Promote Domestic Success with a “Third Space” Dive Store

Analyse the competition to your dive business and what are the results? Is it the domestic high street suffering? Is it spending power? Are potential consumers preferring to spend their weekends sat in trendy coffee shops rather than learning to dive?

These may indeed be valid concerns, but your biggest threats they are not. Your largest competition is from the customers themselves. At this point in time, customers are the savviest they’ve ever been. They are careful with how their money is spent and with whom they spend it. Customers need experience, content, validation, reassurance and personalisation. They crave lifestyle improvement. Transactional relationships are a thing of the past to modern consumers – you are both now embraced in an emotional one.

With this in mind, create a “third space” dive store. A place away from home and work where customers are at ease. If your dive store promotes a transactional environment, the customer is presented with two options: buy something or get out. However, the “third space” environment would allow a customer to sit down and chat with a coffee – and a word of warning, people drink more coffee than ever so don’t skimp on the quality of beans! In this environment you can reassure the customer that scuba diving is the embodiment of lifestyle improvement. Through PADI’s Pillars of Change you confirm that scuba diving is an experience-rich investment worth paying for.

Embrace the millennial thought process to ensure domestic success. Consider these two Facebook advert messages for example:

  • 10% off the PADI Open Water Diver course with ABC Diving. Find out more!
  • ABC Diving are recruiting ocean conservationists! Visit us in store to protect our ocean planet!

The first message is purely transactional and wide of the mark with how experience driven customers think. Promoting this message within your domestic market would serve to only confirm the savvy customer’s fears – you’re another business trying to make some quick cash.

Now consider the second message. You’ve moved away from transaction and now focus on relationship building. Now you’re recruiting. Now you’re appealing to emotions and creating an environment away from home and work where customers can find gratification through purpose. This now goes beyond selling a dive course. This is selling a lifestyle and a possibly also a career change.

Is Your Member Contact Information Up to Date?

Without accurate member contact information, PADI cannot reliably deliver member benefits and important standards-related information to you. Be sure to update your personal details every time your postal address, email address, phone or fax number change, and ensure that you keep your teaching location up to date.

You can view the contact information PADI currently has on file for you at any time simply by accessing the Pros area of padi.com (go to Members’ Toolbox and then click on My PADI Information to check the information). If anything is missing or inaccurate, you can easily update the information online, or if you prefer, you can contact the Customer Relations Department at your PADI Office (as listed on the site) to provide updated details. It is also important that we have your language preference on file as we will always endeavour to communicate with you in your preferred language. Where we are unable to communicate in your language of choice, we will default to English.

Why is it important to keep all personal information up to date?

  • Member benefits.

Ensures that you continue to receive all the benefits of your PADI membership, including The Undersea Journal and Training Bulletins (which are required reading for all PADI Members).

  • Region-specific information.

Allows you to access important region-specific information such as insurance requirements and information regarding local regulations pertinent to scuba diving.

  • Streamlines your communications with PADI.

Minimises any delays in processing by ensuring that any correspondence or queries relating to your membership, applications, or certifications submitted will be handled by the relevant department at the most appropriate PADI office from the outset.

  • Training hints and tips.

Updating your current contact details, including your language preference, means you will continue to receive specific regionally targeted communications, providing you with helpful training hints and tips relevant to your local teaching environment and details of upcoming training webinars such as the Training Bulletin Live, as well as information regarding the most current sales and marketing initiatives in your area.

Don’t miss out – visit the Pros’ site to check your personal contact details today!

Building relationships with Spanish Dive Centres

Following the success of the 2017 Familiarisation Trip to the Murcia region of Spain, the Costa Brava Tourist Board contacted PADI offering to support another trip.  The Regional Managers for the UK and Political Advisor for Spain invited 8 UK Dive Centre representatives and lined up the Spanish Dive Centres ready to receive these guests.

The aim of this trip was to introduce the UK Dive Centres to the diving community in Spain and show them that it can be a great destination for long weekend dive trips, a place to complete courses and to send students when they are only completing a referral in the UK.

With a number of sheltered dive spots there is always guaranteed diving on a variety of depths and types of sites – suitable for all levels.

Over the 4 day trip the group enjoyed a number of dives, a guided tour of Girona, long lunches and a meet & greet session with around 15 Dive Centres from the Region.  During this time they received information from the local Dive Centres and Resorts showing everything they have to offer.

Each of the UK Dive Centres were very impressed and surprised by what this area of Spain has to offer and plans are already being put in place for them to run a variety of trips over there.

If you have not been on a dive trip to Spain before, maybe it is time to start exploring the diving that the Mediterranean has to offer!

For more information on running trips to this part of Spain, or any other destination please contact your Regional Manager – Emma Hewitt – [email protected] or Matt Clements – [email protected]

PADI Supporting the UK Dive Community

It has been a successful and busy summer of diving around the United Kingdom. As Regional Managers we have been out and about supporting Dive Centres and Instructors with a host of activities and events.

So, what has been happening? Member forums, charity events, EVE training seminars, business development workshops and AWARE Week, are just a few of the many events across the UK. We would like to thank you for your continued commitment and support at these forums, training days and events.

It has been particularly inspiring to see how many PADI Professionals have taken part in the PADI Adaptive Techniques Speciality Course this season. This focuses on increasing awareness of varying diver abilities and teaches PADI Pro’s student-centered and prescriptive approaches when adapting techniques to meet diver needs. This is a valuable course to enrol in during the winter months which can then be used for next year’s summer season of diving.

So, as we come into the winter months, we would like to see you all at Dive 2018 and offer our continued support and guidance to help increase marketing activity for all RRA’s.

Dive 2018

DIVE 2018 is coming to the NEC, Birmingham on 27th – 28th October. This is a weekend not to be missed. The show attracts a large range of exhibitors showcasing the latest diving holidays, training courses and dive gear. Not only this, but there will be presentations from inspiring speakers who are shaping the Dive Industry. As well as a TekPool, the event will feature a Try Dive Pool making it a great event to take friends and family to who are interested in becoming divers. PADI have teamed up with DIVE 2018 to reward our PADI Members and PADI Divers with a 2-for-1 ticket offer. Please see here for ticket details. Both Emma Hewitt and Matt Clements will be at the show on the Saturday, so get in touch or seek us out at the show as it would be great to catch up and run through anything that you would like to work on.

 

Marketing & Event Support

The winter months are a great time to work on marketing material ahead of the 2019 summer season. There is a range of support available as well as assets ready for your use. Be sure to use the PADI Dropbox account for access to the latest marketing materials. As well as this, the PADI YouTube Channel and the image library on Flikr is a great source of visual content available for use. One of the surprise findings from the Dive Centre survey was the lack of branded vans, so why not apply for a PADI designed van wrap? There is also a host of support available if you are looking to step outside your centre and run an event or take part in a show.

Please email Matt Clements or Emma Hewitt for any further information and support. Matt Clements – [email protected] –  Emma Hewitt – [email protected] 

The poisonous pufferfish: Their true story

A floating ball of spines drifts past. This ball of spines is actually the most poisonous fish in the world and is responsible for multiple human fatalities every year. But what are the facts? Should you be worried? No!

Pufferfish are a diverse family of fish. They are found worldwide and have over 100 species. Although some species have adapted to live in brackish and freshwater the majority are encountered around the tropics and subtropical ocean waters. In the Maldives we have 5 genera and 18 species. They have a distinctive appearance with their long tapered body and large round head. These pufferfish can range from two centimetres long to almost one metre. In the Maldives the largest pufferfish is the Starry Pufferfish which grows to almost one metre and the smallest is the White-spotted Pufferfish which is around eight centimetres. Pufferfish are mostly bottom dwelling, inhabiting either reefs or sanding flats. Larvae are pelagic and a few species are completely pelagic.

In the Maldives we also have four species of porcupinefish which are in a different family to pufferfish – they belong to the Diodontidae family. They are very similar to pufferfish; the defining difference is that the porcupinefish’s body is covered in visible sharp spines that become upright when inflated. Pufferfish spines are not so visible prior to inflation. Porcupinefish in the Maldives are uncommon and are encountered individually. During the day they take shelter at depth, at night they become more active. Sometimes large porcupinefish can be found hovering around shallow reefs during the day – the reason behind this is currently unknown.

Whilst some pufferfish species have distinguishing bright markings over their bodies to show off their toxicity, for example the Saddled Pufferfish others camouflage themselves to match their surroundings. They are a scale-less fish with rough or spiky skin, beady eyes and all four teeth are fused together to form a beak. Big pufferfish use their beak to crack open and consume clams, mussels and shellfish. Smaller pufferfish prefer algae and smaller invertebrates.

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Most pufferfish are highly toxic due to containing a toxin called tetrodotoxin. The fish obtain this poison from vibrio bacteria which is found in the animals they eat, specifically from eating starfish and turban shell. Tetrodotoxin is a neurotoxin which is flavorless, odorless, heat stable and causes nerve paralysis. The location of the poison changes between species and is generally found in the liver and ovaries. To humans this poison is 1,200 times more poisonous than cyanide and there is enough poison in one pufferfish to kill 30 people. Additionally there is no known antidote. It is believed that pufferfish underwent a spontaneous mutation that caused structural changes in the fish allowing them to incorporate this bacteria containing the lethal toxin in their bodies to their advantage. Sharks are the only known animal to be immune to pufferfish poison. Although the toxin will kill, current research is testing whether low doses have medical benefits. Studies show that the toxin may relieve pain particularly with cancer patients. This could be an alternative to opiate use and it has also been shown to reduce opiate withdrawal pain.

Even though it is well known that pufferfish are highly poisonous and can kill it doesn’t stop people eating them! Pufferfish is popular to eat steamed, roasted, in broth or hot pot and as sashimi. In Japan and Korea it is considered a delicacy. A pufferfish dish, called Fugu which means swell up has been eaten in Japan for over 2000 years, although during this time there have been restrictions. For example, in the 16th century Japan’s supreme war lord ordered that the eating of Fugu was illegal. This was in response to some of his troops dying after eating Fugu whilst he was rallying them to invade the Korean Peninsula. Whilst some people continued to eat Fugu in secret prohibition did not end until 1887 when Japan’s first prime minister went to a restaurant. The local fisherman had not caught anything and only Fugu was available – the prime minister was served it and he loved it. The year after this the ban was lifted in that region. Other regions shortly followed.

In Japan there are now 22 different species that have been approved to eat. To serve pufferfish the chef must have a certification. Training for this certification takes seven to ten years and includes a written examination, together with the chef being able to gut and remove the poisonous parts of the fish within 20 minutes. Two types of pufferfish are very popular: Torafugu (luxury option) and Mafugu (cheaper alternative). Typically one kilo of Torafugu costs $200USD.

The process of toxin removal has improved over time with it now being possible to completely remove the poison from the ovaries of fish. The ovaries are pickled for one year in salt and then for a further two years in rice bran. During the pickling process fermented sardine extract is poured over the ovaries to mature them. This removes the poison and delivers flavour. The science behind this process is unknown and only a few places are permitted to produce it. Additionally in some aquaculture facilities poison free pufferfish are being bred. They are bred in sterile environments where no vibrio bacteria are present. Theoretically the pufferfish should not be able to store the poison because there is no poison in their diet. These facilities are focusing their research on the liver. They have sampled 4000 fish livers over a nine year period and none of these fish were found to have the toxin. Now in special places poison free liver can be eaten and it is said to be very tasty.

The poison is a major deterrent for predators, but this is not the pufferfish’s only defense. When the pufferfish is threatened they can inflate by 40% making them harder to eat since they become a large stiff ball. For a mature fish this process takes around 15 seconds. Inflation is as a result of the fish unhinging their jaw and rapidly gulping large amounts of water (or air if the fish is out of the water) which causes their body to expand/puff up. The ability to inflate is mainly due to the pufferfish having an elastic stomach – the stomach has a special large and folded lining which allows it to expand and accommodate a large volume of air or water. The pufferfish’s skin also has collagen fibers which allows it to stretch and not break. Additionally most pufferfish lack some ribs and have no pelvis which allows them to become a ball shape. It takes the pufferfish around six hours to return to normal size and during this time they are vulnerable due to their increased size and lack of mobility. The process of puffing up is also very exhausting and can be damaging to the fish. For these reasons it is important that divers and snorkelers are respectful of pufferfish and avoid triggering their inflation by scaring or antagonizing them.

We have a variety of pufferfish that can be seen around Gili Lankanfushi. So next time you’re here grab your snorkel and camera and take a look!

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.

 

Continue to change lives in 2019 with your PADI Membership

The PADI Retailer & Resort Association Members are at the forefront of education and conservation, introducing a world of wonder and magic to the next generation of ocean stewards. Continue to change lives in 2019!

Renew your membership by signing up for PADI Automatic Renewal by 6th November 2018, and you’ll save at least 25%* on your annual membership.

PADI Automatic Renewal will ensure you continue to receive the full support of PADI:

  • The PADI Brand – 1,000,000+ certifications per year.
  • Marketing Horsepower – 3.8 million social media followers and a total media reach of 7.3 billion. Revamped marketing collateral, including the new YOU promotional assets.
  • Best in class training materials – a revitalized and elegant online learning environment. A consistent, globalized learning experience for all PADI courses with accessibility to 25 languages across all devices.
  • Online business services – Online Processing Centre 3.0 for quick and easy online processing for certifications and digital certification packs. Dive-Check Online & Pro-Check Online quickly verify certifications and PADI Pro Credentials.
  • Training and Customer Relations – Continued access to multi-lingual customer relations team. Regional Training Consultants, alongside their Regional Managers will guide you through training queries and business support.

Sign up to Automatic Renewal now and save on your PADI Retailer & Resort Association Membership.

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*This saving is exclusive for PADI members who sign up to Automatic Renewal and represents a saving of at least 25% against the standard renewal pricing

Continue your PADI Pro journey for 2019

Being a PADI Pro means teaching the world’s most respected and instructionally solid system in diving, transforming people into divers and changing their lives forever.

Renew your membership by signing up for PADI Automatic Renewal by 6th November 2018, and you’ll save at least 25%* on your annual membership.

Automatic Renewal benefits:

  • Save at least 25%* on your annual membership fees
  • Experience no lapse in your membership, so no need to refresh and retrain
  • Complete control of your membership – you can turn Automatic Renewal on or off at any time on the PADI Pros’ site

PADI Automatic Renewal will ensure you’ll maintain access to a wealth of PADI membership benefits including:

  • The ability to teach or assist PADI courses and programs around the world
  • Be part of a global community of over 135,000 Professional members
  • Competitively priced specialist diving insurance policies for PADI EMEA members
  • Gain recognition and be an Elite Instructor with the annual PADI Elite Instructor Awards
  • Free access to PADI seminars, webinars, Quarterly Training Bulletins and Member Forums
  • Participate in or host one of PADI’s global events, such as Women’s Dive Day and AWARE Week
  • Stay up to date with the latest news in diving with the Undersea Journal and the Surface Interval email newsletter
  • Training information and pro-development webinars on the PADI Pros’ Site
  • Cutting-edge digital educational tools with PADI’s Digital Products available in 25 languages across all devices
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Sign up to Automatic Renewal now and save on your PADI Pro Membership.

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*This discount represents a saving of at least 25% against the standard renewal pricing.

Dolphin encounters in the Maldives Part – 2

The Maldives is a tourist hot spot for dolphin cruises. These majestic animals are found commonly around Gili Lankanfushi and never disappoint with their impressive aerial displays and playful attitude.

The Maldives is a dream destination for wildlife seekers and ocean adventurers. The ocean temperature averages between 27 – 31°C, contains plentiful fish and has incredible visibility. This makes it an ideal location for cetaceans: whales, dolphins and porpoises. They are aptly named as the word cetacean means huge fish.

Spinner Dolphins:

Spinner dolphins are a common species of dolphins seen in the Maldives and worldwide. They are easily identified due to their tricolor pattern, the upper side is dark grey, the middle a light grey and the underside white. They have a defined dark line from the eye to the flipper and an elongated nose. They get their name due to their unique jumping behaviour, they are the only species of cetacean to spin laterally in the air. The maximum number of spins recorded is seven. These spinning displays can vary, these variations are thought to be caused by habitat differences.

Spinner dolphins are usually found in coastal environments generally associated with island chains or atolls. Spinner dolphins have a high re-sighting rate which indicates high site fidelity. During the day they use bay areas to rest and socialise, at night they venture offshore to hunt. These resting bays are generally in close proximity to feeding grounds, have a flat and sandy bottom with a depth around 20m. These features allow the dolphins to use only vision (instead of echolocation) to keep a look out for predators. If visibility is poor the dolphins are unlikely to rest as they are vulnerable to predation.

Reproduction in spinner dolphins varies greatly between sub-species. Their calving period is year round with a gestation time of 10.5 months, after birth the calf will nurse for two years. The period between calves is three years. Females reach sexual maturity earlier than males (seven for female and seven to ten for males).

Spinner dolphins have predictable daily patterns but there social structure is variable. Group size varies with habitat, with some open ocean populations traveling in groups numbering thousands. Group size could be dependent on the size of the sandy bay bottom and activity, for example resting group size is smaller than hunting groups. Dolphins living in remote reefs and atolls have higher affinity to each other whereas coastal population are more changeable. In coastal environments individual groups rest separately during the day and can come together at night to hunt. These dolphins typically hunt prey that live in deeper water but migrate vertically at night following the plankton. Feeding occurs at depths between 200 – 400m and includes fish, shrimp and squid. The size of the prey is small (five – 15cm) with males preferring lantern fish and females cuttlefish. Spinner dolphins along with bottlenose dolphins are vulnerable to a variety of human activities and developments.

Potential Threats:

The majority of bottlenose and spinner dolphins in the Maldives reside in coastal environments which makes them highly susceptible to human activities. Coastal habitats are becoming degraded and as such management of coastal environments is critical for dolphin survival. Both species of dolphin are particularly vulnerable to human activities including dolphin watching, swimming with dolphins, pollutants including acoustic and chemical pollution, gillnets, by-catch, hunting, habitat degradation, boat traffic, sea planes, climate change, purse seines and trawling fisheries.

As awareness about the threats to the planet grows there is a shift from activities that degrade wild animal populations to activities that educate and raise awareness. The number of participants for dolphin watching activities is growing and highly profitable. Dolphin watching has many positives; less invasive than swimming with dolphins, reduced desire from aquariums, alternative employment, reduced hunting and by-catch. Unfortunately some dolphin watching activities have little or no regulations and can be conducted in a manner that is negative for the dolphins. These activities can alter feeding, resting and reproductive behaviours. Stressed behaviour can be exhibited as changes in swimming speed and direction, changes in communication, respiration rate and aerial behaviours.

It has been observed that cetaceans avoid areas with heavy boat traffic and it is thought that disturbances to dolphins could lead to increased injury rate, unsuccessful reproduction, increases stress and damages survival probability. Prolonged disturbance may lead to permanent relocation of dolphin populations. A common misconception people have with dolphins is that they can leave if they aren’t happy, dolphins can find themselves too stressed, confused and blocked in by boats to leave. Additionally, many dolphins are reliant on coastal environments, moving away from the coast can lead to diminished survival chances. As more research is conducted it has become apparent that dolphin watching can be executed in a sustainable way.

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.

The importance of a good dive buddy

From the very beginning of a divers training, the importance of being and having a good buddy is emphasised, it is one of the key aspects of recreational scuba diving. As well as helping reduce risk, a buddy should enhance your dive from start to finish – a shared experience is always the best!

Benefits of buddy diving:

  1. They are an extra pair of hands when donning the scuba gear and taking it off again at the end of a dive – why struggle alone when a buddy can help?
  2. In the water, they can offer reminders about planned/actual depth and to check how much air is left – on a really exciting dive where sharks and rays are swimming all around, divers can be easily distracted and forget these basic checks – a good buddy means another chance to remember
  3. Should a diver need a little help such as with a cramp in their leg a buddy can help to alleviate the problem quickly and effectively – the divers can then get back to enjoying the dive
  4. In absolute emergency situations such as running out of air, a panic situation or entanglement, a buddy is an immediate source of life-saving help, without which the consequences could be life-threatening
  5. Navigational help – two brains are often better than one in navigational challenges!
  6. Someone to share amazing sightings with and most importantly, a witness to the countless sharks, super rare critters and giant manta rays seen – without a buddy the story just wouldn’t be believable!
  7. A second pair of eyes on the reef and in the blue – diving with a buddy presents double the chance of spotting something really amazing.
  8. Safety stops can be a time of quiet contemplation of the dive just completed and they can also be a time of funny faces and silly signals…and a lot of laughing bubbles drifting up to the surface – a buddy can be an excellent source of entertainment, diving is meant to be fun after all.


Divers usually find themselves travelling without a dive buddy in tow but this is not a problem at all – especially when diving with Prodivers Maldives. Buddy teams are agreed on the boats and the instructor guiding the dive is always very happy to accompany anyone who isn’t paired up. It’s beneficial for the buddy teams to stay with the guide anyway as they know the reefs like the back of their hand and can point out all the really cool stuff.

As divers get more experienced they may be tempted to go and dive on their own, they may think that they can handle anything and become quite blasé about the risks involved. The fact is that scuba diving is a high-risk adventure sport IF embarked upon alone, but when the correct procedures are followed and the buddy diving system is adhered to, the sport enjoys an excellent safety record. No matter how experienced a diver is a good buddy is as essential as the tank on their back!

Shark Week 2018 with Prodivers Maldives

 

Picture by Ray van Eedden
Picture by Ray van Eedden

Shark Week 2018 saw the teams at Prodivers dive centers celebrate these amazing creatures in the best way possible – spending time with them in their natural environment, the ocean. The teams’ love of sharks is well-known, as is the Maldives for being a world-renowned shark diving hot-spot, and their love was shared on dives and snorkel trips as well as in the classrooms, on the boats and pretty much anywhere else they could! Prodivers even shared their sharky love with the world on Facebook and Instagram too! If you missed Shark Week don’t worry – every week is a shark week with Prodivers Maldives!

Take a look at how the Prodivers teams across the Maldives celebrated Shark Week 2018:

Hurawalhi
Instructor Steve and repeater guest Markus opened shark week on Hurawalhi with an amazing dive on Kuredu Express, where grey reef sharks were hunting and cleaning. Steve and Markus, together with other guests, were lucky enough to snorkel with a whale shark, also on Kuredu Express, just before the last dive of shark week.

The Prodivers team on Hurawalhi did in total 20 dives in which we saw 7 different species of sharks: 1 whale shark, 1 white tip reef shark, 88 grey reef sharks, 3 silver tip sharks, 1 lemon shark, 5 black tip sharks and 2 nurse sharks.

Lily Beach Maldives Diving

Komandoo
Besides the fact that it’s always shark week on Komandoo with the baby blacktip reef sharks patrolling around the island all day, the divers and snorkelers on Komandoo were very lucky as they had a couple of special encounters with Guitar Sharks during shark week around the island.

All scooter divers also enjoyed uncountable sightings of nurse, grey reef, lemon and silvertip sharks while crossing the channels of the Lhaviyani.

Kuredu
There’s just one word for Shark Week on Kuredu: EPIC!

Kuredu’s Shark Week couldn’t have been better: It started off with an epic early morning sunrise dive at Kuredu Express with grey reef sharks, a mobula manta ray, a silvertip shark and even dolphins under water! The team did scooter introductions and insane channel crossings where they saw a big school of eagle rays accompanied by lots of grey reef sharks, lemon sharks, around 50(!) silvertip sharks. The participants of the PADI Maldivian Shark & Ray Distinctive Specialty Course were also very lucky: Before they jumped in for their dive at Kuredu Express, they spotted on the top reef a whale shark and had the chance to snorkel with it! As this is a very rare sighting in Lhaviyani Atoll, all guests and the whole Prodivers team were super excited and happy about this incredible encounter!

Shark Week Maldives Diving

Lily Beach
Lily Beach arranged exciting trips for divers of all experience levels to search for sharks and identify the different species of common in South Ari Atoll. The highlight of the week was definitely a mature guitar shark on Kalu Giri, followed by a whale shark whilst snorkelling at Ari Beach. The biggest surprise: a massive silver tip reef shark at Vilamendhoo Thila during the current check, during the dive grey reef sharks, white tip reef sharks and a nurse shark resting on the top reef. Even the Bubblemakers spotted blacktip reef sharks during their sessions in the lagoon. Big smiles everywhere as we spotted sharks on all our dives during this special week.

Vakarufalhi
Vakarufalhi had an amazing week of sharks! As they had their boats filled with experienced and advanced divers, they were able to visit some of our more challenging dive sites. Diving into a strong current is always thrilling, and comes with rewards: among black-tips, we spotted some silvertip sharks! Silvertip sharks are a rare, oceanic species, that live nearby deep drop-offs. The place they can be often seen by divers is a shallower reef, serving them as a cleaning station- just like the dive site named 7th Heaven. Divers on the house reef also had a good time with the sleepy nurse shark and some white-tip reef sharks! The lagoon is a nursery for baby white-tip sharks, while their parents can be encountered around the reef, and for the ones who are obsessed with big fish: a whale shark has been seen also during the week. Vakarufalhi is only 30 minutes away from the marine protected area near Digurah Island, well known for whale-sharks!