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Diving with… Marlon Managa, Magic Oceans Dive Resort, Anda, Bohol, Philippines

Asia DTA Team

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In this ongoing series, we speak to the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards from around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer…


What is your name?
Marlon Managa

What is the name of your business?
Magic Oceans Dive Resort

What is your role within the business?
Assistant dive center manager, dive master & in-house marine biologist.

How long has the business operated for?
Magic Oceans Dive Resort opened its doors in July 2015.

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?
I started diving in 2010 as a divemaster and I have several certifications in marine biology.

Anda
What is your favorite type of diving?
Difficult question! I like many types of diving but if I need to choose, I would say a night dive or muck dive to find macro critters in sandy areas. However, I do love colorful corals and walls full of life as well!

If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?
Visit Magic Oceans Dive Resort because Anda is still a pristine place that is full of wildlife on land and underwater, from the tiny colorful critters to the biggest fish in the world: the Whale Shark!

What is your favorite dive in your location and why?

That would be any dives at the mystical “LAMANOK ISLAND”. Here, you can find a lot of special and rare macro critters (my favorites!). At this dive site you can find a great wall and a sandy bottom: the perfect place to find cool and rare nudibranchs – that’s why we also call this place ‘Nudibranch Heaven’. On top, you can find here special creatures like the mimic octopus, wunderpus, blue ringed octopus, different kind of shrimps and crabs, and even rays!

Anda

What types of diving are available in your location?
You can make a lot of different dive types in Anda: drift diving, muck diving, night diving, or of course exploring walls and/or coral gardens. We even offer black water diving for those who have the courage!

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?
Simple appreciation is one of the most rewarding things in my opinion.
I love talking to people and making new friends. Besides, my passion is diving, so what’s better than doing the things you love everyday?
Finally, I’ve been doing a lot of marine biology works before and I am ready to contribute my expertise about that. It’s rewarding for me to do the job I love, helping the company be its best, make new friends and share my knowledge with the guests and my colleagues.

What is your favorite underwater creature?
Nudibranchs!! All of them!!

Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?

Maintaining high standards for diving is what we aim for all the time at Magic Oceans. We strive to be the best dive team in Anda and of course that’s something you need to work on (and be aware of) every day. Slight changes and developments include boat upgrades and more local dive masters to be trained as the number of guests increases every year!

As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?
Major concern for us is mainly the laws and regulations among weather circumstances, which sometimes disallow us to go out with the boat for a boat dive.

Anda
Is your center involved in any environmental work?
At the moment, we are working on a project: coral and giant clam transplantation. Aside from that, we also work together with the local schools and colleges closely, to create proper education and awareness about our marine environment.

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry in your area? What changes would you make?
The good thing about Magic Oceans/Anda is that we are far away from mass tourism, which means we can still offer diversity in a pristine and untouched area – there are not a lot of places anymore worldwide where you can find untouched reefs and where you feel like you’re the only diver in the world! Of course we want to show this precious area to every diver in the world! But for now, we’re still that hidden, secret paradise.

What would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?

Like I already mentioned, there are not a lot of places anymore where you feel like you’re the only diver in the world! We are located in a hidden paradise where you can find the XXS Pygmy Seahorse and the XXL Whale Sharks. Combined with a great team of dive masters that are able to find the most tiny creatures in the ocean, diving at Magic Oceans is a must-do for both beginners and experienced divers!

Where can our visitors find out more about your business?
Magic Oceans Dive Resort
Candabong, Anda
6311, Bohol, Philippines

Website: www.magicoceans.online
e-mail: info@magicresorts.online and reservations@magicresorts.online
Facebook: @magicoceans.diveresort
Instagram: @magic_oceans_dive_resort

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Save on NEW Emperor Harmoni

Asia DTA Team

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The launch of Emperor Harmoni – Emperor Divers’ brand-new liveaboard in Indonesia – is just a few weeks away with the finishing touches currently taking place. And, to welcome her to their fleet, Emperor have put together an offer as magnificent as the boat herself.

Anyone booking a trip on Harmoni for 2022 or 2023 will receive a 25% discount if they book and confirm before October 1st 2022.

That means the first guests on board can not only explore and dive the Indonesian waters in the finest of style but do so at an incredible price. And sailing on Harmoni really is fine.

She is a 24-berth, traditional Indonesian phinisi-style vessel which has been bespoke made using a combination of Emperor’s vast experience of liveaboards and the expertise of legendary Indonesian boat builder Pak Haji.

Constructed almost entirely by hand using Sulawesi ironwood, Harmoni has been designed specifically to offer the finest diving experiences possible in spacious surroundings of the very highest standard.

The beautifully-finished cabins all have en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning while the deck areas offer plenty of comfortable places to sit and maybe even enjoy a relaxing massage. The dining area is spacious and serves the high-quality food and drink you would expect from an Emperor Divers holiday.

The first trip leaves on September 16th and will cruise from Bali, taking in the wonderful scenery of Moyo Island, Sumbawa and Sangean Volcano before finally reaching Komodo National Park. 

The offer is valid on new bookings only and discount is not to be combined with group free places or any other discount or promotion.

Email reservations@emperordivers.com to confirm pricing and availability or speak personally to the Emperor Divers’ reservation team to find out more.

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Reef-World launches Green Fins Japan!

Asia DTA Team

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The Reef-World Foundation, the Onna Village Diving Association, the local government, and Oceana are delighted to announce that Japan is now the 14th country globally to implement the Green Fins initiative – a UN Environment Programme initiative. Onna Village in Okinawa is the first Japanese tourist destination to adopt Green Fins environmental standards to reduce the threats associated with diving and snorkelling on the marine environment.

Green Fins is piloted in Onna Village, Okinawa prefecture, an area renowned for its marine sports and has been working to protect its reefs for many years. Green Fins is implemented as part of the national Sustainable Development Goals project, which aims to manage and illustrate to the local industry how sustainable tourism can play a role in reef conservation. The economic benefits of the reefs benefit not only the fisheries industry but also the tourism industry as it has rocketed in recent decades.

If the project is successful – proving the value of sustainable tourism – the model has the potential to be escalated to a national level. A wide rollout would allow Reef-World to focus on uptake and expansion into other marine tourism and biodiversity hotspots across Japan. Green Fins implementation in Japan would provide practical solutions to many of the common problems faced in the area. It would also help to promote high standards for diving in the country. Improving the quality of the diving industry through Green Fins would demonstrate the added value of Onna Village’s tourism product. This, in turn, will encourage tourists to spend more time and money diving in the region.

Following a week of training by Reef-World (23 to 28 May 2022), Japan now has a national Green Fins team comprised of four fully certified Green Fins Assessors and two Green Fins Coordinators from Oceana and the local government. They will be responsible for recruiting, assessing, training and certifying dive and snorkel operators to become Green Fins members in the country. This involves providing training about the ecology and threats to coral reefs, simple and local everyday solutions to these threats and Green Fins’ environmental standards to dive and snorkel operators. Green Fins membership will help marine tourism operators improve their sustainability and prove they are working hard to follow environmental best practices as a way of attracting eco-minded tourists.

James Harvey, Director at The Reef-World Foundation, said: “We are really excited to finally introduce Green Fins in Japan. We have been planning this for almost three years, but the travel restrictions related to the pandemic hindered progress. The diving industry in Okinawa and the marine life upon which it has been built is so unique, it must be preserved for generations to come. The Okinawa diving community is very passionate about protecting their marine environment, and Green Fins has given them an opportunity to collectively work to reduce their environmental impact and pursue exemplary environmental standards.”

Diving and snorkelling related damage to sensitive marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, is becoming an increasingly significant issue. This damage makes them less likely to survive other local and wider stressors, such as overfishing or plastic debris and the effects of climate change. Based on robust individual assessments, the Green Fins initiative helps identify and mitigate these risks by providing environmental consultation and support to dive and snorkel operators. Through Green Fins implementation in Japan, Reef-World aims to reduce negative environmental impacts in the region by reaching 10 marine tourism operators, training 50 dive guides and raising awareness of sustainability best practices among 10,000 tourists in the first year.

Yuta Kawamoto, CEO of Oceana, said: “Green Fins will help to unify all the conservation efforts in Okinawa by applying the guidelines in many areas and raising tourists awareness. We hope this will increase the sustainable value in the diving industry and in turn increase the diving standards in the country.”

Green Fins is a UN Environment Programme initiative, internationally coordinated by The Reef-World Foundation, which aims to protect and conserve coral reefs through environmentally friendly guidelines to promote a sustainable diving and snorkelling tourism industry. Green Fins provides the only internationally recognised environmental standards for the diving and snorkelling industry and has a robust assessment system to measure compliance.

To date, four dive operators in Onna Village have joined the global network of 600+ trained and assessed Green Fins members. These are: Benthos Divers, Okinawa Diving Center, Arch Angel and Pink Marlin Club. There has also been significant interest from other operators, even those that are not located in Onna Village, for Green Fins training and assessment.

Suika Tsumita from Oceana said: “Green Fins serve as an important tool for local diving communities to move towards a more sustainable use of their dive sites; so that they can maintain their scenic beauty and biological richness to provide livelihoods for many generations to come.”

For more information, please visit www.reef-world.org or  www.greenfins.net/countries/japan. Dive and snorkel operators interested in signing up for Green Fins can find the membership application form at: www.greenfins.net/how-to-join.

Dive and snorkel operators in Japan interested in signing up to be Green Fins members can contact the Green Fins Japan team at japan@greenfins.net.

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