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Reef Report for Friday, December 19, 2003

Dive Staff Great for the Reef, and for Your Diving

Rather than give a report on the diving conditions for the week, I thought I would break from tradition and write a bit about what efforts are being made to assure continued excellent dive conditions for years to come. © Quicksilver Dive

Quicksilver Dive was busy congratulating Fiona Sleight for her recent win at last week’s National Ecotourism Conference held in Adelaide. Fiona won the ‘Eco Guide of the Year’ award for her work on Diversity and Quicksmart over the past year.

A self-confessed ‘avid greenie’, Fiona is involved in the design, testing and delivery of interpretive plans incorporating best environmental practice and care codes on both vessels. She is also responsible for developing Diversity's Minke whale operational procedures and to gather interpretive and resource materials during next years whale season.

Fiona says she really does want to change the world. "Making small changes becomes part of the solution for a healthier planet, I believe the way to achieve this is by changing people’s attitudes and this happens regularly when they experience the majesty of the natural world around them. Interpreting the Great Barrier Reef to visitors allows them to consider their impact while they are here and when they return home." Among Fiona's many other talents, she is also qualified PADI dive instructor and an accredited tour guide.

We recently booked a client for her second trip on Diversity, and when asked why she was so particular about returning on the Diversity, the first thing of the many she listed was Fiona, who "was extraordinarily helpful in helping us understand, learn, and get excited about what animals we spotted after each dive."

Fiona has a great job with the Great Barrier Reef as her office. If you would like to take a trip on Diversity to Cod Hole, the Ribbon Reefs, and out into the Coral Sea, check out these trips:

It is important to acknowledge such long-term efforts taken by local dive operators. As you can imagine, while a single diver not trained to protect the reef environment on their dive, may do a bit of damage, if you multiply that over a year's activity at a dive site, you can see why it's important for dive operators to properly train and motivate their staff, who are responsible for educating visitors to the reef.

Cod Hole and Ribbon Reefs Live Aboard

Ribbon Reefs/Coral Sea Live Aboard

(C) DiveTheReef The weekly reef report is written by Joel Groberg of DiveTheReef.com, who compiles them from the many conversations he has with dive staff in the area, as well as  many other local sources in the dive community.

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