Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Go Dive Now’s Photo Contest Generates Significant Web Traffic & Brand Awareness

On July 1, 2017 DEMA launched an exciting social media contest in affiliation with the Go Dive Nowconsumer Marketing Campaign. The DIVE INTO SUMMER PHOTO CONTEST was created to increase traffic to, engage the diving community, and promote the sport of scuba diving to non-divers. The contest concluded on August 3rd with the top three winners taking home incredible prizes donated by industry businesses.
During the contest, divers were asked to submit their best diving photos and then promote their entries to their friends and family on social media to collect votes. The contest received 82 photo entries and 5,570 votes were submitted. The contest, both located on and on Facebook, received over 17,200 page views! The photo contest was very successful in using social media to increase traffic to as website sessions derived from social media increased 230% during the contest when compared to the previous period. Over 21% of visitors to the voting page on then went on to view other pages throughout the Go Dive Now website.
 As expected, the contest reached thousands of people on social media and was highly influential in generating awareness and interest in the sport of diving and the diving lifestyle. Dive businesses who donated a prize benefited by receiving significant exposure to potential new divers and customers! Thank you to the following companies who donated a prize to the DIVE INTO SUMMER PHOTO CONTEST: Charlie Hudson Writes, Harbour Village Beach Club, Martinique Promotion Bureau, Michael Johnson Entertainment, LLC, Minelab, Mobby’s LLC, Ocean Maps GmbH, and Ocean Technology Systems.
 The contest winners can be viewed on the contest page on Congratulations!

Friday, August 11, 2017

DEMA Submits Comments on the Goliath Grouper Moratorium in Florida

As you may be aware, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission (FWC) is under pressure by fishing groups to lift a 25+ year moratorium on the harvest of the Goliath Grouper in Florida. In an effort to capture the opinions of all diving stakeholders on this issue, DEMA conducted a survey of divers and dive professionals asking their opinions on maintaining the Florida Goliath Grouper harvest moratorium. The results showed that by a large percent, respondents want to maintain the moratorium.

With these survey results in, DEMA submitted a letter expressing the desire that a moratorium on harvesting the Goliath Grouper in Florida be maintained, as there is no scientific data indicating that this fish population has recovered from severe over fishing. Fishers continue to blame the increased population of Goliath on lower populations of lobster, snapper and other fish species. In fact, there is no data to indicate that Goliaths are the cause of these issues. In addition, Goliath Grouper are known to contain toxic levels of mercury, making the flesh inedible.

Share your input and learn more about the current status of Goliath Grouper by attending one of the FWC's upcoming public workshops.

Workshops will be from 5 to 8 p.m. local time:
Aug 16: Pensacola, Sanders Beach - Corinne Jones Resource Center, 913 South I St.
Aug. 17: Panama City, Bland Conference Center, 4750 Collegiate Drive.
Oct. 9: Jacksonville, Pablo Creek Regional Library, 13295 Beach Blvd.
Oct. 10: Titusville, American Police Hall of Fame & Museum, 6350 Horizon Drive.
Oct. 11: Stuart, Flagler Place, 201 SW Flagler Ave.
Oct. 12: Davie, Old Davie School Historical Museum, 6650 Griffin Road.
Oct. 16: Pinellas Park, Bill Jackson's Shop for Adventure, 9501 U.S. Highway 19 N.
Oct. 17: Port Charlotte, The Cultural Center of Charlotte County, 2280 Aaron St.
Oct. 18: Naples, Collier County Public Library - South Regional, 8065 Lely Cultural Parkway
If you cannot attend an in-person meeting, please submit comments online. 

DEMA Responds to Video of Live Shark Being Dragged & Killed Behind Boat

Many have seen a disturbing video recently posted on YouTube by Florida fishermen showing a live shark, tied by the tail and being dragged at a high rate of speed behind a boat, resulting in the shark's death. The video was picked up and posted online by USA Today. 

This is a cruel treatment of any animal, and members of the diving community are appalled by such behavior by members of the fishing public, who must be licensed to fish in Florida waters by Florida's Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC). 

DEMA recently sent out an Industry Alert asking Members to write to the FWC and express their concerns about the video and on August 8th, DEMA submitted a letter to the Governor as well to reinforce that this kind of behavior should not be tolerated.

DEMA Introduces New Industry Recognition Award, the Wave Makers Award

** Finalists and 2017 Recipient to be Honored at 2017 DEMA Awards Party in Orlando, FL **
DEMA has announced it will recognize new professionals in the diving industry who are employed by (or own) a DEMA-Member business at the 2017 DEMA Awards Party! This new award aims to recognize professionals who have been working in the industry for 60 months or less and have made a significant contribution to the industry during that time. The DEMA Board of Directors recognizes that the best approach to generating creativity, continued participation with DEMA and sustained engagement with the association and industry by new professionals is to create a culture that supports that creativity and celebrates innovative thinking.  The Wave Makers Award seeks to help foster that culture. Nominations for the 2017 Wave Makers Award will be accepted until September 6, 2017 with the four finalists and 2017 honoree being announced at the 2017 DEMA Awards Party.
Wave Makers are employees or owners of DEMA-Member businesses who have been involved as a professional for 60 months or less and who should be recognized for their contributions to the industry, a dive business and DEMA!  A complete overview of the criteria to qualify can be found here. Member professionals who have been active with DEMA by attending DEMA Show, serving on a committee or task force, or volunteering for the Go Dive Now Pool, or other activities related to DEMA, can qualify.
CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A NOMINATION in any of the following categories: Contribution to DEMA’s Mission, Providing Business or Community Service, or Contributing to Dive Industry Growth.
The Wave Makers selection process for 2017 will be as follows:
  1. DEMA Members nominate a potential honoree, using the established criteria. 
  2. The Awards Committee reviews these nominees, narrowing the field to the top four candidates.
  3. The top four are notified and asked to create a one-minute video about what they envision for the future of the association and/or the diving industry.
  4. The videos are then placed on social media, and DEMA asks members to view them prior to DEMA Show, and vote on for the Wave Makers winner for 2017.
  5. Only DEMA Members can vote, as a log-in to the DEMA website and Member-only voting page will be required.
  6. The top four candidates and a guest are invited to attend the DEMA Awards Party at DEMA Show 2017. 
  7. Each of the top four self-made videos would be played during the announcements.  The winner will be announced at the Awards celebration. 
Nominations are open now until September 6!  Four finalists and the new professional chosen as the first of the Wave Makers will be honored at the DEMA Awards Party being held on Friday, November 3, 2017 in Orlando, Florida at the Rosen Centre Hotel Executive Ballroom. Complete DEMA Awards Party details and tickets are available on the DEMA Show website.