Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Obtain New Retail Customer Leads by Participating in A Be A Diver Pool Tour Event

DEMA Member Retailers Encouraged to Register Early to Maximize Benefits of Participation
For more than 10 years now, the Be A Diver Pool Tour has traveled around the U.S. to large scale events allowing attendees to try diving in the warm, safe confines of its four-foot deep swimming pool under professional supervision. With 9 events already scheduled for Quarter 1 alone, the Be A Diver Pool Tour is looking at another productive year of promoting scuba diving, helping retailers acquire new customer leads and generating positive press coverage for the diving industry.   
DEMA Member Retailers are encouraged to sign up with the Be A Diver Pool Tour early to participate in events coming to their area to maximize their success in getting publicity and new leads. DEMA offers many benefits and resources that can help retailers before, during and after a Pool Tour Stop. Retailers who are interested in participating or who can suggest an event with potential for attracting new divers are encouraged to contact DEMA’s Pool Tour Coordinator, Dave Reidenbach at (920) 205-3657 or Participation with the Be A Diver Pool is available for DEMA Members only.
DEMA Members can also gain valuable exposure for their equipment, destination or other product by becoming a sponsor for the Pool Tour. There are a variety of different sponsorships available with options for all budgets. Detailed information can be found in the Be A Diver Pool Prospectus or by contacting Dave Reidenbach, at
“The Be A Diver Pool is often a potential customer’s first diving experience and the introduction they need to develop a lifelong passion for the sport,” commented Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA. “Since 2001, the Pool has introduced tens of thousands of people to diving with the participation of DEMA Member retailers, allowing these interested customers to try diving in a fun and controlled environment. For local DEMA Member dive centers, the Pool is a great opportunity to acquire new customers and generate media coverage for their store and for recreational diving, both locally and nationally. The Be A Diver Pool attracts an affluent customer who is a prime marketing target for retailers.” 
Participating in a 2014 Be A Diver Pool Tour Event is a unique and effective way to build relationships with up-and-coming divers and receive free publicity for your dive center. With 14 confirmed Pool Events already scheduled for 2014, now is the time to start planning for success – contact DEMA now and get started!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

DEMA’s Manatee Public Service Announcement (PSA) and Poster Available for Use by Diving and Boating Industries

Association Provides Safety Tips For Diving and Snorkeling With Manatees

Printable files:  PDF  |  JPEG

DEMA has released a new manatee poster to compliment the manatee public service announcement video and audio which includes a voiceover from Jimmy Buffett. The PSA and poster are aimed at boosting awareness for how to safely interact with manatees while in and on the water. The 30 second PSA and complimentary poster are available online now for DEMA Members to share with their local and online diving communities. The PSA is also being distributed by DEMA to television and radio networks in Florida’s media markets to help spread the message.
“DEMA has joined the Save The Manatee Organization in efforts to prevent the risk of extinction of manatees due to the human related encounters,” commented Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA. “It is critical to all of us in the Dive Industry who have enjoyed snorkeling and diving with these majestic marine mammals to keep them safe.”
Both the PSA and poster are part of DEMA’s ongoing work  o raise awareness among boaters, divers and snorkelers of the need to protect these gentle giants. The PSA, narrated by Jimmy Buffett, and poster provide consumers with fundamental knowledge on how they can keep the manatees safe and highlights the rules of sharing Florida’s oceans, rivers and springs with Florida’s official marine mammal.
The PSA and poster will also be promoted as a social media campaign via DEMA, Be A Diver and DiveCaching Twitter and Facebook pages. The poster is available to be viewed, shared and downloaded and the PSA can be viewed and shared via the Be A Diver YouTube Channel.
The Manatee Awareness PSA was created to expand efforts to raise awareness about the presence of manatees in Florida’s waters and to reach more people in Florida and outside the state about how to prevent harm to the manatees. For more information about Save The Manatees, visit, and for more information on how you can help, visit

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Florida Dive-In-Day at the Capitol to Highlight Diving and Anti-Shark Finning Bill to Local Legislators

Event Provides DEMA Members the Opportunity to Showcase Their Businesses & Meet with Legislators to Promote Diving and the Anti-Shark-Finning Bill
The Diving Equipment & Marketing Association (DEMA) will host a Shark Finning Legislative Dive-In-Day at the Florida Capitol grounds in Tallahassee, FL, March 3-4, 2014. Florida-based DEMA Member businesses will have the opportunity to exhibit at Dive-In-Day to help increase positive awareness for the Diving Industry among important legislators and meet personally with their government representatives to promote the anti-shark finning bill and other issues important to the Florida scuba diving industry.
“Florida is one of diving’s most active states with one of the largest number of new certified divers each year and the most DEMA Member businesses,” commented Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA. “Members who participate in Dive-In-Day will have the opportunity to showcase their business at the Capitol building and help reinforce diving’s role as an important revenue generating component of the Florida economy.”
DEMA serves its Members by identifying key issues that affect the growth and success of the scuba and snorkeling industry, and by taking action on legislative matters which have an adverse effect on the sport. One of the major issues threatening the eco-system today is the slaughter of a top ocean predator, the shark. In addition to DEMA Members promoting their companies, they will have the chance to meet one-on-one with legislators and their staff to support the DEMA-constructed anti-shark finning bill.  
“Shark finning is one of the major issues threatening the underwater environment, a brutal practice that kills millions of sharks each year for fins alone, harming the shark population and thereby damaging our marine ecosystem,” said Ingram. “DEMA and the Dive Industry are committed to putting an end to shark finning. One of DEMA’s goals is to encourage Members to participate in actions affecting this issue. By arranging individual meetings between our Members and government representatives, it allows them to have a direct voice in the legislation process.”
DEMA will also be teaming up with Florida-based organization Practical Academic Cultural Education (PACE) to participate in Dive-In-Day. A group of young women from the Hillsborough chapter of the PACE Center for Girls will be on-site wearing shark finning t-shirts to help draw attention to the cause to ban shark fins.  These “shark angels” will help deliver the message for DEMA and its Member businesses.
“Dive-In-Day will provide an incredible opportunity for those in the Industry to network and promote their brand,” concluded Ingram. “DEMA looks forward to a healthy discussion on how the Dive Industry can work together with legislators to improve the Dive Industry in Florida.”
For more information or to sign up to participate in Dive-In-Day at the Capitol contact Brittney Burch at or (850) 222-0720.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

DEMA Submits Comments in Favor of Maintaining the Current Moratorium on Goliath Grouper in Florida

Association Supports that Harvest and Possession Should Continue to be Prohibited

The Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) recently submitted comments strongly recommending that the current moratorium on the harvest of Goliath Grouper remain in effect. The comments were submitted by Tom Ingram, Executive Director of DEMA, on behalf of the Association.
While all fisheries issues can have an impact on the diving community, of particular importance at this time is the future disposition of the Goliath Grouper. In 2011, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) considered the possibility of lifting the current moratorium on harvesting Goliath Grouper. DEMA favored continuing the moratorium at that time and continues to oppose changes in the current status of the Goliath Grouper moratorium, which prohibits harvest.
“As an Industry, the diving community supports a balanced approach to the health of aquatic resources and access to those resources,” commented Ingram. “In Florida, the diving community has benefitted greatly from the 20+ year moratorium on Goliath Grouper, which has helped rejuvenate the population of these fish.  Until we are assured that the stocks of these important fish are rejuvenated to a sustainable level, we believe that the continuation of the moratorium is important to both the fish and the economics of the diving industry.
DEMA’s comments emphasized:
  • Lacking any solid scientific evidence of recovery, Goliath Grouper remain vulnerable to overfishing due to (among a variety of reasons) late maturity and slow growth. 
  • The opinions of dive-related businesses regarding the current harvesting status of goliath grouper.  With FWC’s previous study indicating that 49% of dive centers favor continuing protection, and only 25% of dive centers indicating that allowing the harvest of goliath grouper would help their business, DEMA strongly recommended maintaining the current prohibition on harvesting.
  • The interest and draw the Goliath Grouper generates for the local diving community plays an integral part in generating revenue for many small Florida-based diving businesses, tax revenue for the State of Florida and many jobs. 
Ingram concluded, “DEMA looks forward to reviewing the latest stock assessments and sharing those with the industry.  We hope that the moratorium on harvesting these magnificent fish continues, providing all divers who visit or live in Florida with the opportunity to see them in the wild.”
DEMA urges all professional members of the diving community to attend these meetings and offer public comment in favor of maintaining the current moratorium on harvest of the Goliath Grouper; public comments opposed to lifting the moratorium could help maintain the current status, thereby preventing harvesting of this animal, which is slow to mature and reproduce. There are substantial arguments against harvest, some of which can be found here .  Without the support of the Industry, the status of the current moratorium could change, allowing harvesting of the Goliath Grouper for the first time since the 1990's. If you dive in Florida or live there, such a change in the moratorium status could impact your ability (and your customers' ability) to see these animals.
A meeting of the Gulf and South Atlantic Councils and the Ad Hoc Goliath Grouper Joint Council Steering Committee is scheduled beginning January 7 and ending on January 9 in Key Largo, FL.   An agenda for the planned meeting can be seen here.  For those unable to attend, or wishing to submit written comments, please submit comments via the following addresses by the meeting dates:
South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
Robert Mahood, Executive Director, SAFMC
4055 Faber Place Drive, Ste 201, N. Charleston, SC 29405
Fax: 843.769.4520 (No email provided)
Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council
2203 North Lois Avenue, Ste 1100, Tampa, FL 33607
To submit public comments, email to:
Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission
Jessica McCawley:
For more information, see the South Atlantic Fishery Management website and the official comments submitted by DEMA.