Archive for the ‘Gates Housings’ Category


Humpback Whales in Baa Atoll, Maldives

In Diving,Dreams,Gates Housings,Maldives,Nauticam,Photography,SCUBA,Underwater,Whales on August 23, 2011 by atollscuba

By Guy Stevens

The humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a species of baleen whale. One of the larger rorqual species, adults range in length from 12–16 metres (39–52 ft) and weigh approximately 36,000 kilograms (79,000 lb). The humpback has a distinctive body shape, with unusually long pectoral fins and a knobbly head. It is an acrobatic animal, often breaching and slapping the water. Males produce a complex song, which lasts for 10 to 20 minutes and is repeated for hours at a time. The purpose of the song is not yet clear, although it appears to have a role in mating.

Found in oceans and seas around the world, humpback whales typically migrate up to 25,000 kilometres (16,000 mi) each year. Humpbacks feed only in summer, in polar waters, and migrate to tropical or sub-tropical waters to breed and give birth in the winter. During the winter, humpbacks fast and live off their fat reserves. The species’ diet consists mostly of krill and small fish. Humpbacks have a diverse repertoire of feeding methods, including the bubble net feeding technique.

Like other large whales, the humpback was and is a target for the whaling industry. Due to over-hunting, its population fell by an estimated 90% before a whaling moratorium was introduced in 1966. Stocks have since partially recovered; however, entanglement in fishing gear, collisions with ships, and noise pollution also remain concerns. There are at least 80,000 humpback whales worldwide. Once hunted to the brink of extinction, humpbacks are now sought by whale-watchers, particularly off parts of AustraliaNew Zealand, South America, Canada, and the United States.

The population of Humpbacks in the Indian ocean is poorly studied and of the few animals which are sighted in the Maldives each year, researchers have no idea where they have travelled from. The humpbacks are most likely using the Maldivian atolls as a resting area, sheltered inside the safety of the atoll’s lagoon the whales are taking advantage of the calm waters to rest before beginning the next leg of    their epic journey. As mother whales and small calves are also sighted, it is possible the females are using the atolls as a birthing ground.

Like other marine animals, humpbacks can be individually identified by the unique patterns on the underside of their fluke (tail).  Scientists in the Indian ocean studying the humpbacks have created a database to see if they can find out where these wandering giants journey.  The current theory is that the Humpbacks that occur in the Maldives have ventured across the Indian ocean from the Arabian Sea.  The sighting of this humpback whale has been sent to whale researchers in the hope that they will find a match from another location in the world helping to unlock the mysteries of these amazing animals lives.



Neville Coleman’s Marine Life Identification Guide

In Aqua,Atoll,Blue Label Diving,Diving,Gates Housings,Maldives,SCUBA,Underwater on August 13, 2011 by atollscuba

Neville Coleman, the authority on Asia and the Indo-Pacific region’s aquatic life, brings you his very own iPhone app, an electronic field guide. As a man who discovered over 450 species for science, expectations for the guide are high. Naturally, they’re met.

 Coleman brings to your palm over 1700 species, broken down and colour coded for easy comprehension into 16 major life groups. Each of these species has its own detailed page, and can even be compared side by side with each other. You even get to keep your own log.

The intuitive interface streamlines navigation, the photography is breathtaking, and the information is extensive. The app essentially places 1700 species of marine life at your fingertips.

  • The eGuide features 1700 species with over 2000 stunning visual identification images
  • Includes 16 major Marine Life Groups from Algae to Marine Mammals
  • Each Phylum with its Classes has a natural history page with Features; Lifestyle; Reproduction; Associations and Identifications.
  • Colour coded Main Menu allows instant access to the different groups
  • Species within each group arranged in alphabetical order
  • Each image represented by a caption, which includes Family Genus, Species and Common name, Habitat, Size, Location, Distribution and Remarks
  • Quick Search function based on Genus, species and Common name search. A simple and intuitive interface that puts all the information at your fingertips
  • My List – Log Function with Species, Location, Date and Notes enables the diver to use this for daily Dive records, Fauna surveys, species notes, natural history observations and in conjunction with Neville Coleman’s Project AWARE Underwater Naturalist Course
    Compatible with:
    iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. Requires  iOS 3.0 or later


Dive Medic Technician Course in Thailand

In Aqua,Atoll,Blue Label Diving,Divemedic,Diving,Gates Housings,Maldives,Maldives Shaff Aqua Dreams Imaging Whale Shark Manta,Photography on August 12, 2011 by atollscuba

DMTs serve at the critical first step in the diving medicine chain, caring for injured divers on the scene and acting as tenders in the hyperbaric chamber.
Many of the participants in these programs are diving safety officers with dive teams or tenders associated with hyperbaric chambers, but a good number of them are also dive professionals interested in advancing their knowledge of dive medicine so they can better tend to the divers in their care.

Responsibility of a DMT

DMTs Diver Medical Technicians provide an alternative to presence of qualified hyperbaric physicians at every dive site who can respond to emergency medical situations and communicate effectively with a physician located remotely.
They also provide emergency care and basic life support in the field while stabilizing injured divers. They report accidents and treatment to medical authorities and perform tasks and give aid as directed by proper authorities.
DMTs also encourage fitness in diving community and keep accurate, informative records, such and neurological assessments and histories of divers in their care, where appropriate.

This DMT course in Thailand offers lectures presented by internationally known faculty, hands-on practical skills, and the experience gained through 14 hours of clinical time.
Lecture topics include: the Role and Responsibilities of the DMT; Review of Gas Laws; Nitrogen Narcosis, O2 Toxicity; the Ears & Sinuses; Otoscope Use; Decompression Sickness (DCS) and much more.

Program Certification
The National Board of Diving and Hyperbaric Medical Technology has certified the DMT course as a Module 16 program.
Each course at Blue Label Diving is limited to 6 persons.

COURSE PRICE: 45,000 THB ( US$ 1500)

The Diving Medical Technician program includes skill training in all of current training programs. Candidates will receive additional skill training in otoscope use, neurological surveys, detailed physical exams and invasive skills.

For more information contact or visit


Maldives Finder 2011

In Aqua,Diving,Dreams,Gates Housings,Maldives,Maldives Diving Scuba Manta Ray,Nauticam,Photography,Shaff,Squidmedia,Underwater on August 9, 2011 by atollscuba

Maldives Finder 2011 is a first-of-its-kind comprehensive publication on the Maldives’ tourism industry. It is a celebration of the Maldives brand, and an informative guide to the destination. With academic and in-depth articles, the publication is a rich source of information on this unique tourism destination.

With vivid, award-wining illustrations and photos on the natural environment and the way of life of the people, it is also a coffee table book for aspiring holidaymakers to the Maldives and tour operators alike. As the official publication of the country’s only umbrella association of travel agents and tour operators, MATATO, it is also a vital inclusion into the marketing kit of products and services entrepreneurs in the industry.

Maldives Finder 2011 will be launched in time for the March Berlin ITB, and be a key publication for free circulation at every important travel, tourism and hospitality fair throughout the year.

Squid Media is keen on providing, through this unique international publication, a platform for Maldives’ tourism partners and complementary corporates to promote their products, service and interests.

Click on the image to view the online version


Aqua Lung dive equipment for Atoll Scuba

In Aqua,Atoll,Diving,Dreams,Gates Housings,Ikelite,Maldives,Nauticam,Photography,SCUBA,Underwater on August 7, 2011 by atollscuba

Atoll Scuba will be using Aqua Lung dive equipment for the dive operation onboard the ‘Ark Venture’. Aqua Lung dealer in the Maldives, Dive Gear, has been very supportive to us in providing the equipments. They are also the dealers for Cressi, IST, Saekodive, Underwater Kinetics, Ikelite, Apeks and many more brands to the Maldives. Please visit their website at for more information.


Baa Atoll, Maldives – A UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve

In Aqua,Atoll,Diving,Dreams,Gates Housings,Maldives Diving Scuba Manta Ray,Maldives Shaff Aqua Dreams Imaging Whale Shark Manta,Nauticam,Photography,Shark,Sharks,Underwater on August 7, 2011 by atollscuba

By Guy Stevens

Last month at the 40th anniversary of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO’s) ‘Man and the Biosphere Program’ in Dresden, Germany the entirety of Baa Atoll in the Republic of Maldives was declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.  World Biosphere Reserves are places where conservation, research and development successfully interconnect. They integrate biological and cultural diversity, combining core protected areas with zones where sustainable development – and innovative approaches to it – are fostered, tested and developed by locals and enterprises alike.  Baa Atoll joins an illustrious list of international Biosphere Reserves including: The Galapagos Islands, Ayer’s Rock in Australia, the Pantanal wetlands of Brazil, the Niagara escarpment in Canada, the Sundarbans of India, and the Amboseli National Park in Kenya.

Critically Endangered Mountain Gorillas in the World Biosphere Reserve in the Volcans National Park, Rwanda

Baa Atoll is one of the Republic of Maldives’ 26 geographical atolls, covering an area of 1,200km² it contains some of the richest coral reef systems in the world, which literally and metaphorically support the local communities and a thriving tourism industry. UNESCO recognizes Baa Atoll’s “great potential for demonstrating sustainable development throughout the Maldives and the region, while relying on a green economy.”  The jewel in the biological crown of Baa Atoll is a tiny bay called Hanifaru, where seasonal gatherings of manta rays and whale sharks have made this site world famous in recent years, attracting hordes tourists from across the globe to immerse themselves in the tropical waters amongst a feeding frenzy of these gentle giants.

For the last five years the Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF) and the Four Seasons Resort at Landaa Giraavaru in Baa Atoll have supported my research and conservation work through the Maldivian Manta Ray Project (MMRP).  I am therefore delighted at UNESCO’s announcement of World Biosphere Reserve status for Baa Atoll, especially as  Hanifaru is to become one of the reserves core protected areas.  This designation is the culmination of many years of hard work and planning by the Maldivian Government, whom I have been working closely with for the last four years, pushing for greater protection of this special site.

With Hanifaru declared an official Marine Protected Area (MPA) in 2009, and now with the implementation of a site specific management plan for this core protected area, the future for Hanifaru Bay and its visitors looks promising.  However, this ecologically and economically important site exemplifies the current trend across the entire Maldivian Archipelago, where nature and tourism struggles to find an equilibrium; as economic growth and development threatens to undermine the natural foundations upon which this coral island nation so intrinsically depends. It is therefore extremely important that these titles of protective intent are translated into real conservation on site.

In a world which is driven by economics, it is simply not enough to say to governments, or local communities, that you should protect a species, or its habitat, simply for its intrinsic or scientific value alone.  Unfortunately we live in a world where the majority of people just do not have that luxury of choice to care, or the education to overcome the ignorance which leads to a lack of empathy.  The reality is that nature must pay for itself in a tangible and direct way. Those entrusted with its protection should not only be obliged by law to protect, they must also have the will and the desire to do so.

Mass Feeding event at Hanifaru Bay; Baa Atoll UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve Core Protected Area

This philosophy is at the heart of UNESCO’s World Biosphere Program, which is why I am confident that Hanifaru will become a place where manta rays, tourism and the local communities can, and should, all benefit from its existence.  Where the road to sustainable management is a real and effective path upon which the conservation of our oceans, and its resources, can travel for the future benefit of all, forever.

About the Author: Guy Stevens is the Founding Director of Maldivian Manta Ray Project. Guy has worked for the Four Seasons Resorts in the Maldives since 2003 as their Senior Marine Biologist. At the heart of Guy’s research is the Maldivian Manta Ray Project which has been undertaking ground breaking research on these spectacular marine giants for the last 4 years. Please visit MMRP website for more information:


Underwater Housings for Atoll Scuba / Squid Media…

In Aqua,Atoll,Diving,Dreams,Gates Housings,Maldives Diving Scuba Manta Ray,Nauticam,Photography,Underwater on August 6, 2011 by atollscuba

Underwater  housings for  Atoll Scuba / Squid Media’s DSLR camera’s are supplied by Underwater Visions, the exclusive UK distributor of the Nauticam underwater housings. Housings for our video cameras are supplied by Gates Underwater Housings.