As we help celebrate Project AWARE’s 25th Anniversary, there is no better time to lend a hand by tackling the issue of marine debris. Like many other PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centres, at Sunshine Divers we integrate reef conservation in our everyday activities. Now our team has taken the next step toward a cleaner underwater environment – we’ve “Adopted a Reef”. This means that we have committed not only to cleaning our reef, but to regularly recording and sharing the rubbish-collecting data with Project Aware. It is a fairly straight forward initiative if you’re interested in joining the movement.
Step One: Make the commitment. It’s not a one-off clean-up (although that is still a great thing to organise), rather it is a repeated effort to visit the same reef at regular intervals. This helps good intention evolve into scientific practice.
Step Two. Clean, clean, clean. With guidelines from Project Aware, organised underwater cleans-ups can be conducted in a safe, responsible and fun manner. Even better, divers returning to Koh Tao and our local dive sites year after year, will now be able to see their hard work making a difference in the exact same stretch of reef.
Step Three: Record and report. With some very simple tools and forms (free of charge and downloadable on projectware.org), the type and quantity of trash removed now needs to be shared. By recording and reporting, this information can now be used by the Project AWARE team to make policy change. We also keep our online community involved by sharing these clean-up stories on our My Oceans page www.projectaware.org
Citizen science is the way forward on route to a cleaner reef. If you do take the leap and “Adopt a Reef”, we hope you have as much fun as we have at Sunshine Divers organising regular events for guests and staff. Together we can make a difference.
The Project AWARE Shark Conservation specialty is something every diver or professional should have if you ask me (Dutch instructor at Sunshine). Its a very informative, interested and amazing course. I had the honor to get taught by Marine biologist and Master Instructor Mike Richardson at BAN's Diving resort.
Why is it important to learn more about Sharks?!
Well...in short: "The future of sharks hinges on holding shark fishing and trade to sustainable levels. Sharks are crucial to marine ecosystems. They maintain a balance in populations of prey species and keep the ocean healthy by removing ill or diseased animals. The best way to ensure an end to finning is to require that sharks are landed with their fins still “naturally” attached. Fishing limits must be guided by science and reflect a precautionary approach. Investing in shark research, catch reporting and protect vital shark habitats will help. And last, but most definitely not least, you can help by thinking twice before buying shark products".
All this and more information during this specialty course will inspire you to become a shark conservation advocate, provide information on the value of sharks to the marine environment and to local economies and introduce you to management approaches that can protect sharks.
So this course is a "must do" for any scuba diver around the world!
Once again the Festival Performances were a HIT! Thanks to Rosemary Allen from The Film Co, diving on Koh Tao for her time, patience and creativity for this performance. Sunshine Divers and sister school Ban's Diving Resort put on a Dance Performance from the hit single "FOOTLOOSE", although it was transformed to "FINLOOSE" to help create awareness on how to protect the aquatic environment and the importance of buoyancy control. This performance is a yearly event and we hope that you will be able to join us next year at the Save Koh Tao Festival - 2013.
Every year the Save Koh Tao Foundation co-ordinates most dive schools and local enterprises in creating and participating in a Festival to bring Awareness about the environment above and below the ocean. The Mr. and Miss Save Koh Tao Contest, was to increase awareness about Recycling, and how to Reuse products and to Reduce waste.
The aim is to encourage an Eco Friendly Environment, and emphasize reduction of use of plastic bottles (mostly water bottles) plastic bags and straws.
Several dive centres participated in this event and representing Sunshine Divers was Manuel Tobolars ( our last years Eco Man). With the creativity and design from P. Wam who was last years designer and maker for Bans Diving Resort / Darawan Restaurant costumes, Manuel won this years contest. The Costume is the attire worn by a well known King of Thailand. It was made from coke can parts including the can caps, the helmet was made from Coconut, the body shield made from plastic bottles, and the undergarment was made from rice sacks. A lot of thought and detail went into this design. So Thank you P. Wam for your help.
To Compliment his the outfit as part of the competition, Manuel had to discuss an item that was created to show ways on how to reuse items.Sarah Van Name put together a small garden that can be made from plastic egg containers, soil and plant seeds to produce herbs or small plants. This container is a great starting point for growing plants from scratch, and easy for anyone to do. Thank You to everyone for their participation in this event.
Sunshine Divers continues to be at the forefront of environmental issues. As an Eco Operator, we make it our mission to implement environmental practices and to provide our customers with experiences to enhance visitor awareness, appreciation and understanding of the (underwater) environment. Sunshine Divers continue to work closely inline with Project AWARE (the dive industry's non profit organization dedicated to conserving underwater environments) and also 'SAVE KOH TAO' – a local organization concerned with local environmental issues. Sunshine team members are always present on the frequent Beach and Underwater clean ups, ready to lend a hand
Your friend, Sunshine Divers, has invited you to join a global movement of divers on My Ocean, Project AWARE's eco-networking site.
To become a member and to set up your profile, click the link below or paste it into the address bar of your browser.
Please join the movement.