Teach the Project AWARE Speciality course this winter

AWARE Week 2018 was a great success around the United Kingdom, with many UK Dive Shops participating in a number of ways. The week entailed film nights featuring ocean conservation films, Dive Against Debris® events, beach cleans and even a baby lobster release.

To compliment AWARE Week, PADI® and Project AWARE® announced the launch of the updated Project AWARE Speciality course. This course can be taught by all Instructors and Assistant Instructors. PADI Divemasters who have completed the Speciality Instructor training with a PADI Course Director and applied at their PADI Regional Headquarters also qualify to teach this course.

The newly revised Speciality course provides information and support to help individuals take responsibility for ocean health, based on Project AWARE’s 10 Tips for divers. The purpose of the course is to unite scuba divers and water enthusiasts to make a difference. It makes individuals aware of the most pressing problems facing aquatic environments and how to protect them.

The participant’s prerequisites are that they only need to have an interest in the aquatic environment to enrol. There is no minimum age or experience requirement and it is run as a dry course, or “fins off” as Project AWARE like to call it.

With the winter months starting to close in, the Project AWARE Speciality course gives you a chance to get your dive team and customers together to learn about the pressing problems facing our oceans as well as the everyday actions that can be taken to help protect them. This is also a great course to reach out to youth groups and schools to get involved with, in order to teach young people about the importance of ocean protection. If you are a Centre and would like to know more about the PADI Approved Youth Training Scheme for your Centre then please contact your PADI Regional Training Consultant – Emily Petley-Jones ([email protected]).

There is a 10 Tips for Divers Toolkit on the Project AWARE website which includes Divers Handout and the poster. The instructor guide is on the PADI Pro’s site available as a free download and there are also lesson guides to help you in running your courses (Training Essentials> Curriculum> Specialities> Project AWARE Speciality Instructor Outline – v30).

The Project AWARE Specialty focuses on guiding participants toward the following personal commitments and actions they can take to help the environment…

10 Tips for Divers to Protect the Ocean Planet

  1. Be a Buoyancy Expert
  2. Be a Role Model
  3. Take Only Photos – Leave Only Bubbles
  4. Protect Underwater Life
  5. Become a Debris Activist
  6. Make Responsible Seafood Choices
  7. Take Action
  8. Be an Eco-tourist
  9. Shrink Your Carbon Footprint
  10. Give Back

 

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!

PADI Digital Core Courses Expand Reach

With more languages added to Open Water Diver and Freediver™ courses, and the PADI eLearning® experience becoming even more fluid, PADI® strengthens its claim as the leader in diver training.

Scuba diving is a sport/hobby/obsession that bridges borders and cultures, bringing people around the world together to enjoy the underwater environment. But people around the world have different needs and, more importantly, speak different languages.  PADI accounts for this when creating its eLearning products.

The PADI organization is making it easier for PADI Divers to access learning materials, with a digital suite of core courses that are easy to purchase, download and use. Now, these materials are offered in more languages than ever before too – further demonstrating that PADI truly is the way the world learns to dive.

Now, additional languages will be available for Open Water Diver and the popular Freediver courses (with more languages in more courses to come).

  • PADI Open Water Diver – Open Water Diver now available in seven new languages: Czech, Croatian, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Russian and Turkish.
  • PADI Freediver – Along with the existing English, the popular Freediver program is now available in 10 additional languages: Arabic, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish, with Korean, Thai, and Russian soon to follow.

The PADI Library app will reflect these changes. If divers have automatic updates turned on in their device settings, the app will update automatically.  If not, they will need to make sure they update their app.

PADI Dive Centers and Resorts, be sure to update your eLearning preferences in your account to reflect the courses and languages you support.

Keep an eye out as more updates to the eLearning experience are coming soon.

UAE Royal Family chooses PADI Life Guard course to train its staff!

Elias T. Hajjar – Water Sports supervisor – together with Esmail Bahadour Sachi – Diving supervisor – both under Royal Marine affairs Department  – His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Office – recently completed PADI Pool and PADI Beach Lifeguard Course with PADI Course Director Mahmoud Elaskary – General Manager at Bel Remaitha Club.

The purpose of the PADI Pool Lifeguard Specialty Course and PADI Beach lifeguard Specialty Course is to teach students the skills needed to help recognize, prevent and respond to aquatic emergencies. Not only this but it teaches the skills needed to provide care for cardiac emergencies, injuries and sudden illnesses until Emergency Medical Services personnel take over.

The course includes on-land and in-water rescue skills along with the essential CPR and First aid skills. This ensures that people employed as lifeguards at swimming pools and/or beach fronts can work individually and as a team to undertake their duties in a professional and customer focused manner, thus ensuring the safety of water users.

 

Women’s Dive Day Maldives

50 local female divers ‘splash down’ with Moodhu Goyye for PADI Women’s Dive Day

 

Local women divers pictured during the PADI Women’s Dive Day on July 21, 2018. PHOTO/MOODHU GOYYE

The Maldives participated in the fourth annual PADI Women’s Dive Day on Saturday, with over 50 local female divers who enthusiastically dove into the event.

This marks the third time for the archipelago to take part in this special dive organised by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), which brings together the female dive community from around the world to bond and share their love for the ocean and marine life.

Local women divers pictured during the PADI Women’s Dive Day on July 21, 2018. PHOTO/MOODHU GOYYE

 

The Maldives participated in the fourth annual PADI Women’s Dive Day on Saturday, with over 50 local female divers who enthusiastically dove into the event.

This marks the third time for the archipelago to take part in this special dive organised by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), which brings together the female dive community from around the world to bond and share their love for the ocean and marine life.

Local women divers pictured during the PADI Women’s Dive Day on July 21, 2018. PHOTO/MOODHU GOYYE

Participating from Maldives are the members of “Moodhu Goyye”, an unofficial community of local women with a shared passion for water sports.

“This year we have 50 certified female divers taking part in the PADI Women’s Dive Day, in addition to five local instructors and four dive masters – all female,” PADI Course Director Zoona Naseem and Dive Instructor Shaziya Saeed told The Edition.

A giant moray eel photographed during the PADI Women’s Dive Day on July 21, 2018. PHOTO/MOODHU GOYYE

The event began at 8:30 a.m. and ended at 5:00 p.m., with two dives scheduled. The first dive, according to Shaziya, was at ‘Lankan’ near Paradise Island Resort, while the second was at ‘Furana North’, a dive site off the coast of Furanafushi in capital Male Atoll.

Noting that Moodhu Goyye continues to attract more women towards the field of water sports, Shaziya expressed hopes that participating in the PADI Women’s Dive Day event would bring more women of all ages on board Scuba Diving.

Local women divers pictured during the PADI Women’s Dive Day on July 21, 2018. PHOTO/MOODHU BULHAA

“Since all the dive guides at this event are women, we’re hoping to not only engage more ladies in recreational diving, but show that there are great opportunities for them in this field,” she said, further highlighting that two out of the three PADI-certified local course directors in Maldives are women.

“The field of diving is a very positive one here,” agreed Zoona. “There is a lot of support for female divers.”

A turtle photographed during the PADI Women’s Dive Day on July 21, 2018. PHOTO/MOODHU GOYYE

Thanking various sponsors and dive centres that supplied the equipment and boats for the Women’s Dive Day, Zoona and Shaziya declared that they were looking to reach new heights with the local female dive community in the future.

“One of our future plans is to break the world record for most women Scuba Diving together, here in Maldives,” revealed Zoona. “We want to make the record by a substantial margin.”

Local women divers pictured before the PADI Women’s Dive Day on July 21, 2018. PHOTO/MOODHU GOYYE

PADI introduced the Women’s Dive Day in 2015, and it has continued to gain momentum as both new and experienced divers geared up for the events, which range from beginner to advanced dives as well as underwater clean-ups.

PADI Pros America reported that female certifications are noticeably increasing every year, noting that over 880 events were hosted in 85 countries just last year for the Women’s Dive Day.

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

 

PADI GO PRO Night 30 June 2018 – Giardini Naxos.

by Fabio Figurella – Regional Manager PADI EMEA.
Last June 30th I had the pleasure and the honour to attend like every year at a PADI Go Pro Night organized by Sea Spirit Diving Center in Giardini Naxos, one of the most active Italian Dive Center focused on training of divers especially for the professional levels, managed by the Course Director Carmelo Sgroi, and by Cilla Lentz – Diving Center Manager.
Every year I have always come with great pleasure to these events because there is always a large number of participants, very interested in the PADI Professional Career.
This year the event has been a huge success, organized in collaboration with the association MEGISS Dive Lab has focused on the topic of Naturalistic photography and Environmental awareness related to the world of PADI professionals.
Guests of excellence Francesco Turano, Naturalist photographer who projected photos that created strong emotions in the hall.
Also present was Dr. Laura Marroni Vice-President of DAN Europe Foundation, one of the youngest managers worldwide of the diving industry, who presented the DAN Europe foundation and its activities, telling of her experience during the IDC becoming PADI Instructor.
About 60 PADI Pros have attended the event, interested in their professional career.


I interviewed some of the most representative members of the Sea Spirit Staff:

Carmelo Sgroi – PADI Course Director.
Carmelo Sgroi, owner of Sea Spirit, PADI 5 Star Diving Resort, is also a skipper and PADI Course Director and has made from his passion a profession.
His career began as a PADI Dive Master in Mediterranean waters of the Ionian coast of Taormina. Later, he became a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor in Australia.
Then he developed himself into a PADI IDC Staff Instructor and PADI Master Instructor in Thailand. In 2018, Carmelo Sgroi completed the PADI Course Director Training Course in Malaysia with success and achieved the status of PADI Course Director. In 2015, Sea Spirit Diving Resort became a PADI 5 Star IDC Dive Resort and Carmelo Sgroi and Mark Soworka decide to bring their experience in Europe by organizing the first international PADI Instructor Development Course (IDC) in Sicily and founded dive-careers-europe.com.


Cilla Lentz – Diving Center Manager.
Cilla Lentz, general manager, PADI IDC Staff Instructor and main instructor at Sea Spirit Diving Resort, started diving in 2010 during a holiday at diver’s paradise Koh Tao, Thailand. In 2012 she flew back to Koh Tao, Thailand to become a PADI Divemaster. During her internship, she became passionate about diving and decided to take the next step to PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor in Thailand. In 2013, she moved from Koh Tao to Sicily and implement her experience in Sea Spirit Diving Resort. In 2014 she increased her experience in several PADI Specialties and got the PADI MSDT certification (Master Scuba Diver Trainer). After that she gained more experience in training on professional level during Instructor Development Courses and got the PADI IDC Staff Instructor certification. Nowadays she manages Sea Spirit Diving Resort and trains people how to become good or even better divers and trains people who want to take their first step in professional diving.


Amy.
Amy started diving in her homeland, the U.K. and she joined Sea Spirit as a Dive Master Candidate (2016) and grew into the role of main instructor in 2017. By now, Amy guided more than 100 people during PADI Discover Scuba Diving, PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver and PADI (Junior) Advanced Open Water Diver and from this year also PADI Rescue Diver, Divemaster and specialties. At Sea Spirit you will find Amy most of the time on one of our boats, teaching diving with all her enthusiasm and big smile.


Alina.
Alina started her professional dive career at Sea Spirit in 2017 as a Divemaster Candidate. In October 2017, she joined the IDC at Sea Spirit and became an Open Water Scuba Instructor. Now she teaches (Junior) Open Water Diver and (Junior) Advanced Open Water Diver. You will find Alina on one of our boats or in the office, organizing everything with perfection and always ready to take care of everybody with her sunny smile and pro-active attitude.


We then moved on to the presentation of the MAGISS Dive Lab Association, which is a summary of the words of its President Giovanni Laganà:
Joining the Pro Night of Giardini Naxos has taken for MEGISS Dive Lab – the Association of which I am President and Co-founder – an extremely important meaning in line with one of the projects that, together with the other members, we want to pursue: to contribute to educate the professional divers plays a decisive role in supporting the preservation of what is one of the most precious jewels of the Planet Earth: the Mediterranean.
In agreement with Francesco Turano, with whom we are sharing the AWARE DIVERS project, we are convinced that, also through the tool of naturalistic photography, the knowledge of biodiversity and the mechanisms that regulate the life of the Mare Nostrum must become the patrimony of the professional diver who, if properly informed, will be able to guarantee the noble interests of the whole underwater community, being able, at the same time, to support scientifically correct positions.
To do this, guides and instructors need specialized knowledge and accurate information on ecology as well as on the management and sustainability of the Mediterranean Sea. More. They must be able to translate this knowledge into practices that promote low impact diving.
The task now – if the goal is shared – is up to the teaching. We are here and if you want to follow us do it on our social profiles Facebook and Instagram.

Laura Marroni Vice President of DAN Europe closed the event. Here are her words:
Participating to the PADI Go Pro Night in Taormina was a great experience. I had the chance to talk to a group of passionate divers willing to become dive instructors and to tell them about my career in the diving business and how DAN can help and protect them. DAN has always been on the side of every diver, from the beginners to the most experienced. Dive professionals can count on our medical assistance and support in every step of their career, and they can in turn help us making diving safer by joining our research programs. All together we are a big community and we share a very important goal: diving safely, respecting the environment. As dive professionals, we have the privilege to guide people through the marvellous submerged world and the power to change people’s lives. Being diving instructors is much more than a job, it’s a challenging and beautiful mission!


Finally, as PADI EMEA we have given a special recognition to the Naturalist Photographer Francesco Turano “For the exceptional commitment to the dissemination of environmental sustainability through naturalistic photography” Here are his words:
The diver’s awareness is one of the main points people need to focus on. Everything comes from the fact that underwater tourism is no longer in balance with the marine environment, and people often take advantage of it, without knowing and respecting it. Diving centers should change the way they operate and dive management for large groups.
The scuba diving teaching has the task of introducing the use of the underwater world and must be accompanied, today more than ever, by adequate training on marine biology and ecology, through tools like naturalistic observation and photography. Only in this way it’s possible to avoid scuba diving alone just for fun and one becomes aware, through the knowledge of the submerged environments and therefore brought to the respect of life in the sea.
A life in the Mediterranean, studying and photographing in all seasons and in all conditions, allows me today to state that diving must evolve through proper environmental education, only possible with appropriate courses that allow you to learn important points in the practice of diving. I shared my thoughts with MEGISS Dive Lab, an association for the knowledge and protection of marine environments in the Mediterranean, and now I would like to try to share it with PADI, if you understand the importance and validity of the message!

 

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 [email protected]) 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 [email protected] for clarification.

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

The benefits of Certified Assistants to create an enjoyable and safe dive!

On a day to day basis, there’s also little doubt that the efficient use of certified assistants during confined and open water training and experience programs can make diver training and supervision easier and more enjoyable for both participants and instructors. This is especially true for experience programs or entry-level courses when divers can’t be left unattended.

There are many fairly obvious reasons for using certified assistants, such as logistical assistance, improved responsiveness to emergencies, having “extra” sets of eyes and ears for improved in-water control, the ability to increase the number of student divers being supervised, and so on. For the most effective use of them, consider the following, from PADI’s Guide to Teaching:

  • Have enough assistants available and thoroughly brief them about their roles during the dive, including information on site facilities, so they can answer student diver questions. Make sure they know where to find and how to use emergency equipment – first-aid kit, oxygen unit, AED unit, telephone/radio, etc. They should also know where extra equipment is located.
  • Discuss how much assistance and guidance to give student divers before, during and after the dive. Go over the expected order of activities and where they should position themselves in the water.
  • To increase practice time, have certified assistants monitor additional student diver practice.

Don’t forget during the PADI Open Water Diver course, where an instructor’s direct supervision is required, exceptions are made for instructor indirect supervision in the following situations:

  • Certified assistants supervising student divers during surface swims to and from the entry-exit point and during navigational exercises, as well as when remaining with the class when the instructor conducts a skill such as an ascent or descent with a student or student team.
  • Certified assistants guiding student divers (at a ratio of 2:1) on Dives 2-4 when exploring the dive site.
  • Assistant Instructors evaluating dive flexible skills at the surface in open water and conducting air pressure checks underwater.

Besides providing an additional measure to increase control and the safety of divers in your care, and helping to prepare future PADI Instructors, using certified assistants during PADI training programs can increase your students’ enjoyment of the training/supervisory experience and make your own professional life easier.

It’s important to remember however that PADI Standards define a certified assistant as a “Teaching Status PADI Instructor, PADI Assistant Instructor or Active Status PADI Divemaster”. The use of any other divers as assistants would not qualify as “certified assistant” use under PADI Standards. Don’t forget to check your assistant’s credentials!