work hard others will follow your lead. I love diving in Egypt, the reefs are so beautiful and plentiful, everywhere I go around the world I look at it and think could I dive here every day and not get bored, so far only Sharm El Sheikh has captivated me enough to stay for 19 years.

I became a PADI Course Director after helping with many Instructor Development Courses, I had an exceptional boss of the dive centre I work at and he was the best Course Director who encouraged all his IDC Staff Instructors to continue up the PADI ladder. During one IDC, we had about 18 students, there were 3 Course Directors on that course with my boss being the lead Course Director, I was the only Staff Instructor and all the students kept asking me why I wasn’t a Course Director, they got me thinking. I just did not feel confident in myself to do it, so I went to my boss and he told me to believe in myself, he told me I was more than ready. With the push from him and the support of my boyfriend (not the French Instructor, I met a new one, of course he is an Instructor as well, us divers talk nothing but diving and fish who else would listen to us but other divers) I went to my PADI Course Director Course.

I will never forget the moment I realised I had passed that course, I looked in the mirror laughing and crying at the same time saying to myself, you are a PADI Course Director.

Ladies the moral of my story is that you may get pushed to do things outside of your comfort zone and sometimes you may not have the confidence in yourself to do them but believe in yourself, embrace the challenges as they may change your life – mine did. In the water it does not matter if you are male or female, the fish do not care, all that matters is that you love it.

My mum’s gift opened up a completely new world for me, it is a world that keeps giving every day and I have never looked back.

 

PADI Women’s Dive Day – An Interview with PADI Instructor Nouf AlOsaimi

Why and how did you become a PADI Diver?

My story begins back in 2008 in Manchester City in the UK when I was completing my undergraduate degree in Tourism. Wanting a break to seek out the sun and sand, I headed to Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt. It was here that I first encountered the underwater world by way of a PADI Discover Scuba Diving Experience: “it was life changing.” I went back in 2009 where I completed the PADI Open Water course and PADI Advanced Open Water course, followed by the PADI Rescue Diver course in 2010. Going on to complete my PADI Divemaster rating in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 2011 I then spent a full 12 months working as a Divemaster and underwater photographer back in Sharm, before becoming a PADI Instructor in 2013.

I am now a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, focused on educating and teaching women to learn to dive within Saudi.

What does PADI mean to you?

Passion, fun, education, life changing, Community, Adventure and Family.

 What does it mean to you to be a female diver?

To me, being a female diver, means the world. Becoming a diver in a conservative society, where all sports are only dominated by men, was a huge challenge for me. Many females reject this incredible sport because it involves men teaching them how to dive.

I built a female training group specifically to train and educate women about the importance of the sea and the environment. When you dive you see how many different types of creatures are living together in a uniquely balanced system. We must not spoil it. Diving gives me confidence and empowers my sense of responsibility towards the environment in general. I have trained many female divers, and there are more on the waiting list. They are happy to see a female instructor that teaches them about the importance of the sea and why we should dive.

What is your favourite dive site?

Shark & Yolanda Reef in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt!

 What’s your dream dive?

A dive full of sharks in the Galapagos!!

 What are you plans for Women’s Dive Day this year?

This year we are planning a big Female diving event in Jeddah targeting divers and non-divers females. The purpose is to empower each diver, share the love and passion towards the ocean, spread environmental awareness and recruit potential new divers.

 What do you feel are the most important challenges and opportunities facing women in diving?

Currently women are playing huge role in KSA Market which creates more opportunities than challenges. The Scuba diving sector is growing especially with the current woman empowerment. However, the major challenge is fear of the ocean, which we are working on by increasing awareness about the beauty of underwater world and sharing experiences with other females through word of mouth and social media.

 How can we get more women in the water and involved in the dive community?

I believe Diving is a meditation sport it can heal the souls, and many of our females diver’s community agree on that. Once you are underwater you disconnect from the busy world, by diving into the blue and connecting with nature. Females need to understand the magical and breath-taking experience that wasn’t easily available before.  With the growing number of empowered females who are looking for new adventures and activities, it’s our duty to take part of this change and motivate them to join the underwater world.

Diving can be anything a female wants it to be, it can be considered as: sport, fun, educational, adventurous, community or even meditational. Through these perspective we will be able to increase Female divers.

 Tips to women thinking about a career in diving?

Choosing a diving career means that you do what you love and love what you do! The more dives you make with different instructors and the more skills and experiences you gain. Women’s Dive Day is a good start to get more women signed up for something life changing. Sadly, many movies have shown the negative side of the sea, making sharks the ultimate enemy underwater. We must show the positive side of the sea to newbies so they can appreciate the underwater environment more.

Coral Lines Findings 2018

Our 2018 Coral Line update brings together different success stories, in the form of expanding the nursery, creating a workshop, and most importantly seeing a steady survival rate of our coral fragments.

IMPROVEMENTS

After four years, the Coral Lines Project was in need of expansion. Therefore, in May 2018 we added six new metal frames alongside the existing nursery.  This will allow us to continue the project into the future without the limitation of space.  We have phased out the use of plastic cable ties and now attach the lines to the frames by tying the end of the rope to each frame. We also up-graded the project by retagging all 204 lines to ensure identification is up to date. During this process, we removed all coral lines with no living colonies. Now we will have a much clearer view of the project into the future.

In March 2018, the Marine Biology team conducted training on how to implement and manage a coral line project. We invited interested researchers from resorts and local islands to Gili Lankanfushi to participate in a Coral Line Workshop.  The full day tutorial taught others to create their own project using a step-by-step process.  Some of the Workshop attendees have now begun their own coral rehabilitation projects on local islands.From November 2017, we began a coral recruitment project which will measure the coral larvae settlement and survival. This project is ongoing today with results expected in three months.Finally, in February 2018, we moved our Marine Biology blog and Coral Lines blog onto the Gili Lankanfushi Resort official website so it is more easily accessed by our guests and interested readers. As of June 2017, this blog is now published by PADI and reaches five million readers.

SURVIVAL

We have planted 204 lines in the nursery over a four year period and after a recent survey of re-tagging and removing dead coral lines we have found that 158 lines still remain in the nursery. Out of the 9928 colonies planted, 6713 remain alive.

 

 

There has been a steady increase in colonies added to the project with an overall survival rate of 68% which remains the same as our findings in May 2017.  The rate of survival is less than pre-bleaching in 2016.  However, it far exceeds the survival rate of coral on the house reef which was found to be between 5% – 10% after a recent coral cover survey.

GROWTH RATE

Every three months after planting a line, we measure the widest point of the coral fragments to determine growth rate and note the fragments survival level. We measure each line for a period of one year.The species found to be most resilient post bleaching were A.aspera, A. pulchra and A.muricata. Although P.lichen does not show a huge increase in growth it has a high survival rate. Whereas, A. digitifera has a particularly high mortality rate (90%) and we have consequently not planted any more of these.

GROWTH FORMS

Species of coral can more simply be grouped into ‘growth forms’. We are mostly using bushy and digitate species as these are the growth forms that have survived best on the lines.We have an abundance of Porites lichen on the house reef which we have just started using on our lines when it is broken off in storms.  This accounts for a 2% increase in submassive form 4% in 2017 to 6% in 2018.

TRANSPLANTATION

In June 2017, we transplanted 15 fragments of A.humilis onto our house reef.  It was our biggest transplantation post bleaching.  The line survived for around two months but bleached due to predation despite our attempts to remove all coral predators.Due to the fragility of coral, our rehabilitation plans are very flexible, and subject to a long monitoring period.  We adapt our approach and long term management to ensure we keep up with the changing environment of the reef. So far in 2018, the ocean surface temperature has not been stable enough to transplant our lines on the reef but we will continue monitoring the situation.

FUTURE PLANS

Many of our lines are so large and heavy after four years of growth that we have had to hang the lines over the frames in order to keep them off the floor.  In these cases, we would like the lines to hang from frame to frame and therefore we plan to attach flotation devices at intervals along the line to reduce the total overall weight.

PADI’s guest blogger Clare Baranowski introduces herself:

I am a marine zoologist from the UK who has worked throughout the tropics researching mega fauna and reef ecosystems in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean. I have experience monitoring and restoring coral and surveying manta, turtle and dolphin populations. I began my career as a science communicator before moving into research and management roles, this is why I incorporate outreach and education into every project I work on and I hope to continue this at Gili Lankanfushi

How Environmentally Friendly is Your Business?

Are you as green and environmentally friendly as you could be?  Could your business have a better impact on our planet?

As business owners and managers we are often very busy and the idea of focusing time and efforts on doing more for our environment could be something that falls down the priority list.  However, this is fast becoming a vital part of our everyday operations.

The need to reduce single use plastic and debris in our oceans is now a mainstream topic and necessity in all corners of our planet.  We can all do our part, both personally and professionally.

To ensure scuba diving is an activity that future generations are going to want and be able to get involved with, we need to protect our oceans.  As scuba diving professionals, integral pieces of the industry and ambassadors for our oceans, it is our duty to fight, campaign and care for the planet, educating our students and divers along the way.

 

Skin Diver and Turtle

At the PADI office we are working hard to do our best for the environment with initiatives across all areas, including:

  • Packaging – Packing peanuts are made from corn starch and our shipping boxes have fewer chemicals and contain 49% recycled material.
  • Recycling – Recycling stations are set up throughout our offices, electronics are sent to off-site recycling centres and bulk packing cartons are reused.
  • Digital Forms – Digital Signatures are being implemented to reduce the need for paper forms.
  • Lights – Automatic Lights are used throughout our office buildings, ensuring they switch off when not needed.
  • PADI Team – We now have an internal Green Team to drive eco-friendly corporate practices. Staff are offered two paid volunteer days per year and company-sponsored environmental events and clean-ups are organised.
  • Carpool – Staff are encouraged to share transportation to and from the office.

There is plenty more in the pipeline to be released very soon, so watch this space!

Sometimes it is a little difficult to know where to begin when making changes to our business and home practices, to help you with these transitions and initiatives, take a look at the PADI Green Star Award!  This gives you a great guideline to follow and targets to works towards.

If you are able to achieve enough points across the workbook then you will be awarded with the PADI Green Star, giving you another logo and accolade to market and be proud of.

For more information on achieving the PADI Green Star Award, please contact your Regional Manager – Matt Clements – matt.clements@padi.com or Emma Hewitt – emma.hewitt@padi.com or visit padi.com

Events – Scuba Pride 2018!

 

Continuing from my last post about events that PADI are supporting, I would like to bring your attention to Scuba Pride 2018!

Scuba Pride which is taking place at Vivian Quarry in Parc Padarn, Llanberis on the 21st of July.  (Please click here for more information). Also, there is NUPG Scuba Pride Photo Competition taking place on the 22nd of July.  

Vivian Quarry is in a prime location to venture out to the stunning Snowdonia National Park. Duttons divers is a PADI Five Star Instructor Development Centre and a Project AWARE 100% Partner Centre based in North Wales.  

Speaking with PADI Course Director Clare Dutton (Vivian Quarry and Duttons divers), they have 12 stands in total who are already confirmed. They will also have the face painting, bbq, competitions and will also have a mini ‘fairground’ – coconut shy, other small games around the quarry for fun. 

Throughout the day they will be offering various try dives – discover scuba, discover the Menai (The Menai Strait is a narrow stretch of shallow tidal water about 25 km long, which separates the island of Anglesey from the mainland of Wales), Sidemount diving, Full Face Mask and Twinsets.

Hopefully, manufacturers maybe offering trials of their equipment and will have slots in the training cage we have on site.

Clare has said that they will have some t-shirts that have been designed for the scuba pride event. If you would like to purchase one, please let her know. They are £15 each with profits going to LGBT North Wales.

The team at Vivian Quarry are excited about the event and to be supporting the LGBT community in Scuba diving. There have been lots of emails from various groups including the chairman of both LGBT North Wales and GLUG UK that have been advertising the event.

It is great to be able to support this event and PADI will be there to help make the event memorable.

UK Coastal Diving

As a UK diver, have you been diving in the sea as much as you have inland dive sites?  As a UK dive instructor, do you regularly teach courses in the sea, rather than just inland dive sites?

The answers to these questions often show that we are not getting out to the coastal sites as much as we should.  Instead we are often restricting ourselves to the very good, but limiting inland dive sites.  Our dive centre survey conducted in 2017 showed 73% of UK based dive centres are primarily using inland sites for their training courses.

None of our divers initially started diving because they wanted to only dive in a quarry!  This is an amazing experience and provides great learning platforms, but it is not the ultimate diving dream!  We all want to have the chance to see amazing marine life, incredible ship wrecks steeped in history and be immersed in a body of water so vast we cannot even fathom it! 

We must ensure we are meeting these desires of our students and divers, otherwise they may go elsewhere, or stop diving altogether and find another activity.

The immense UK coastline, offers an array of various dive sites suitable for all levels.  With many dive centres located along the coast lines there are plenty of spots to fill tanks, get local information and charter boats.

In addition to the fun and new knowledge your students will gain, it is also great for us as instructors to get into new and varied diving conditions as much as possible.  This heightens our skills and keeps up our motivation and interest in our job/hobby.

In addition to this we are providing ourselves brilliant opportunities to teach other courses, for which we may be restricted at an inland site, for example Boat Diver Speciality, Deep Diver Speciality and Drift Diver Speciality.

The Comedian

For more information about running trips to or teaching your PADI courses at UK coastal sites, please contact your PADI Regional Managers – Matt Clements – matt.clements@padi.com and Emma Hewitt – emma.hewitt@padi.com