Dive The World Blog - special offers and latest diving news

Scuba Cuba – Check out the video of Diving in Jardines de la Reina

August 17th, 2016

Are you aware of the buzz that Cuba is creating in the world of diving? During Cuba’s political isolation, Cuba’s reefs have quietly been thriving and playing host to myriad sharks, groupers, schools of fish and macro life.

In Jardines de la Reina commercial fishing and industries are prohibited, permanent residences are non-existent and tourism is strictly controlled. This policy was initiated in the 1990’s by Fidel Castro, himself a diver. The national park, covering an area of 385 miles² (2,170 km²), is one of the largest marine reserves in the Caribbean.

Sharks (as many as 6 species on a single dive), together with snappers, tiger and goliath groupers of up to 400lbs (180kg), are the main attractions on most dives.

There are only a few Cuba liveaboards operating in Jardines de la Reina, so spaces are at a premium. The trips fill up early so you need to plan in advance.

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


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The Threatened ‘Rio Dolphin’ Needs Your Help

August 16th, 2016

All eyes are on Brazil as the host country of the 2016 Summer Olympics. Sea Shepherd Legal is making the most of the media attention and timeously staged its online campaign to save the Guiana dolphin (Sotalia guianensis). This is the same species that is depicted on the coat of arms of the host city of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, or Rio 2016.

Guiana Doplphins_Image Courtesy of Instituto Boto Cinza (1)The Guiana dolphins are locally known as boto cinza. They are similar to the bottlenose dolphin, however they are smaller and live in pods of 2-10. An estimated 800 Guiana dolphins are thought to remain, and approximately 10 are killed every month. Catherine Pruett, Sea Shepherd Legal’s Executive Director, “What we are fighting for here is to ensure that the Guiana dolphin doesn’t go the way of Mexico’s vaquita porpoise – a species moments away from extinction due to the same threats.”

The Guianas are threatened due to fishing, pollution, loss of habitat and shipping and port development in the Bay of Sepetiba in Rio. Sea Shepherd Legal is working together with the Brazilian Federal Prosecutors Office and two local non-governmental bodies to ensure that this species of dolphin remains in the seas and not just an image on a flag.

While the international spotlight is on Brazil, help make them accountable for the protection of this species. Support Sea Shepherd Legal by adding weight to the campaign, include your name on the petition now!.


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See Where Cenderawasih Whale Sharks Are Now!

August 4th, 2016

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.


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Ultimate Fiji Day Trips: Shark Reef and Bega Lagoon

July 21st, 2016

If you want to dive Fiji consider adding the option of doing one of 2 incredible diving day trips: Shark Reef and Beqa Lagoon. Both packages depart from the Pacific Harbour on Viti Levu (conveniently where international flights arrive), are day trip tours and include 2 dives, however this is where the similarities stop.

Shark Reef – the ultimate, guaranteed shark encounter day trip! This incredible dive takes place within the Shark Reef Marine Reserve where 8 different species of sharks patrol the area. They include bull (Zambezi) sharks, tawny nurse sharks, whitetip, blacktip and grey reef sharks, sicklefin lemon sharks, silvertips and tiger sharks.

Adrenalin fuelled Viti Levu shark dives run like a well oiled machine. Over a decade of shark feeding has resulted in two insanely amazing dives. No words can do this experience justice, contact us now to book your Fiji Pacific Harbour day diving trip, or make it multiple trips…

– Book 3 or more day trips with us and receive a 5% discount, or
– Book 5 or more day trips with us and receive a 10% discount on the total price of your Viti Levu day trips.
– Group discount: book 10 divers, 1 goes for free!

The beautiful reefs of Beqa LagoonBeqa Lagoon – the ‘Mecca of Pacific Diving’ as it was once christened, includes a variety of different dives sites. This stunning dive location is easily accessible from the comfort of your Pacific Harbour resort.

Beqa Lagoon is a year round dive destination, however the best visibility is between July to September. The lagoon is protected by 30 kilometres of barrier reefs, the waters are warm and inviting (a balmy 24-28 °C), generally calm, with minimal current.

The lagoon entices resort based divers to its reefs year after year, with the beautiful soft corals and huge fan corals, variety of fishes, octopus and sharks.

If you visit at the appropriate time, your sightings may also include tuna, barracuda, blue marlin, wahoo and Spanish mackerel.

Ask our friendly sales team to advise you of the best time to visit based on your ‘must see wish list’!

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


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Indonesia liveaboard MV Empress II: 15% Off January Komodo Trips!

July 15th, 2016

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Nusa Lembongan Day Trips

July 10th, 2016

The mysterious island of Bali is the 5th best holiday island in the world (according to the 2016 TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Awards) – but do you know that one of Bali’s top diving destinations is Nusa Lembongan?

The unique mola mola or sunfishNusa Lembongan is Bali’s little sister island located a mere 55km off the east coast of southern Bali. This gem is easily accessible via a short boat ride across the Bandung Strait. Lembongan is considered to be Bali’s premiere scuba diving spot by many. Here you will experience diving roller coaster ‘current’ rides of a lifetime. Your ‘ride’s’ entertainment may include manta rays, schools of chevron barracuda, lots of sea snakes, titan triggerfish or white and black-tip reef sharks all against a backdrop of beautiful hard coral banks. For those who prefer less adrenalin fueled dives, lingering in shallower waters (12 meters or less) will not disappoint.

The main draw card between the months of July and September is the rare oceanic sunfish. Diving with the very unusual, curious and heaviest known bony fish in the world, is somewhat surreal. This experience alone will make your decision to venture to Lembongan during your Bali holiday worthwhile.

Dive The World is here to ensure that all your diving holiday travel arrangements are as pleasurable as your vacation. We will book your Nusa Lembongan diving day trip packages for you, recommend hotel options where your reservation is one credit card entry away and also point you to the best operator to whisk you from your hotel in southern Bali to Lembongan in around 30 minutes.

Lembongan Day Trip BoatWe recommend that you first choose your Nusa Lembongan diving day trip package. These relaxed day packages include pick ups from your hotel in Lembongan, transfers to the best day trip dive boats in Lembongan, 2 dives, lunch and soft drinks as well as basic diving gear (weights, weight-belts and tanks). Scuba gear is available for rent at a mere US$5 per day for a full set. Be sure to let us know if you would like to include additional night dives in your package. Your non-diving friends are welcome to join your trip at a reduced rate that includes snorkeling gear.

Book 5 days of diving and pay only for 4! The offer is valid every year, from the 1st November until the 30th June.

Once you’ve decided how many diving day trips your Lembongan sojourn will include, then our agents are available to guide your hotel selection. Don’t forget to check out our recommended door to door service, Scoot Cruise.

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


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Galapagos Liveaboard – Nortada 360° Tour

July 4th, 2016

The Nortada liveaboard may be one of the smaller Galapagos liveaboards but it packs a punch.

Small does not mean less – Nortada offers divers nitrox, rebreather and technical diving support, Nautilus lost diver devices and dive alerts.

When you are not experiencing magnificent Galapagos diving you will enjoy personal service from the crew of 7 who attend to the 8 diving guests. The amenities onboard are modern and dining is a delight. After a 3-dive-day, an evening meal of filet mignon with mushroom sauce, vegetarian lasagne and brownies with chocolate syrup is sure to satisfy.

Explore the Nortada virtually via the new 360 degree tour feature. Here you can view all three decks including the dive deck, air-conditioned saloon and dining area, lower deck air-conditioned cabins, shaded open-air deck and sun deck.

If you and your diving buddies wish to experience this once in a lifetime trip together, charter the Nortada. A maximum of 12 divers (in 4 cabins) can be accommodated onboard and you will only pay the price of 8 divers!

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


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Miss Moon – New Myanmar liveaboard – special launch offer

June 23rd, 2016

Our new budget Myanmar liveaboard Miss MoonMyanmar’s rise from obscurity to sought-after destination continues with more boats going there these days. Here we bring you a new and affordable option in the shape of MV Miss Moon.

M/V Miss Moon is an 18m wooden monuhull liveaboard offering inexpensive dive cruises in Myanmar from the Thai port of Ranong. If you are looking for friendly, professional crew who treat and feed guests like family, and if you are prepared to share facilities like a family, then you’ve found the perfect Myanmar liveaboard trip!

Book your cruise on the fun and friendly MV Miss Moon by 23 July 2016 and get a US$ 100 Discount Voucher off your next dive vacation with Dive The World!

Burma South
6D/5N – Up to 19 dives
Standard double/bunk bed cabin: US$ 923 per person
Master double bed cabin: US$ 993 per person

Itinerary: High Rock, Black Rock, North Twin Reef, North Twin Plato, South Twin, Rocky Peaks, Western Rocky.

Miss Moon's open air saloon areaCruise price includes: Cabin accommodation, pre breakfast, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinking water, hot drinks, dives (as detailed in the trips above), experienced English-speaking divemaster(s) (max 5 divers per DM), tanks, weights and weightbelts.

Price excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own) : Scuba equipment rental (US$ 14 per day), Entry/visa fees Burma South 5 nights (US$ 170), Burma Mergui Archipelago 7 nights (US$ 240). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival (cash).

Optional extras: Alcoholic drinks, satellite telephone calls. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.

This offer can be used in addition to other special offers including your Dive The World returning customer 5% discount. Voucher is transferable. See here for the discount voucher Terms and Conditions.

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


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New Budget Komodo liveaboard Tatawa – special launch offer

June 23rd, 2016

Tatawa - the new budget Komodo liveaboardExciting news for those of you with plans to dive Komodo some time. We have added another low budget liveaboard to our line up, so you can dive this legendary destination without hurting your wallet.

Introducing the value-for-money Komodo liveaboard Tatawa. Under the experience hand of long-term Komodo operator Greg Heighes, Tatawa specialises in short trips around Komodo National Park. With a maximum of 8 guests, trips of 2 – 6 nights, (or longer by request) are customised to suit the diving group.

Book your cruise on the new and exciting Tatawa by 23 July 2016 and get a US$ 100 Discount Voucher off your next dive vacation with Dive The World!

Komodo National Park
5D/4N – Up to 17 dives
Standard double/twin/single bed cabin
US$ 875 per person

Itinerary: Sebayor, Tatawa Besar, Cauldron, Crystal Bommie, Castle Rock, Golden Passage, Makassar, Batu Bolong, Batu Sabun, Tatawa Kecil, Siaba Besar, Pengah and Komodo dragon land visit.

Tatawa's indoor saloon/dining areaCruise price includes: Cabin accommodation with air-conditioning, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinking water, hot drinks, land tour, dives (as detailed in the trips above), experienced English-speaking divemaster(s) (max 4 divers per DM), full equipment, tanks, weights and weightbelts (5% discount if you use your own diving gear).

Price excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own) : Komodo National Park and harbour clearance entrance fee (US$ 15 per day per person). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival (cash).

Optional extras: None.

This offer can be used in addition to other special offers including your Dive The World returning customer 5% discount. Voucher is transferable. See here for the discount voucher Terms and Conditions.

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


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Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet

June 19th, 2016

Phytoplankton Microscopic Ocean Plants (1)Last week there were many reports and posts across social media acknowledging World Oceans Day. Some highlighted the beauty and majesty of our planet’s oceans, its animals and plants; others were focused on how we are slowly killing this life giving resource.

This year’s theme is ‘Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet’. Unfortunately many do not realise how very apt this statement is. The majority (70%) of the oxygen in our atmosphere is produced by marine plants (phytoplankton) and approximately 28% comes from the rainforests. We simply cannot afford to continue to pollute our oceans and we must address the staggering amounts of garbage we dump into the sea.

Who is taking responsibility?
One would expect solutions to be forthcoming from industry heavy weights, the world’s superpowers or NGOs. Contrary to this perception, a student and a small privately owned brewery have stepped up to the plate.

Saltwater Brewery have tackled the issue of plastic can rings. Plastic can holders pollute the oceans and are responsible for maiming and killing thousands of marine animals and birds. Saltwater brewery have designed and are using ‘edible six pack rings’.

Lets hope that international companies follow suit and this technology is used to replace all commercial plastic wrapping and shopping bags.

A passive, garbage collection device for the oceans
A solution to address the world’s largest garbage dump has come from a 20-year-old Dutch inventor, entrepreneur and aerospace engineering student, Boyan Slat. Despite concerns raised by oceanographers and biologists, Slat has secured sufficient funding to employ 25 staff, publish a 528-page feasibility study and produce a prototype of his design. The first prototype will be deployed in the North Sea, 23km off the coast of the Netherlands this summer. After a year of collecting data from this first test, the next step will be to deploy a 100 km long structure between Hawaii and California in 2020. According to the organisation’s analysis, this array should clean up about half of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 10 years time. Until then, we all need to reduce the amount of plastic we use, recycle as much as possible and advocate for industries to take responsibility for what they produce as well as for our governments to pass laws that will protect our environment.

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2017 Palau discounts on Palau Aggressor and Rock Islands Aggressor

June 8th, 2016

The Palau Aggressor IIThere are some incredible savings to be had in the dive mecca of Palau in 2017. If you have been thinking about diving Palau some time then now is the time!

We are not talking about a few dollars here or there but stay one night for free: pay for 6 nights and stay 7 nights on board, for selected cruises in August 2017. Shweet!

The Aggressor fleet has 2 boats in this Micronesian paradise, now called Rock Islands Aggressor and Palau Aggressor II. It is incredible that one single destination can boast so many fascinating experiences. Palau’s diving is great with some sites being positively stunning! However, the non-diving activities really add to the vacation experience and it is this combination that really pushes Palau forward as a world-class liveaboard destination.

Liveaboards: Rock Islands Aggressor and Palau Aggressor
Trip duration: 8 days/ 7 nights
13 – 20 Aug 2017
20 – 27 Aug 2017
Price: Standard double/ twin cabin: Was US$ 3,335
Now: US$ 2,858
Price: Deluxe double/ twin cabin: Was US$ 3,535
Now: US$ 3,030
Save US$ 1,010 per couple!

The small print: Money saving specials and discounts do not apply, but 5% off as Dive The World returning customer applies. Half and whole yacht group charters can take advantage of the above offer. Bookings need to be made before the 4th Nov 2016.

Rock Islands Aggressor rocking the islandsCruise price per person includes: Cabin accommodation with air-conditioning, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, water, soft drinks and hot drinks, local wine and beer, dives (as detailed in the cruises above), experienced English-speaking divemaster(s) (3-5 divers per 1 DM), tanks, weights and weightbelts.

Cruise price per person excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own): Scuba equipment 7N – US$ 175, 10N – US$ 260, dive computer, marine park fees (per person): US$ 210. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival (cash or credit card).

Optional extras: Alcoholic drinks (apart from as included above – duty is very high so it is recommended you bring your own spirits), return transfers to the boat, nitrox, dive insurance (recommended). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.

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


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Fiji’s Volivoli Beach Resort to Reopen Post Cyclone Winston

May 31st, 2016

Parts of Fiji were badly damaged in February by the strongest tropical cyclone to make landfall in Fiji in recorded history. Viti Levu was one of the hardest hit areas of this island nation. On the 20th February 2016, winds reached 230 km/h just before the storm hit Viti Levu, leaving behind destruction and chaos in its wake.

VoliVoli Beach ResortTenacious community spirit
In true Fijian style, communities pulled together. They supported one another and clean up operations and reconstruction projects began as soon as the dust settled. Some areas suffered minimal damage and were open for business almost immediately. Others that were in the hardest hit areas, like Viti Levu, have taken longer to be fully operational. Dive The World is excited to share that the well run, family owned, Volivoli Beach Resort will receive guests from November 2016.

Official statement from Volivoli Beach Resort
Nick Darling, the resort’s general manager, and family spokesperson discussed the resorts reconstruction and scheduled reopening: “We are now pleased to announce that Volivoli Beach Resort rebuild is well into its third month and on track. As we are making considerable progress we are confident that we will be reopening the Resort on 1st of November 2016. This is well ahead of our initial predictions immediately after the cyclone. Fiji is getting back on its feet and it will be business as usual at Volivoli from the 1st of November 2016. Our key message is that Volivoli Beach Resort will open bigger and better than before the storm. We are extending our main building and renovating our kitchen, restaurant, dinning and guest services area. We will also be adding an additional 8 Luxury Ocean View Villas with individual swimming pools to our room inventory later in 2017.″

SY Fiji Siren_1Reopening schedule:

1st November 2016 full resort reopening with accommodation available in Ocean View, Deluxe Ocean View and Premium Ocean View Bures

Ra Divers resumed diving trips from 16th April 2016

• The SY Fiji Siren liveaboard has been back in operation since mid April 2016. She has completed 4 scheduled cruises since cyclone Winston.

Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)94 582 7973 / (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email and book your Fiji holiday at Volivoli Beach Resort (that offers unlimited, complimentary, self-guided shore dives), a diving cruise with the Fiji Siren liveaboard or why not combine the two?


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‘Shellebrating’ World Turtle Day

May 24th, 2016

World Turtle Day was started in 2000 by the American Tortoise Rescue organisation. The aim of this special day is to share information about this species and create respect for tortoises and turtles that will enable them to survive and thrive. Here are ten fascinating facts about these ancient and endangered reptiles.

They are some of the oldest animals on earth
There is fossil evidence that tortoises have roamed the earth for more than 200 million years. Slightly ‘younger’, turtles have swam our oceans for approximately 150 million years.

Green Sea Turtle_David Doubilet_1They are amphibious
Turtles spend the majority of their lives in the oceans. Females come ashore, usually to the same beach where they hatched, to lay their eggs in nests. 60 days after the eggs are laid, the hatchlings emerge and make their way into the ocean.

Seven is the lucky number for sea turtles
There are seven species of sea turtles: green, hawksbill, leatherback, loggerhead, olive ridley, Kemp’s ridley and flatback.

Not-so-cold-blooded leatherback turtle
The majority of reptiles are cold blooded, however there are a few exceptions. The leatherback turtle has a unique ability to regulate its body temperature to some degree.

They have a shell akin to an armoured tank
Turtles and tortoises have survived through many natural catastrophes. Humans are adult turtles biggest threat. We eat their eggs, make soup from their meat and pollute their habitats.

Lonesome George is the the symbol for conservation in the Galapagos Islands
Lonesome George was ‘the rarest animal alive’ according to the Guinness Book of World Records. He was a giant male Galapagos tortoise and the last remaining specimen of the Pinta Island tortoise. George passed away in June 2012 and now serves as a potent symbol for conservation in the Galapagos Islands.

They have been space travellers
In 1968, two Russian tortoises survived a trip around the moon and back!

Leatherback Turtle_Alan C Egan Photography_1From the gigantic to the minuscule
Leatherback turtles can grow up to 1.9 metres long and weigh as much as 900kg, while its distant cousin, the male speckled cape tortoise is tiny in comparison at just 8 centimetres in length.

A ‘speedy’ turtle
Speedy is not what most people will associate with turtles. Leatherbacks, despite their substantial size, can swim up to 35km per hour when the need arises.

They are long distance swimmers
According to WWF, a leatherback female turtle once swam from Papua in Indonesia to the north west coast of the United States and back again. A total journey of 19 000 kilometres!

We recommend diving holidays in Thailand, Malaysia, the Maldives, Indonesia and Fiji for scuba diving with turtles. Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)94 582 7973 / (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.


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New Cuba liveaboards launch offer

May 20th, 2016

Cuba is famed for its thriving shark populationYes that’s right! The hottest new dive destination in the world has arrived among the Dive The World portfolio.

We are delighted to announce the launch of a new range of Cuba liveaboards .

We have added 4 new boats to our range and you can visit Cuba now and save $$$ on your next Dive The World booking with this new liveaboard launch offer.

Book your cruise on any of these new and exciting Cuba liveaboards by 20 June 2016 and get a US$ 100 Discount Voucher off your next dive vacation with Dive The World!

Read more about Avalon IIAvalon II
20 scuba divers are comfortably accommodated in 10 cabins across 4 decks on this 40 metre vessel. This is the only liveaboard in the Avalon Fleet to offer nitrox.
7 days/ 6 nights: US$ 4,300

The leading diving region of the Cuban Archipelago is the marine park known as ‘Jardines de la Reina’ or ‘Queen’s Gardens’. This comprises little islands, banks and keys at the southern end of the Cuba shelf, south of the Gulf of Ana Maria.

Read more about Avalon IAvalon I
This 37m boat is among the highest quality liveaboard choices in Cuba. 18 divers are accommodated in the liveaboard’s 8 well-appointed cabins with TVs and DVD players.
7 days/ 6 nights: US$ 4,037

Jardines de la Reina is home to the biggest populations of adult fish in the Caribbean as well as large groupers, barracuda, snappers, jacks and jewfish. Cuba is renowned for sharks including nurse sharks, hammerheads, black tips, silkies and lemon sharks.

Read more about TortugaTortuga
The Tortuga is a floating steel house boat that is permanently anchored in a protected channel in the Gardens of the Queen National Marine Park. She is the original Avalon fleet liveaboard, and comfortably accommodates a maximum of 25 guests in 8 ensuite cabins across 2 decks.
7 days/ 6 nights: US$ 3,145

The variety of habitats in Jardines de la Reina ranges from juvenile-sheltering mangroves to sea grass beds, caves, walls, coral reefs and wrecks.

Read more about HalcónHalcón
The Halcón is the perfect affordable option for small groups of divers wishing to dive the remote, liveaboard only, pristine dive sites of the Jardines de la Reina National Marine Park. With a maximum of 12 divers, guests will enjoy personal service by the professional crew of 8.
7 days/ 6 nights: US$ 2,515

This offer can be used in addition to other special offers including your Dive The World returning customer 5% discount.

Voucher is transferable. See here for the discount voucher Terms and Conditions.

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


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Is The Term Jewfish Offensive?

May 18th, 2016

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!
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