Monday, July 23, 2007

The Man Dolphin

Some of you might know him from school as the guy who fanatically listened to bands such as Korn, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tool, etc and the dive crowd might know his as that free diving guy with the weird conjoined fins who came to the clean ups we had.

Several years ago Monde’ (Mohamed Hamza) came up with the thought that he wanted to take up free diving as a sport. We didn’t take him much seriously back then but today it’s a reality. He is off to Egypt to undergo training with some of the best free divers out there and in a few months time to take part in an international free dive competition. As far as I’ve heard of he is the first Maldivian to take part in such a competition.

Free diving with its disciplines is one of the most extreme sports out there. And it takes dedication and years of practice to be able to enter into such a competition.

Good luck to you Monde’ and may you kick some ass!

for more information abotu apnea and free diving plz check out the following links

Monday, July 16, 2007

Official Shark Awareness day

Did you know that last Saturday, July the 14th is the Official Shark Awareness day? It was just yesterday that I realized that that day before was that day. So here’s some belated enlightening for you all.

  • 100 million sharks are killed annually worldwide

  • 200 sharks are killed every minute (that’s 3 sharks per second)

  • Many millions die a slow death, robbed of their fins

  • Sharks reproduce late in life and have few offspring

  • 10,000 tonnes of shark fins are traded around the world

  • Shark finning is associated with crime and corruption

  • Once sharks are gone from the oceans, tourism all over the world will be affected, causing fundamental effects on local economies

  • Sharks are top predators of ecosystems - without them a whole range of species will be affected

Few months ago a friend of mine who works as a GRO in a nearby resort called me from Himmafushi where some of his guest were touring the island. There is a fish processing plant on that island apparently belonging to a local famous comedian and puppet of the regime and there was a dead big hammerhead shark being brought to the plant. After doing some digging he found out that this shark was caught just off Furana Fushi (Furana North-the dive site).

Sharks being the top predators play the part of keeping the fish stocks healthy. And without them the quality of the fishes are going to go down. And the food chains come crashing down. Sharks are highly migratory and they are moving around our waters. Most our country is the sea and most probably it is not monitored well in terms of who fishes in our waters, what they catch and what methods they use!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Pink, the new Black?

Recently, a friend and I were going about the tourist souvenir shops at the STO trade center and we came stumbled upon a shop where they had pink coral for sale. The guy in the shop was cementing smaller pieces of the pink coral to make it into a big piece. Pink Coral along with Red Coral are one of the most precious types of coral and it is used in the making of jewelry and home deco materials.
It might not sound like a big issue taking a few chunks of some coral and selling it to the tourists. But in the long run it could lead to over exploitation like what happened to the Black Coral. Although Black Coral has been banned there was a time when this slow growing species was cut down and made into various items and sold as souvenirs along with the shark jaws and turtle shells.

I once saw a documentary on Nat Geo where a diver from Italy does very deep dives for the pink coral and is sold for quite an amount but this is the first time I’ve seen it being sold here. In Maldives. The representative of all the small island states. The follower of all responsible and sound environmental practices. And the leading example of conservation.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Photoz 0005

filter feeding

twice the service

a dangerous client

sleeping hole

hanging out at Maldive Victory

old man of the wreck

inside....the shimmerings created by trapped air

creature from the deep

selt portrait...