Tuesday, August 11, 2015

New CA Spiny Lobster Season PSA Offers Safety Tips for the 2015/2016 Season

**DEMA’s Latest PSA Provides Important Safety Reminders to Increase Diver Safety during California’s Upcoming Lobster Season**
California’s 2015/2016 Spiny Lobster Season begins on October 3rd, 2015. With the season less than two months away, DEMA has released a new California Spiny Lobster Season Public Service Announcement (PSA) in an effort to increase diver safety and prepare divers in advance of the 2015/2016 season. The new PSA is part of DEMA’s ongoing efforts to encourage divers to refresh their training and maintain their equipment prior to getting back in the water. DEMA Members are encouraged to share the PSA with their customers and community to spread this important and timely message.
The PSA is available in English and Spanish, as well as in 30-second and 15-second formats.  The English version featuresMiss Scuba International '14-'15 and TV ReporterTabitha LipkinThe Spanish version of the PSA featuresEmmy award-winning journalist and bilingual reporter,Yanula Ramirez. All four versions of the PSA can be viewedonline here.
In addition to the newly released PSAs, DEMA’s California Spiny Lobster Season poster is available to be viewed, shared and downloaded to encourage safe diving. DEMA Members are asked to print the California Spiny Lobster Season poster and display it in the store, distribute it to their customers, and share it electronically, along with the new PSA, with their own online community. The new PSA and poster will be promoted via DEMABe A Diver andDiveCaching Twitter & Facebook pages for the remainder of the summer, as well as on social media sites of affiliated organizations. DEMA is also providing copies of the PSA to select television stations in key markets to encourage divers to refresh their training and maintain their equipment prior to start of the season.

Complete information and regulations for the 2015/2016 California Spiny Lobster Season are available on theCalifornia Department of Fish and Wildlife website.

Printable files:  PDF  |  JPEG

PSA:  15 Second Version - English

PSA:  30 Second Version - English

 PSA:  15 Second Version - Spanish 

PSA: 30 Second Version - Spanish

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

DEMA Requests All Members of the Industry to Sign Online Petition to Stop Dredging of Cayman Islands

**Thousands Have Already Signed Online Petition to Stop Plans for the Cruise Ship Berthing Facility **
The Cayman Islands are a popular tourist destination and well known for their beautiful coral reefs. Currently, officials within the Cayman Government are reviewing plans to build a permanent cruise ship port that would require extensive dredging in the George Town Harbor area, which would damage the coral reefs and ecosystem near the proposed berthing facility, including several popular dive sites. DEMA urgently asks the Industry for their support in petitioning the Cayman Government to halt these plans by signing this online petition.

DEMA is very concerned with the potential for environmental destruction and economic damage to the local dive operators and the worldwide diving community due to the construction and operation of this cruise ship facility. A draft Environmental Statement (ES) dated June 2, 2015, conducted for the Cayman Islands government indicates that damage to the coral reefs will occur due to the required direct dredging action, turbidity and siltation near George Town during construction. Additional damage will likely be caused by the ongoing dredging required to maintain the berthing facility.  In addition, in studying the data presented in the ES, the actual economic benefit to the Cayman Islands appears to be questionable; construction of the berthing facility would require destruction of dive sites such as Devil’s Grotto, Soto’s Reef and the Balboa wreck.  While the ES states that it might be possible to re-locate the Balboa at the cost of millions of dollars, and it might be possible to re-locate and save some of the living reef material, the ES is also clear that the likely result would still be a net loss of living coral. 

Given that tourists arriving by air to the Cayman Islands (rather than cruise ship) account for 77% of the tourist revenue generated there, it appears to make little economic sense to destroy the very fabric of Cayman's attraction to tourists, to accommodate a greater number of cruise ships ferrying tourists who, according the Environmental Statement, spend an average of less than CI$100 per person on island.

DEMA asks for members of the Industry to sign and share the online petition regarding this issue as initiated by the Save Sea Foundation. 30,000 signatures are requested and already more than 16,000 individuals have signed the petition to stop the proposed dredging. PLEASE sign the petition today!

More information on the economic and environmental impacts resulting from the proposed plans can be found in DEMA’s recent alert.  In addition, DEMA has written directly to the Cayman Department of the Environment, expressing concerns on behalf of the Industry. That letter can be found here.