Have a peak into my work with volunteers through Zoox.

Apologies for being more of a curator, than creator of late. Work has been extremely busy and exciting. This is the new video from Zoox, all about the experience programmes we run for people wanting to get into the marine conservation sector. 

We shot this at the end of last year in Moalboal and Puerto Galera, Philippines, but we’re expanding the programme to include Vietnam and Thailand in the upcoming placements (woo!) 

If you’re interested in the programme, please let me know. You wouldn’t be the first person to join Zoox through Tumblr :) 

Love from post-summer Philippines (phew!)

MAAMB

High-res Palau to ban commercial fishing, promote tourism
By AP News Feb 05, 2014
The president of Palau declared Tuesday that his Pacific island nation will ban commercial fishing and become a marine sanctuary.

President Tommy Remengesau Jr. said in a keynote address to a U.N. meeting on “Healthy Oceans and Seas” that once current fishing contracts with Japan, Taiwan and some private companies expire only fishing by island residents and tourists will be allowed in its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone.
Remengesau said establishing “a 100 percent marine sanctuary” will enable Palau to preserve “a pristine environment” and promote snorkeling, scuba diving and ecotourism as an alternative way to grow its economy.
“It will make a difference if it’s just a matter of feeding ourselves and feeding the tourists,” he told a news conference. “As it is right now, we’re feeding the tourist and ourselves plus millions of people outside the territory.”
Palau’s population of about 20,000 people is spread across 250 islands. It shares maritime boundaries with Indonesia, the Philippines, and Micronesia.
The country announced in 2009 it was creating the world’s first shark sanctuary by banning all commercial shark fishing in its territorial waters. It has also adopted the most restrictive law against bottom trawling. In 2012, its Rock Islands Southern Lagoon was named a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Remengesau, a fisherman, said he has seen fish stocks dwindle and the size of fish grow smaller around his island nation.
With a marine sanctuary, he said, “we will do our part of making sure that there’s a healthy stock of fish in Palau that then can migrate to other places.”
Remengesau said snorkelers and scuba divers come to Palau to see sharks, which can live up to 100 years.
According to a study, he said a live shark is worth $1.9 million as a tourist attraction compared to a dead shark which is worth several hundred dollars for its fins for shark fin soup, which is an Asian delicacy.
To enforce the ban on commercial fishing, Remengesau said Palau is working with potential partners to obtain radar equipment and drones to monitor its waters.
Remengesau said climate change and global warming have been having a serious impact.
“For us in Palau and the Pacific islands, there’s been a tremendous amount of what we call unpredictable weather patterns that brings typhoons and storms and all kinds of destructive forces to the islands,” he said. “We have other problems of sea level rises.”
Palau is also urging the United Nations to adopt a new goal to clean up the world’s oceans, restore fish stocks and bring some equity to resources being taken by others.
Remengesau said “the fishing revenue has been breadcrumbs — it’s been nothing compared to, or in fairness to the billion dollar industry that this whole fishing industry is.”
Photo source

Palau to ban commercial fishing, promote tourism

By AP News Feb 05, 2014

The president of Palau declared Tuesday that his Pacific island nation will ban commercial fishing and become a marine sanctuary.

President Tommy Remengesau Jr. said in a keynote address to a U.N. meeting on “Healthy Oceans and Seas” that once current fishing contracts with Japan, Taiwan and some private companies expire only fishing by island residents and tourists will be allowed in its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone.

Remengesau said establishing “a 100 percent marine sanctuary” will enable Palau to preserve “a pristine environment” and promote snorkeling, scuba diving and ecotourism as an alternative way to grow its economy.

“It will make a difference if it’s just a matter of feeding ourselves and feeding the tourists,” he told a news conference. “As it is right now, we’re feeding the tourist and ourselves plus millions of people outside the territory.”

Palau’s population of about 20,000 people is spread across 250 islands. It shares maritime boundaries with Indonesia, the Philippines, and Micronesia.

The country announced in 2009 it was creating the world’s first shark sanctuary by banning all commercial shark fishing in its territorial waters. It has also adopted the most restrictive law against bottom trawling. In 2012, its Rock Islands Southern Lagoon was named a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Remengesau, a fisherman, said he has seen fish stocks dwindle and the size of fish grow smaller around his island nation.

With a marine sanctuary, he said, “we will do our part of making sure that there’s a healthy stock of fish in Palau that then can migrate to other places.”

Remengesau said snorkelers and scuba divers come to Palau to see sharks, which can live up to 100 years.

According to a study, he said a live shark is worth $1.9 million as a tourist attraction compared to a dead shark which is worth several hundred dollars for its fins for shark fin soup, which is an Asian delicacy.

To enforce the ban on commercial fishing, Remengesau said Palau is working with potential partners to obtain radar equipment and drones to monitor its waters.

Remengesau said climate change and global warming have been having a serious impact.

“For us in Palau and the Pacific islands, there’s been a tremendous amount of what we call unpredictable weather patterns that brings typhoons and storms and all kinds of destructive forces to the islands,” he said. “We have other problems of sea level rises.”

Palau is also urging the United Nations to adopt a new goal to clean up the world’s oceans, restore fish stocks and bring some equity to resources being taken by others.

Remengesau said “the fishing revenue has been breadcrumbs — it’s been nothing compared to, or in fairness to the billion dollar industry that this whole fishing industry is.”

Photo source

High-res The new Green Fins site is launched! 
We’ve waited a long time for this! Finally the site looks like an actual website. Additionally, you can also see the top environmentally friendly dive centres in Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Maldives, a list that will change as we continue to do assessments of member dive centres. 
For those of you diving or snorkelling, check out how you can do your bit, and choose from a list of members that are all working towards reducing their environmental impacts both in and out of the water. 
There’s also a bunch of free downloads in the Tools and Resources section :) 
www.greenfins.net 

The new Green Fins site is launched! 

We’ve waited a long time for this! Finally the site looks like an actual website. Additionally, you can also see the top environmentally friendly dive centres in Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Maldives, a list that will change as we continue to do assessments of member dive centres. 

For those of you diving or snorkelling, check out how you can do your bit, and choose from a list of members that are all working towards reducing their environmental impacts both in and out of the water. 

There’s also a bunch of free downloads in the Tools and Resources section :) 

www.greenfins.net 

My best friend and I are going to take scuba diving classes at the end of October! I'm so excited! Do you have any advice/suggestions on how to be a good diver?

Asked by russianlettuce

Diving is so much fun! I kind of look at it like driving. You get good enough to pass your test, but you become a good driver through experience. Don’t stop trying to learn, even once you have your qualification. Watch what other divers, dive masters and instructors do, how they dive and try different things so you develop a diving style you’re comfortable with. Some general tips:

1. Dive with respect for the animals and the environment.

Don’t harass marine life, or treat coral like a stepping stone. Unless it’s a safety issue, you don’t want to be touching anything underwater. 

2. Develop good buoyancy.

Buoyancy is how you control where you are in the water column. You can adjust this with weights and air in your BCD, but good divers can control their buoyancy with their breathing. This takes practice. You have to actively try to improve. 

3. Learn your dive gear

Unfortunately we’re not marine animals anymore, and your dive gear is your life saver. Know what each of the equipment does for you. You are taught it in your courses but if you don’t dive regularly it’s easy to forget. Make sure your hoses are tucked in, so they don’t drag along the bottom causing damage to the substrate and your expensive gear! 

That’s it for starters! Good luck, hope you enjoy it!