Finley the shark, star of Shark on Tour, was unceremoniously squeezed into my dive bag for the 40+ journey across the world from Australia to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic for the PADI Course Director Training course. She arrived unscathed, and joined me and the PADI staff for a dive on the wreck of the "Patricia" just off the fringe reefs of Punta Cana. She then joined the group of candidates from the CDTC, and was formally introduced during Suzanne Pleydell's Project AWARE presentation.
In a sign that the global movement to protect sharks is picking up steam, Honduras is declaring its waters to be a permanent sanctuary for the fish.
President Porfirio Lobo Sosa will sign the sanctuary bill into law on Friday on a visit to the island of Roatan, the country's top diving and snorkeling destination, his office said on Thursday. The move makes permanent a moratorium on commercial fishing for sharks that Honduras announced last year in a joint declaration with the Micronesian island of Palau.
Dr Peter Bridgwater, Chair of the Government Advisory Committee on Conservation, interviewed by reporter Oliver Steeds for the Channel 4 Dispatches TV programme "Conservation's Dirty Secrets", asks the provocative question which to me really shows the full extent of the issues our ocean planet are facing and how we are dealing with them: "How many species can we get away with losing?". Well the answer is simple to me: We can't get away with losing any species!
It's our regular one-day dive trip combined with Coral Watch and underwater cleanup activities.
We will be specifically conducting observation on the development of crown of thornes around the Karang Lebar area of Pulau Semak Daun. If the presence of COTs increased significantly, we will remove them to avoid further expansion and threat of coral bleaching.
As usual, we will collect underwater debris in every dive. Let's make our underwater planet cleaner and join the Aware Scavenger Hunt game :)
As scheduled, on June 19-20, 2011 we made a trip with a group of kids and parents from the High/Scope Indonesia school. The trip which has been prepared in about a month was named: "High/Scope Mums & Kids Goes To Pulau Seribu, Protecting The Ocean One Little Step at A Time".
The trip was joined by 4 pre-schoolers (3 years old) and 2 elementary grade students, plus their parents. They are:
Beautiful dive site, without the anthropogenic debris. Thought I was coming upon a large jellyfish, until I got closer and saw the silver inseam down the middle. I stuffed this into my bag on my last dive there, along with an old soda top and a piece of caution tape from the Laguna PD. Perhaps I should have handed it back to them with a citizens lawsuit.