See Where Cenderawasih Whale Sharks Are Now!

Cendrawasih Whale Shark “The Galapagos of Indonesia’s reefs”, Indonesia’s Cenderawasih Bay earned its name due to the diversity of marine species that calls this incredible area ‘home’.

An innovative project by Conservation International has highlighted that many young male whale sharks, literally do consider this area to be ‘home’. Conservation International has been collaborating with Cenderawasih fishermen to tag the world’s largest fish. Previous attempts to collect data (location, diving depths and temperatures) have been unsuccessful due to the high rate of tags coming detached from these gentle giants. Up until now, fin-mount tags were not used as whale sharks are simply too big to ‘capture’ and bring along side a vessel and mount the tags.

Whale sharks are inadvertently captured in Cenderawasih fisherman’s silverside baitfish nets, a favourite food of whale sharks. Before the whale sharks are safely released, Conservation International researchers attach custom designed Wildlife Computers finmount SPLASH10-346A satellite tags (with a 2 year battery life) to the whale shark’s dorsal fin.

Whale Shark Tagging_1To date, 16 individuals have been tagged; 5 of these have been tracked for more than a year. Each time the fish surfaces; data is transmitted providing scientists with a wealth of information about the enigmatic whale shark. Despite their size and potential for long distance migrations, the data has shown that the Cenderawasih whale sharks are largely ‘home-bodies’. You too can follow the whale sharks movements via Conservation International’s live-tracking site.

If diving with whale sharks is on your must experience list, then this is a destination not to be missed. Seeing a whale shark here is literally a sure thing! Dive The World offers you a number of liveaboard diving cruises to Cenderawasih. Our friendly and efficient sales team are available to assist you with your Cenderawasih liveaboard diving holiday booking.

Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)94 582 7973 / (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.


Is The Term Jewfish Offensive?

Jewfish has been the colloquial name for the goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara) for quite some time. Is it still being used? Is this naming a bit out of step with our politically correct times? Do you think that the term is offensive? Have we ‘evolved’ into such a sensitive society that we have lost sight of what is truly important?

Where did the term jewfish come from?

There are a number of theories out there on the origin of this name, some are benign and others offensive. Let’s look, as we must, for the proper context….

Atlantic Goliath GrouperThis grouper’s common name is quite apt. This species can reach lengths of up to 2.5m and weigh as much as 360kg! It is not surprising that it may be perceived that it was named after a giant. (Goliath was a giant Philistine warrior in the bible story, David and Goliath.) Dr Joe Nelson, chair of the Names of Fishes Committee (USA), made special mention that the grouper was named goliath, meaning large and not Goliath after the Philistine. Was the fish inadvertently connected to Judaism when it was first named?

The Atlantic goliath grouper can be found in the eastern Atlantic Ocean from the Congo to Senegal. In the Americas its range is generally more southerly and extends from Florida Keys, the Bahamas, most of the Caribbean and the majority of the Brazilian coastline. Its location may have more to do with the next theory. This one also stems from a physical attribute of the fish. The goliath grouper has a huge mouth, and the theory goes that it was called “jawfish”. Through southern accents the word morphed into “jewfish”. So it is more a question of semantics than Semitics?

Dewi Nusantara_1One theory that sits at the far left of the spectrum is that back in the 1800s, goliath groupers, were thought of as trash fish, and a certain sector of society declared it was only fit for Jews. This pretty nasty theory is at odds with the writings of famed explorer, William Dampier (after whom the Dampier Strait in Indonesia was named). In his book A New Voyage Round the World (1697), Dampier shares his journey to Jamaica. Here he encountered the ‘jewfish’. Jamaican Jews claimed the Epinephelus itajara to be the grandest kosher fish. It was proclaimed the grandest for it’s obvious size and it met Levitical Kosher law of being a clean fish by having, scales that are visible with the naked eye and fins. So if this theory is to be believed the name comes from it being a highly prized kosher fish. Nothing negative about that, although the term ‘kosherfish’ would likely not offend to the same extent as ‘jewfish’. There is something unsettling about the juxtaposition of a sacred belief system and the word fish appearing in the same term.

‘Impact’ of change?

The Maryland-based American Fisheries Society received some complaints about the name since the 1960s. This organisation’s Committee on Names of Fishes is the USA’s arbiter of names of fishes. This small group of seven, announced in 2001 that although there was no evidence that the name jewfish is being used offensively, it will nonetheless now be officially known as goliath grouper.

The reactions of prominent members of the Jewish Florida community may surprise many. Quoth Art Teitelbaum of the Anti-Defamation League, “Stereotypes about Jews have resulted in everything from murder to social discrimination. [But] in my experience, the jewfish has never been an energizing factor.” Rabbi Bruce Diamond, a Jewish leader in Fort Myers, “I tell you, in the universe of things that need to change, the name of a big grouper is low on the list. . . . I appreciate their political correctness, but people should think about getting migrant laborers a few more pennies for their tomatoes, do something good for the world. And you got that from the rabbi’s mouth.”

Some may think that the decision by the American Fisheries Society will result in the eventual decline of the term ‘jewfish’. This is unlikely, as the Miami Herald noted, at least nine islands or bodies of water are named after the jewfish. These include Jewfish Point in Los Angeles, Jewfish Creek in the Florida Keys and Jewfish Creek bridge (connecting Florida city and Key Largo). Renaming them would involve actions by state legislatures whom surely have more important concerns to occupy their time. The names of these places will on their own, keep the name jewfish ‘alive’, well at least in the State of Florida.

Perhaps the lesson here should be taken from the Jewish community. Be aware and considerate of sensitive issues however focus on what is important in life. Give your time and energy to things that are truly important and focus where change can have a positive impact on issues that really matter.

Consult our experienced sales team on destinations where you can dive with the gargantuan goliath grouper. They have extensive knowledge on all our destinations and can guide you in selecting the perfect scuba diving holiday!

Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)94 582 7973 / (0)83 505 7794 or E-mail our sales team for informed and professional advice!


Bali and Phuket – Ranked In The Top 10 Islands Of The World

The votes have been cast and the reports are in. TripAdvisor have published their 2016 Travellers Choice Awards.

Two of our favourite destinations have been recognised and are included in the category Top 10 Islands of the World. Bali is the 5th best island in the world according to travellers and readers and Phuket is not far behind, listed as 8th. Considering that Earth is home to over 100 000 islands these two destinations must be pretty special.

Bali_1TripAdvisor describes these magical islands, Bali is a living postcard, an Indonesian paradise that feels like a fantasy. Soak up the sun on a stretch of fine white sand, or commune with the tropical creatures as you dive along coral ridges or the colorful wreck of a WWII war ship. On shore, the lush jungle shelters stone temples and mischievous monkeys. The “artistic capital” of Ubud is the perfect place to see a cultural dance performance, take a batik or silver-smithing workshop, or invigorate your mind and body in a yoga class” and Thailand’s largest island is an international magnet for beach lovers and serious divers, who enthusiastically submerge themselves in the Andaman Sea. Blue lagoons and salmon sunsets make for a dream-like atmosphere, and indeed, a vacation here can feel a bit surreal. Watersports are the most popular activities, though once you’ve had enough sun there’s still plenty to explore at the island’s aquariums, gardens, and Buddhist temples.”

Both are incredibly enticing. Spoilt for choice and not sure which to choose? Dive The World is here and can help you decide which island to select for your next diving vacation. Divers have the choice of either resort or liveaboard cruise holidays in Phuket and Bali.

MV Hallelujah Liveaboard_1It is understandable if you cannot choose between these two amazing Asian destinations. You can always visit both and take advantage of Dive The World’s lowest price guarantee and our loyal customer benefits.

Consult our experienced sales team. They have extensive knowledge on all our destinations and can guide you in selecting the perfect scuba diving holiday! Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)94 582 7973 / (0)83 505 7794 or E-mail our sales team for informed and professional advice!.


Gardens of the Queen – Cuba’s Underwater Garden of Eden

Today’s trending dive destination is Cuba and the diving hotspot is Jardines de la Reina. This incredible dive destination has been a marine park for over 20 years and the protection has paid off. The area resembles the Caribbean at the time when Christopher Columbus named the area, Gardens of the Queen, in honour of his Spanish Queen Isabella.

Fidel Castro, a scuba diving enthusiast himself, declared an area of 2,170 square kms a national park, creating one of the largest marine reserves in the Caribbean. Under park regulations limited, regulated commercial lobster fishing in the north is allowed, there are no inhabitants and there are also minimal tourism opportunities.

The international spotlight shone on Jardines de la Reina in 2011 during Anderson Cooper’s 60 Minute segment featuring his visit to the Queen’s Gardens. During his trip, Cooper dived with and interviewed Dr. David E. Guggenheim, an American marine biologist and senior fellow at the Ocean Foundation in Washington, D.C. Guggenheim believes that Jardines de la Reina is “the most incredibly well protected and flourishing reef I’ve ever seen”. A bold statement from a marine scientist, conservation policy specialist, ocean explorer and educator.

Avalon II AerialAvalon, an Italian company (in a joint venture with the Cuban government) holds the licence for scuba diving, fly fishing and wildlife tours in the park. A maximum of 1200 divers per year are granted permits to dive in the marine sanctuary from one of their liveaboards.

With relations rapidly thawing between the United States of America and Cuba, visiting this Caribbean island nation is becoming less complicated. However with ease comes volume. With limited dive permits available and the spectacular diving on offer, divers are advised to book their liveaboard diving holiday as soon as possible to ensure that they too can experience this underwater garden of Eden.

Book your Jardines de la Reina scuba diving liveaboard holiday now

Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)94 582 7973 / (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.


South Africa’s Marine Protection – Have Your Say!

South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs is lobbying to establish 22 marine protected areas (MPAs) along the coast. This move is a long time coming; currently less than 0.4% of South Africa’s coastline is protected!

Aliwal Shoals_Photo Courtesy of Lesley Rochat_1World famous Aliwal Shoal is set to be among the 22 MPAs that will increase the total marine protected areas to more than 5%. The entire draft notice by Minister Edna Molewa is available on the South African Department of Environmental Affairs’ website.

Diving Aliwal Shoal
The shoal is claimed to offer some of the most exciting scuba diving in the world. Divers across the globe travel to the southern tip of Africa to dive this amazing spot. Aliwal includes both hard and soft corals, two wrecks, a plethora of marine life, including predators. Highlights are Grey nurse sharks (“raggies” in the local lingo), tiger sharks, manta rays, dolphins and whale sharks.

Impacts on local industry and conservation
The marine parks proposal would prevent bottom-fishing by net, however limited fishing by permit would be allowed. Research areas would prevent marine activities, including diving, from occurring in the designated areas.

Arguments for and against the proposal
A hearing in the town of Umkomaas last week was described as reaching ‘fever pitch”. The local fishermen and representatives from the private sector claimed that fishing provided much needed income for the poor and that the community would lose millions if marine activities (including scuba diving) were curtailed in the area.

Sharklife_1Conservationists rebutted the arguments stating that too many damaging demands were being made on the environment. These included taxing the environment by fishing, recreational activities and oil and gas exploration companies that had been setting off underwater explosions in the area. The prevailing view is that by creating a marine protected area, the natural diversity could be restored. Our view, ‘stop the explosions, stop the fishing allow the diving!’

Have your say!
As per the draft notice, members of the public can submit their comments for or against the declaration within 90 days from the date of publication in the Government Gazette. Have a voice and influence the details of the marine protected areas submit your e-mail before the 17 May 2017!.

Dive The World supports shark conservation in South Africa. When you book with Dive The World, a portion of your trip fee is donated to Sharklife.

Book your scuba diving holiday now! Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)94 582 7973 / (0)83 505 7794 or E-mail our sales team to seal the deal!.


The ‘bends’ treatment for Tucker the Turtle

An olive ridley turtle was near death and stranded on the shores of Oregon, USA. Since his rescue, he has been receiving treatment traditionally used to cure divers suffering from the bends. Tucker, as his carers at the Seattle Aquarium affectionately call him, was a long way from his usual ‘stomping grounds’, the warm waters of the Pacific coast of Mexico.

Ridley Sea Turtle_Courtesy of National GeographicThreatened sea turtle saved from death’s door
Tucker could not submerge due to gas bubbles that caused buoyancy issues. Floating on the oceans surface, he was carried into the cold waters that olive ridleys are not accustomed to. He was near starving and his body temperature was half of what it should be, causing most of his organs to shut down. His fortune turned when he washed up on Cannon Beach.

The Seattle Aquarium veterinary team began the mammoth task to ‘bring him back to life’ . This included treating him for severe pneumonia by providing manual ventilation by pressing a bulb on a tube in his mouth every two minutes for a week! His body temperature was painstakingly raised by 2 degrees a day and he was hand fed about a kilogram of seafood, including anchovies, shrimp and squid daily. Once he had recovered sufficiently he was the first non-human to be treated in the hyperbaric chamber at Seattle’s Virginia Mason Hospital. A team of hospital staff and veterinarians from the aquarium prescribed the hyperbaric therapy. This included 2 ½ hours in the chamber while being sedated and breathing 100% oxygen through a breathing tube in his airway.

Collaboration between doctors and veterinarians – a win for conservation!

Two members of the team shared their unusual experience. Dr James Holm, Medical Director at the Centre for Hyperbaric Medicine and scuba diver for over 40 years: “We have treated many scuba-divers over the years… this is the first time we have been asked to assist in the care of a sea turtle, which are excellent divers themselves.”

Aquarium veterinarian, Lesanna Lahner said: “Not only will the treatment potentially help him to be released back into the wild, but it has provided us with valuable information about the diving physiology of sea turtles, as we were able to closely monitor his vitals and blood gases throughout the entire procedure. This has been an exciting collaboration of veterinary medicine and human healthcare providers.”

Tucker’s recovery is being carefully monitored at the aquarium. It is vital that his buoyancy returns to normal so he can submerge, will not be vulnerable to predators or boats and can find food. When his team of carers are confident that he has fully recovered, he will be flown to San Diego and released into the Pacific ocean.

Experience olive ridley turtles and other amazing marine life in the waters off Mexico.

Book your Socorro Island and Sea of Cortez liveaboard diving cruise now.

Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)94 582 7973 / (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.


Sea Safari VI – Indonesia liveaboard discounts

Last updated: 22 May 2017

Save up to US$ 588 per diver!

KLM Sea Safari VI takes you diving in IndonesiaAre you yearning for a holiday liveaboard diving in Komodo? Then sail away on the KLM Sea Safari VI and get 20% off!

KLM Sea Safari VI is a great option for those who are seeking an Indonesian liveaboard trip of no longer than a week.

This liveaboard is Indonesian-owned and crewed by friendly local staff. It features Indonesian carvings and cuisine and Balinese art in the cabins.

Dive The World has the following special offers for you:

KLM Sea Safari VI – Special 20% off if you book any 2017/18 trip before the 25th June 2017
Raja Ampat National Park 7 Days 6 Nights 18 Dives
Standard Twin/Double: was US$ 2,700 Now US$ 2,160 per person
Deluxe Twin/Double: was US$ 2,940 Now US$ 2,352 per person
save up to US$ 588 per diver!

Cruise price per person includes: Cabin accommodation with air-conditioning, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinking water, hot drinks, land tour, return airport transfers in Sorong, dives (as detailed in the safaris above), experienced English-speaking divemasters (max 6 divers per DM), tanks, weight and weightbelts, cruise accident insurance.

Cruise price per person excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own): equipment (US$ 35 per day), Komodo National park fee (US$ 115) payable in advance, Raja Ampat National park fee (US$ 135) to be paid in advance. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival (cash only).

Optional extras: Soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, nitrox fills for enriched air certified divers (US$ 20 per day), torches, diving computer, dive insurance. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.

Contact Dive The World to find out more about the KLM Sea Safari VI liveaboard send us an email or call us on +66 (0)94 582 7973 / (0)83 505 7794.

Note: All prices quoted are per diver sharing and subject to currency fluctuations.
Special offers apply to new bookings only.


5% off Thailand 2016 liveaboards!

Budget Similans liveaboard MV Scuba AdventureAmazing news if you are planning a diving holiday between now and the end of April 2016. On top of any other specials we’re offering an extra 5% off Thailand liveaboards!

So you can add to any specials or last minute offers a further discount making Dive The World the best place for Thailand liveaboard discounts. Combine this with any other specials you see on the Thailand specials page on our blog or on our Thailand website’s specials page. You wont find a better offer anywhere on the internet.

So you can be diving the Similan Islands this season and saving big!

The popular mid-range liveaboard MV Pawara

Low Budget liveaboards

  • Dolphin Queen
  • Similan Explorer
  • Scuba Adventure
  • South Siam III
  • Daranee

Medium Budget Liveaboards

  • Pawara
  • Hallelujah
  • Andaman Tritan
  • Deep Andaman Queen

The excellent Deep Andaman Queen liveaboard

High Budget Liveaboards

  • Deep Andaman Queen
  • DiveRACE Class E
  • Panunee
  • Diva Andaman
  • Giamani

So act now!

Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)94 582 7973 / (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.


Gong Xi Fa Cai – Celebrating The Year Of The Fire Monkey

Lion DanceAcross Asia and the globe millions are celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year. Traditional celebrations include crackers, fireworks, acrobatic lion dances, Ang Pau envelopes and gatherings of family and friends sharing Yee Sang to usher in wealth and prosperity in the Lunar New Year.

2016 Is the year of the Fire Monkey, not only does it sound cool, for those who believe it could also be advantageous. For those who do not believe, it is a reminder that half of the 262 species of monkeys in the world are threatened with extinction; 58 of the threatened species live in South and Central America, 46 in Asia and 26 in Africa.

We can make a difference! We can make donations to reputable organisations that work tirelessly to protect and rehabilitate endangered primates. We can also support rehabilitation centres via entrance fees and by volunteering our time. A number of incredible dive locations are in the countries that many of the endangered primates live. Why not combine your next scuba diving holiday with a visit to one of the primate centres?

OrangutanNot sure where to start – Dive The World recommends visiting world famous Sipadan Island, or other Malaysian scuba diving destinations such as Lankayan or Layang Layang. Combine your diving holiday with an opportunity to observe ‘The wild man of Borneo’ in their natural habitat. Confirm your booking at Sepilok Nature Resort with our friendly and efficient sales team.

Other amazing diving destinations where you can observe wild endangered monkeys are:
• Belize
• Costa Rica
• Indonesia
• Philippines
• Thailand

Book your scuba diving and monkey
adventure during the ‘year of the monkey’ today!

Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)94 582 7973 / (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.


Witness A Manta Feeding Spectacle This August!

If you’re searching for the best opportunity to witness the astonishing phenomenon of hundreds of manta rays (Manta alfredi) and whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) feeding together, look no further than Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll.

Mantas Hanifaru Bay Guy Stevens_1Don’t miss your opportunity to experience this incredible sight! Book your August 2016 Maldives liveaboard cruise holiday with MV Adora or MV Sting Ray. Contact our Dive The World sales team (send us an email) and confirm your Maldivian diving cruise. Diving cruises include snorkelling in Hanifaru Bay and diving in sites nearby to the bay.

Why all the hype about an enclosed underwater bay approximately the size of a football field? This small, UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, locally known as ‘Vandhumaafaru Adi’, transforms into the world’s most dense manta ray feeding station between the months of May and November each year. This phenomenon happens when the lunar tide occurs during the South West Monsoon season resulting in the bay turning into a rich, soupy plankton filled smorgasbord, attracting filter feeders in the hundreds.

The typical, elegant reef-ballet displayed by manta rays fragments into chaos due to the sheer numbers and close proximity in the bay. Add a couple of the world’s biggest fish – whale sharks into the mix and you have a not to be missed Maldivian experience.

Whale Shark Snorkeler_1MV Adora will include snorkeling trips to Hanifaru Bay during their diving cruises on
• 31 July – 07 August
• 14 August – 21 August
The bay can be visited with the scuba diving liveaboard, MV Sting Ray during these cruises dates
• 06 August – 13 August
• 20 August – 27 August

Don’t delay, book today, and confirm your cabin now!

Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)94 582 7973 / (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.


Traveling to Costa Rica From Europe Has Never Been Easier!

Costa Rica, otherwise known as the ‘rich coast’ lives up to its reputation as being ‘the Switzerland of Latin America’. It has proven to be a peaceful, safe, (well relatively for a country situated in the middle of South America) eco-friendly country, practicing sustainable tourism that is backed by a well-developed infrastructure. It is now really easy to get to for European travellers with recently announced direct flights from London.

Jaguar_Marco ZanferrariIt is therefore not surprising that it is attracting visitors in increasing numbers. Europe is the second largest source market of tourists to Costa Rica after the US, according to data from the Costa Rica Tourism Board. Last year, Costa Rica issued over 370 000 tourist visas to European passport holders.

Thomson Airways was the first airline company to offer a weekly, direct flight, from the UK to Costa Rica. In November 2015, they began scheduled flights, every Monday, from Gatwick, landing in Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport, Liberia (approximately 215km northwest of the nations capital, San José).

British Airways (BA) seeing the potential of Costa Rica as a European tourist destination soon followed suit and is selling direct flights, with departures starting in April. Their route is from London Gatwick airport to San José’s Juan Santamaría International Airport. Travelers and divers can travel to the country many consider to be the ‘poster child for eco tourism,’ in less than 11 hours for as little as £500 return. (BA flies on Wednesday or Saturday during the summer months, or Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in the winter months.)

MV ArgoIf you intend to dive in Costa Rica (and how could you not?) make sure you plan your trip before you arrive in this ‘Garden of Eden’. Relatively few liveaboards operate in the spectacular remote Costa Rican dive destinations. Not surprisingly, places can be booked up well in advance. Scuba divers traveling to Costa Rica can choose between diving world renowned, Cocos Island or the lesser known, but by no means less impressive, Caño Island.

You can dive Caño Island with the highly rated sister vessels Okeanos Aggressor I and Okeanos Aggressor II. These boats along with the other Cocos liveaboards can take you diving the once-in-a-lifetime, liveaboard-only dive destination Cocos Island.

Now that it is easier than ever to travel to Costa Rica from the UK and Europe. Book your Costa Rican liveaboard diving safari with our Dive The World sales team right away on +66 (0)94 582 7973 / (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email and book your Cocos or Caño Island liveaboard diving safari today!


‘Enslavement of sentient beings’ at Nemo Aquarium in Thailand

This Pays For ThisWhile the world moves towards banning the incarceration of dolphins, Dolphins Bay Phuket opened in November, undeterred by public objections.

Strong opinions against this facility have been expressed on the Dolphins Bay Phuket community Facebook page about Nemo. An October post by Ann Elphick provides some context to the situation: “If you go and see the Dolphins here you are supporting wild capture and slaughter of Dolphins in Taiji, Japan. Watch the film ‘The Cove’ before considering going. They have Taiji Dolphins here. If you love Dolphins don’t buy a ticket!”; Ashely Donald stated: “It’s disgusting that these beautiful creatures are being held captive here to perform when tourists and locals can see them in the wild off the shores of Phuket.”

A good point justly made! There is nothing more magical than experiencing the wonders of nature in their natural environment. The ‘Land of Smiles” or Thailand, has a tropical climate and over 3000 kilometres of coast line, making it the perfect scuba diving destination. Many areas offer you the opportunity to witness free, wild dolphins, frolicking in the waves or performing acrobatic feats out of pure joy.

Pod of dolphins courtesy of Scuba ZooYou will be spoilt for choice with over 200 dive sites that you can choose from. Dive The World offers a wide selection of liveaboards, daytrip boats or diver friendly resorts providing the best of all possible worlds for your Thailand diving vacation. To learn more about the diving wonders of Thailand, e-mail our friendly and efficient Dive The World sales team send us an email and book your Thailand liveaboard diving holiday today!

What can you do to ensure that these intelligent, gentle mammals stay in the world’s oceans where they belong?

Do not visit the Nemo Dolphin Bay in Phuket (that was built for approximately 100 million Thai Baht!) or other dolphinariums and contribute to their profits from the inhumane treatment of marine animals.

Do have a voice and sign one of the many petitions aimed at protecting dolphins. Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project has a number of petitions for you to choose from – or sign them all!.

Support non-profit organisations in their fight to protect our dolphins and whales. One such organisation is the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society who broke the news way back in 2014 that the dolphins selected to perform in Phuket are wild females captured from the infamous killing “cove” in Taiji, Japan. CITES (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species) records verify that the Ukrainian company Nemo, had imported Tursiops truncatus gilli, Pacific bottlenose dolphins from Taiji. We need these organisations to keep abreast of the atrocities that are occurring in our oceans, and we need to do our part to stop these barbaric practices!


Magical Encounters in Mexico

Snorkeler and Blue Whale_2

Renowned wild life photographer Norbert Wu, recently captured a once in a lifetime experience for a very lucky snorkeller, off the coast of Baja California, Mexico.

This incredible image encapsulates the moment when a mere mortal came along side a gentle giant. At approximately 25 metres long and upwards of 200 tons, Blue Whales are the largest animals to have lived on earth.

Baja California is the gateway to diving in Mexico. Mexico’s bucket list sites, such as Socorro, Sea of Cortez and Guadalupe are remote and ideally suited for liveaboard diving holidays. Dive The World offers you a range of liveaboard charters in Mexico. Don’t miss the opportunity to have your very own once in a lifetime experience.

Who knows, yours might be to dive with schools of scalloped hammerhead sharks, be awed by a whale shark experience or witness an oceanic manta ray dance.

Contact our experienced Dive The World sales team right away on +66 (0)94 582 7973 / (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email and book your Mexico liveaboard diving holiday today!


Saved By The Bell

Tragedy followed by litigation
After suffering the tragic loss of both his girlfriend and friend (while diving The Blue Hole off Malta’s island, Gozo) in June 2015; BSAC diver, Stephen Martin, has been living with the prospect of being extradited from the United Kingdom to Malta on charges of involuntary manslaughter. On Monday, a mere two days before he was to appeal at the High Court in London against a request to extradite him to the Mediterranean isle, all charges were dropped.

Stephen Martin_1The diving world was in shock when the bizarre charges were brought against Stephen almost 20 months ago. The events of that fateful day were ruled as accidental deaths by Brighton and Hove coroner’s court in February 2015. However a Maltese magisterial inquiry was held without Mr Martin’s input or presence, resulting in involuntary manslaughter charges being levied against him.

This dramatic turnaround came about after BSAC (British Sub Aqua Club) representatives met with the Malta Attorney General and appealed for all charges to be dropped. BSAC chief executive, Mary Tetley said: ‘The decision today brings to an end the horrendous ordeal which Stephen has suffered since he was charged, and we are both delighted and relieved for him.
We remain dismayed that these charges were ever brought in the first place as a UK coroner had already ruled the deaths a tragic accident.‘ Never in BSACs 63-year history have criminal charges like this have been brought against BSAC divers relating to a diving fatality or accident. ‘It is a victory for common sense that these charges have now been dropped, allowing Stephen to move on with his life, and grieve in peace.

Diver’s legal responsibilities
The Blue Hole_2As scuba divers we are all aware that our sport is considered to be high risk. Our training makes us keenly aware of the potential risks that our much loved recreational pursuit holds. We acknowledge that we are personally responsible for the risks we choose to take and accept the potential consequences.

The best we can do is dive within our limits, dive our plan and remember our training. Fortunately for Stephen he was affiliated with a great organisation, BSAC, who provided invaluable support in his time of need. Would your training agency come to your aid in similar circumstances? Possibly not, especially if getting P-A-I-D is their only real concern. The very least we can do is ensure we have full and up-to-date scuba diving and travel insurance.

Questions to ponder
Is this a once off incident or should we be looking into liability insurance to cover the costs of possible litigation? Will we be placed in the awkward position of asking our friends and family to sign personal injury liability release agreements before taking the plunge into the realms of the blue?

At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be a need to panic and take on the services of lawyers…


Should El Nino affect your choice of dive destination?

El Nino. What is it?
El Niño and La Niña are opposite phases of what is referred to as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle. This cycle is a a description of temperature fluctuations between the ocean and atmosphere in the east-central Pacific region. El Niño means The Little Boy in Spanish and is not a new phenomenon. It was originally recognised by South American fishermen in the 1600s, who noticed the unusually warm water in the Pacific Ocean. The name was chosen based on the associations of the term El Nino with the baby Jesus, since the warming tended to occur around December.

Close-up of the El Nino effect
So where gets affected most?
From the image, you can see the areas most affected, with red being the highest temperature range. So you would expect this event to be felt anywhere in this region and possibly further out as the effect spreads. Most obviously in the firing line are the coastal regions of the south-west of the USA, and Pacific coastlines of Mexico, Central American and South American nations. Out in the Pacific itself islands in the area such as Galapagos and Cocos are obviously going to see some effects. Depending on the severity and duration of the warming event, effects may spread to islands and nations on the other side of the Pacific Ocean such as Fiji, Hawaii, the Solomon islands, Palau, Australia and Indonesia and to a lesser extent, worldwide.

Is the diving affected right now in world-class destinations?
We have been asked about El Niño by quite a few customers. So we put our feelers out to get a clearer picture of what was being experienced on the ground (or under the water). Below is some feedback from a variety of the places we have been asked about, by people with intimate knowledge of the diving in those places:

Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Sky: “We receive weekly reports back from our Captains and Dive Guides with water temperatures, water visibility and lists of the marine animals they encountered on their dives. While I am not a scientist, just a diver reading reports back from our dive guides, from our reports it appears that the water temperatures are warmer in the southern islands of Galapagos compared to 2014. The northern islands, Wolf and Darwin, have very little or no change from last year. When comparing animal encounters from November & December 2014 to November & December 2015, we are seeing very little or no change. Our divers are still having amazing dives and seeing all of amazing creatures of Galapagos.”

Cocos Island
Okeanos Aggressor I and II: “There is no doubt that El Niño has affected not only our area, but in general, the whole world, Europe and America for example are having super warm temperatures for this time of year.

El Nino from a wider perspectiveIt is also true that not all weeks have had the same marine life or maybe they have been a little deeper and this year, in Cocos, we have had great diving weeks with all you can see, tiger sharks, hammerheads, whales, mantas you name it.

and also some weeks where the hammerhead schools were seen in less numbers of specimens but they have been constant all year around, as said, maybe not in huge number of sharks like when the water is colder, but it also happens between rainy season and dry season, or simply because that week hasn’t been that good. Having said that, in Cocos, we are lucky as when sharks are maybe not that present, we get manta rays or other kind of pelagic fish. For now, we have had a good diving year and hopefully water will be back to normal soon.”

Solmar V: “Yes we have experienced warmer water but the diving has remained very good. Many of our encounters such as the giant mantas and dolphins are not affected by warmer water.”

Nautilus Belle Amie: “We are definitely seeing the effects of El Nino at Socorro and Guadalupe Islands. Water temperatures are 2 – 3 degrees warmer than normal. Manta and dolphin sightings and interaction at Socorro is unchanged.

We saw far fewer sharks than normal in November and early December at Socorro when water temps were in the mid – high 80’s. Shark sightings are back to normal with winter water temps ie. I expect to see 75 – 76 F water temps in Feb instead of 73 which is warmer than normal but still a very good range for hammerhead sharks and all our other favourite sharks. Our experience during the previous El Nino was that we actually saw more hammerheads than normal. My guess is that we got the benefit of sharks migrating further north than normal and right into our waters.

Our humpback whale season has started slowly. We are seeing fewer animals than normal. Not sure if this is because the humpies don’t like the warmer water or if they are choosing not to migrate south from Alaska because food was scarcer than normal for them this past year. White shark sightings were normal with the exception that we saw far fewer of the enormous giant “big momma” females than normal in October.

THE BIG THING to point out to your clients is that we are seeing different weather and storm patterns than normal. We actually had a hurricane go through Socorro Island in late November which is unheard of. We believe it’s solely because of El Nino. For this reason, we highly recommend that all guests purchase trip insurance – it’s especially valuable in case of a weather event this year.”

Spirit of Freedom: “We have not experienced any effects from the El Nino other than the monsoon trough dropping a little earlier than usual. So its a bit wet at the moment, but the trough may lift in January, we shall wait and see.”

Nai’a; “We are happy and relieved to report that El Nino has had a very positive effect on Fiji’s coral reefs. While other reefs in the region have experience bleaching due to ocean warming, starting last fall, the water temperature in Fiji dropped and stayed right along the line of lowest temperatures we have recorded on NAI’A.

While this means a bit more time layering up with neoprene before each dive, the visibility has been tremendous and the hard coral in Fiji is as healthy as it has ever been! As a consequence of this, we are seeing an abundance of the rest of Fiji’s reef creatures. Gradually, the temperature has started to climb again, but it is still unseasonably cool.”

Beyond the Pacific?

Orion: “The Maldives is a designation more for fish, notably Sharks and Mantas. This far we have seen no effects on these due to El Niño. As for Coral there have been some reports for bleaching however this is more in the shallows where it affects snorkelling, not so much at depths that divers frequent. We have seen little to no effect to the type of diving that we strive for. The diving has been excellent this season with plenty of Manta and Shark action to entice our ever happy clients.”

Choosing the right liveaboard destination can be a tricky balancing actOther operators we have been in touch with in places like the Red Sea and Indonesia also report no meaningful impact of El Nino with diving conditions being great. So it is a bit of a mixed bag. Some places are affected and it is changing the behaviour of the marine life there, some are seeing no effect. The situation may change depending on the severity and duration of the warming event.

Generally speaking it is not good news for the marine life and coral of our most beloved dive destinations. However many have bounced back well since the last significant El Nino.

While the impact of this El Niño remains to be fully realised, things are clearly not all doom and gloom. There is plenty of good diving out there and we should not be put off simply because El Niño is in the news.