On 18 March 2017, S.E.A. Aquarium held its inaugural Dive Social Night at the Open Ocean Gallery. The 2.5 hour session brought together dive and conservation enthusiasts for an evening of sharing and networking.
Four speakers were invited to share on conservation initiatives with the audience in a one-hour presentation.
First up was Danny Dwyer, PADI Asia Pacific Vice President of Training, Sales and Field Services. He shared how there is a strong conservation message in all PADI dive courses.
“We also remind them not to touch, tease or harass anything underwater when they dive, and to take nothing away except photographs and memories. And to leave nothing behind except bubbles so that we do not cause any harm to the marine environment.”
This message of protecting the environment and wild species was shared by Jeroen van de Waal, CEO and Founder of Orca Scuba.
Jeroen’s passion for the ocean and marine life, and to create positive movements through education, diving, travel and exploration led to his setting up of Orca Scuba. This is also why Orca Scuba offers scuba diving courses for children as he sees it as an essential way to build growing awareness of the ocean in order to protect marine life.
He also spoke about his new book “Together we can Turn Tides – A Manifesto to save the Oceans, Planet & Ourselves”. Read about the inspirations behind his book here.
Conservation enthusiast Neal Cross shared with the audience his eco-tourism initiative in the Sumatran jungle – Hotel Orangutan.
Come June 2017, his new social enterprise in Indonesia called Pulau Weh Beach Resort will commence operations. He has teamed up with Orca Scuba who will provide all training and equipment for the dive centre, making Pulau Weh Beach Resort an eco-tourism concept that extends eco sensibility from land to sea.
The final speaker was Kelly Timmins, Senior Manager of Conservation & Education, S.E.A. Aquarium. She spoke about the importance of conservation and education, and how S.E.A. Aquarium has been involved in that.
“We want to connect people to the ocean and inspire them to take conservation actions. We do it in many different ways. One of which is public education. We also invest in projects, such as the manta tagging project in Indonesia.
We tagged 33 manta rays to track their movement so as to provide the Indonesian government with information that will help better protect them. On this trip, we gathered more information than we expected, including Indonesia’s first manta ray nursery, and the deepest diving manta ray. More importantly, we found out where they migrated, which allowed the government to place patrol boats in those area to ensure they are not being fished.”
You can read more about our manta tagging project here.
Dive Social Night is the first of more conservation and marine life related events to be held at S.E.A. Aquarium. Stay tuned to our blog for news of these upcoming sessions.