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BlueGreen 360 Awards Honours Environmental & Sustainability Change Makers in Marine Tourism Industry

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August 12, 2019, Singapore – Four businesses and one individual championing environmental sustainability and ocean conservation in the marine tourism industry were honoured at BlueGreen 360 Awards Year 3 held on April 12, 2019 at this year’s Asia Dive Expo in Suntec City Singapore.

Now in its third year, BlueGreen 360 Awards celebrates businesses and individuals that are pioneers in implementing sustainable solutions in their day-to-day operations and making a positive impact in the communities where they operate. This year’s awards also highlights businesses that are implementing solutions to tackle ocean plastic pollution.

The winners were judged by sustainable tourism and marine conservation experts such as Luigi Cabrini, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council; Rili Djohani Executive Director of the Coral Triangle Center (CTC); Dianna Cohen CEO and Co-founder of the Plastic Pollution Coalition; Natalie Harms of the UN Environment; and Chloe Harvey of Reef-World Foundation, in collaboration with the organizers of the Asia Dive Expo.

This year’s winners have all exhibited their commitment to environmental programmes to protect marine biodiversity, successfully collaborated with various groups promoting on-the ground marine conservation efforts that benefit the environment and the local community in addition to serving as inspirations for others to do the same.

The winners are:

Dive Operator of the Year:  Lembeh Resort

Lembeh Resort and its dive centre Critters@Lembeh Resort is taking major steps in addressing ocean plastic pollution. It places demands on its suppliers to reduce plastic packaging for all purchases and takes steps not to repackage items in plastic, opting instead for traditional wraps including banana leaves. It’s constructed accommodation uses green technology including solar water heating systems that reduce carbon footprint. It has a set up the Lembeh Foundation in 2018, the core aims of which is to reduce plastic waste, provide education and economic benefits, while improving the health and sustainability of local communities.  It has raised funds to build a trash bank and a green library school building where locals can exchange their plastic waste for cash and learn how to re-purpose plastic waste in to items which can be sold in the resort’s gift shop.  The resort and dive staff are regularly organising underwater and beach clean ups and teaching local children sustainability, wildlife, conservation and plastic pollution. The resort works with community leaders to ensure that the entire community is involved in the sustainability projects in the village. Since the creation of the Lembeh Foundation, the entire village of Pintu Kota Kecil is embracing a more sustainable way of life.

Hotel and Resort of the Year: Ceningan Divers Resort

Ceningan Divers Resort, which was last year’s Dive Operator of the Year winner, wins this year’s hotel and resort category for its continuous drive in promoting sustainability in its operations and working with the local community to address ocean plastic pollution. The resort implements an in-house training programme for all staff to teach them about the impact of single-use plastic and proper waste management. The resort has a recycling programme and has set up the local Trash Hero Ceningan chapter and conducts weekly clean ups with the community; participates in ghost net removals, coral transplantation, and reef health surveys in the Nusa Penida Marine Protected Area. The resort sponsors rubbish bins around the islands and conducts weekly workshops on various topics such as Manta, Sunfish, the impact we have on our reef and the ocean, reduction/elimination of single-use plastic and alternative options while travelling. It will begin teaching free swimming lessons to local school children and supports a scholarship for its local dive masters.

Plastic Pollution Innovator: Six Senses Laamu

Six Senses Laamu wins this year’s Plastic Pollution Innovator Award for its serious commitment to be plastic-free by 2022. This past year, the resort has undertaken an inventory of all plastic items in resort operations, and measures are being taken to eliminate or reduce the number of pieces of plastic used. It has partnered with a sustainable packaging company to use plastic-free food shipment packing made of hemp, jute, and wood fibres. The resort helps in the clean up of ghost nets and conduct weekly reef clean-ups to collect rubbish from nearby reefs. In 2018, the resort collected 2,800 pieces of plastic from its surrounding reefs and submitted the data to the Project AWARE database. Alongside community members and students, it collected 1,400 kg of plastic waste from beaches of inhabited and uninhabited islands and repurposed the materials in the resort’s Earth Lab recycling hub.

Personality of the Year: Helen Pananggung

Helen is a staff at the Lembeh Resort and has been intrinsic in creating and setting up the Lembeh Foundation as a registered Indonesian charity, which is working along side local communities on Lembeh Island to provide environmental and economically sustainable solutions to waste management. Helen is at the forefront of driving change and reducing plastic consumption within Lembeh Resort and local communities. Over the last two years, she has devoted all of her spare time and energy into making Lembeh Resort and neighbouring village Pintu Kota more sustainable. Helen liaises with suppliers of Lembeh Resort to ensure that they meet our demands of reduced packaging and plastic. She has approached village leaders to gain their trust and support as an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable model community. Helen hosts regular workshops within the village, teaching skills to re-purpose plastic as well as twice monthly Green Library classes to educate the next generation about the wildlife and eco-systems of the region, conservation and sustainable options.

“This year we had very inspiring winners for the Blue Green 360 Awards representing role models in the marine tourism industry. Each one of them provides a personal inspiration and commitment to promote responsible tourism and their commitment to empower local communities. Special attention to the plastic pollution issue which they are addressing in their operations and in their outreach and education programmes,” said Rili Djohani, Executive Director, Coral Triangle Center.

Green Fins Award: Tioman Dive Centre

Tioman Dive Centre have been Green Fins members since 2009. The winner of the Green Fins Award is decided by a rigorous assessment of business practices, which determines the company’s environmental impact. All active Green Fins members have all undergone this assessment, as well as Green Fins sustainability training, and Tioman Dive Centre was the business with the lowest environmental impact overall. TDC have implemented several processes to improve their sustainability including changing to environmentally cleaning products, educating their staff about the benefits of protecting the ocean, running Green Fins inductions for all new staff, correcting guests’ bad behaviour on dives and explaining why any corrections were made, and encouraging their staff to pick up their lunches in Tupperware boxes.

Chloe Harvey, Director at The Reef-World Foundation, said: “We’d like to congratulate Tioman Dive Centre on being the most environmentally friendly of all the Green Fins dive operators and thank you for all your hard work to achieve this amazing result. We do our best to support Green Fins members in their efforts to reduce their environmental impact by providing training, posters, information and guides and we’re delighted to see how pro-actively they have taken on board this information.”

The business nominees were reviewed on how they adopt innovative means to minimise negative impact to marine and coastal environments in their operations and widen their impact in actively engaging communities to protect the environment. The individual winner was reviewed based on pioneering efforts and commitment in promoting sustainable marine tourism in the private sector and mobilisation of various stakeholders in promoting sustainable tourism.

By highlighting businesses who value sustainability, the BlueGreen 360 awards will help to promote those people who are going about business in the right way, bringing them more customers and more success.

About the Organizers

Asia Dive Expo (ADEX) is the longest running and the largest dive expo in Asia celebrating its 22nd year in 2017. A must-attend event for anyone interested or involved in the world of diving, the event has seen a continuous increase in visitors over the past few years, with ADEX 2017 attracted a total of 60,296 visitors over three days. Taking place from April 6 – 8, 2018 ADEX 2018 proudly presents world-renowned marine life artists, conservationists and photographers to speak about their passion and work towards marine life. It is organized by Underwater360 (UW360), and is an event being endorsed by major organizations in the industry such as DEMA (USA), the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and the Singapore Underwater Federation (SUF). www.adex.asia

Coral Triangle Center (CTC) is an Indonesian foundation based in Bali with a regional scope and global impact. CTC provides training on sustainable fisheries and ensures that marine protected areas within the Coral Triangle are managed effectively. CTC supports on-the-ground programmes through its learning sites in Nusa Penida and the Banda Islands and Atauro in Timor-Leste. CTC leads regional learning networks of women leaders, local government executives and marine protected area practitioners in the six Coral Triangle countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste. CTC works with communities, businesses, governments, and partners to shape lasting solutions to protect coral reef ecosystems and ensure sustainable livelihoods and food security. It is developing its Center for Marine Conservation in Bali as to serve as a centre of excellence for marine conservation training programmes and outreach activities and a venue for artistic and cultural performances to inspire ocean conservation. Please visit: www.coraltrianglecenter.org

Green Fins is paving the way to unite politics and sustainability for marine conservation at diving popular diving destinations around the world. Established through a partnership between the United Nations Environment Programme and The Reef-World Foundation in 2004, Green Fins uses a unique and proven three-pronged approach; green certifications of dive centres, strengthening regulations and environmental education for dive staff, divers and government. Almost 500 dive and snorkel operators across seven countries have signed up for free membership, and are using Green Fins as a platform to set examples of sustainable business operations. To find them and to find out how you can dive your way to a more sustainable future, visit www.greenfins.net.

ADEX Singapore 2019 Voice Of The Ocean Competition Winners

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The VOO judges, from left: Aaron Wong, Henley Spiers, Christian Vizl, Indra Swari W, Amanda Cotton and Ellen Cuylaerts

Congratulations to the following winners of Asia Dive Expo Voice of the Ocean 2019 Photo + Video + Art Competition:

Compact of the Year – Miguel Ramirez – Reflection – Reunion Island

Compact Camera Photo of the Year (Winner) Miguel Ramirez - Reflection - Reunion Island

Environmental Photo of the Year -Massimo Zannini – Our Future

Environmental Photo of the Year (New Winner!) Massimo Zannini - Our Future

On April 17, we announced “The Noose – Carcharhinus Longimanus” by Nicholas Samaras as the winning entry for the “Environmental Photo of the Year” category in our Voice of the Ocean (VOO) Underwater Photography Competition.

However, upon the announcement of the results, it was brought to our attention that the winning entry had infringed one of the conditions of the competition (Clause No. 6: Images/videos/artworks that have won or placed in photo contests announced before 28 February 2019 may not be submitted) as it had previously been awarded first place in the Beneath the Sea Imaging Competition. After thorough investigation and careful deliberation, we have decided to disqualify the entry and vacate its first place position in favour of the First Runner-up entry, “Our Future”, by Massimo Zannini of the Philippines.

We hereby announce Massimo Zannini as the NEW WINNER of the “Environment Photo of the Year” category for his entry “Our Future”. Congratulations, Massimo, for winning the “Environment Photo of the Year” award!

However, we have been very impressed with the powerful message captured in “The Noose – Carcharhinus Longimanus” and have decided to award it the VOO Honourable Mention award. We would also like to congratulate the photographer for winning first place in the “Beneath the Sea” Imaging Competition, the results of which was announced on February 19, 2019. For more information on the terms & conditions of VOO, please visit https://www.adex.asia/voo-competition-rules/

Winning entry wins:

  • 1 x 6 Day 5 Night Dive Vacation for 1 Pax at Atlantic Puerto Galera or Atlantis Dumaguete worth USD2,000, proudly sponsored by Atlantic Philippines
  • 1 x 8 Day 7 Night Turks & Caicos Explorer II Liveaboard for 1 Pax worth USD 2,600, proudly sponsored by Explorer’s Ventures

*Terms and Conditions are subjected to change without prior notice.

Underwater Fashion Photo of the Year – Meaghan Ogolvie – Canada

On April 17, we announced the “Row” as the winning submission for the “Underwater Fashion Photo of the Year” in our Voice of the Ocean (VOO) Underwater Photography Competition.

As the winning entry has infringed one of the conditions of the competition (ie the use of photoshop to merge two images into one), we have decided to vacate its first place position in favour of the first runner-up entry by Meaghan Ogilvie of Canada.

Congratulations, Meaghan! You are the NEW WINNER of the Underwater Fashion Photo of the Year category!

The winning entry wins:

  • 1 x 2 Day 3 Night Deluxe Executive Stay for 1 PAX worth USD700, proudly sponsored by Summerbay Resort

*Terms and Conditions are subject to change without prior notice.

Photo of the Year – Wayne Jones – Wunderpus On Marbles – Philippines

Photo of the Year (Winner) Wayne Jones - Wunderpus On Marbles - Philippines

Artwork of the Year – Clement Le Saffre -Airabyssal 2 – France

Artwork of the Year (Winner) Clement Le Saffre -Airabyssal 2 - France

Video of the Year (Winner) – Marcelo Ogata – Mangroves: Corals and Critters – Indonesia

Mangroves - Video of the Year (Winner) Marcelo Ogata - Mangroves Corals and Critters - Indonesia

Best of Show (Winner) – Lutfu Tannover- The Mother

Best of Show (Winner) – Lutfu Tannover- The Mother

We do apologise for not being able to upload the winning videos just yet as we are still confirming some details. Watch this space!

ADEX Singapore April 14 Post Show Report

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The final day of ADEX Singapore 2019 brought even more excitement as celebrity speakers such as Patty Lee, freediving world record holder Alexei Muchanov, inspirational heroes and thought provoking talks on plastic pollution and tek diving helped pushed excitement at ADEX to a new level.

Starting out at 10am in the morning at the Tek Dive Conference, cinematographer and technical diver Nathalie Lasselin talked to the audience about her trip to the Arctic. Showing the audience photos of her trip, Nathalie mentioned that climate change has drastically shortened the ice in the arctic.

Nathalie Lasselin talking about her trip to the Arctic

Next up was Michael Menduno who introduced the audience to “technical freediving” where freedivers undergo pre-breathing of nitrox mix before their freedive to load their body with oxygen. This flushes out carbon dioxide in the body, changing blood chemistry to enable freedivers to dive longer. Pre-breathing oxygen doubles your freediving times when holding your breath in freediving as compared to pre-breathing air before your freedive (24 minutes versus 11 minutes)

Michael Menduno explaining about Technical Freediving

At 11.40am ADEX attendees were treated to a talk by famous Taiwanese TV dive show host Patty Lee, whose television dive show, Salty Mask is on its third season already.

Patty’s popular talk at lunch time was followed by an Inspirational Talk by ADEX Heroes. Featuring Her Royal Highness Princess Zatashah Idris, whose sustainability campaign is transforming Malaysia. Famous Indonesian actress, Chelsea Islan, who is also the President and Founder of Youth Of Indonesia and appointed the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Indonesia Sustainable Development Goals Mover and National Ambassador for Goal 14 & 15 (Life on Water & Life on Land as also on hand to share her wisom on , the panel also included Ahmed Gabr, the world record holder for the deepest scuba dive at a depth of 325 metres, Ms Brittany, a mermaid who overcame her personal disabilities to become an internationally renowned mermaid and Mark Rausch, who has dedicated his life to helping the disabled and is course director and Handicap Scuba Association.

VR movies for diving were available for a test drive at ADEX 2019

The ADEX Inspiration Talk was swiftly followed by the Future Forward panel discussion on single use plastics in Asia. Moderated by Dr. Toh Tai Chong from the National University of Singapore, the panel featured scientists like Dr Andrew Chin from James Cook University, Dr. Merrin Pearse, Sustainability consultant and ecopreneur, Dr Suchana Apple Chavanch, Dr Voranop Viyakarn and Thirach RungruangKnokkul Executive Director at Agriculture and Food Marketing Association for Asia and Pacific.

Alexey Molchanov giving tips about traiining for freediving

Freediving fans also got to see their hero up close and personal at the Freediving conference at ADEX Singapore as Alexey Molchanov, ADEX Ambassador for Freediving, gave a talk on training for freediving through yoga, flexibility exercises and explained how the development of your breathing muscles can help you to breathe better and thus relief tension and stress from daily life.

The VOO judges, from left: Aaron Wong, Henley Spiers, Christian Vizl, Indra Swari W, Amanda Cotton and Ellen Cuylaerts

Of course, no ADEX Singapore would be complete without the Voice of the Ocean Competition. With an esteemed panel of judges that included Christian Vizl, Amanda Cotton, Ellen Cuylaerts, Indra Swari W, Henley Spiers and Aaron Wong, audiences were treated to expert analyses of beautiful underwater photographs as the winners walked away with holiday stays at Raja Ampat, Komodo National Park , Atlantis Puerta Galera, Atlantic Dumaguete, Summerbay Resort, Ceningan Divers, Fiji, Aggressor Indo & Ombak Rindu.

See you at ADEX China in July!

ADEX 2019 April 13 Post Show Report

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The Sustainable Diving Dialogue at ADEX Singapore 2019 provided audiences with a wide-ranging look at sustainability all across Asia

After a blistering April 12 that saw plenty of diving heavyweights grace the main stage of ADEX Singapore, April 13 of ADEX Singapore 2019 offered no let up as Ms Natalie Harms from UN Environment graced the ADEX Singapore 2019 main stage to moderate a Sustainable Diving Dialogue and panel discussion at 10am in the morning. Co- moderated by Ms Chloe Harvey from the Reef World Foundation (Green Fins), the panel consisted of Ms Rosie Cotton (Owner and General Manager of Tioman Dive Centre), Mik Jennings (Commercial Manager of Blue O Two / Worldwide Dive and Sail), Cassian Bellino, (Sustainability Management Trainee from Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas), Adam Broadbent (CEO of Zublu), John Standing (Director of Fourth Element), Paul Tanner (Territory Director, PADI Asia Pacific) and John Thet (Publisher of Asian Geographic Magazines).

The Sustainable Diving Dialogue at ADEX Singapore 2019 provided audiences with a wide-ranging look at sustainability all across Asia

Natalie started the panel by talking about how the UN was working with governments to improve ocean governance by starting regional marine programmes to reduce plastic pollution. With Tioman Dive Centre receiving the Green Fins awards, Rosie Cotton was congratulated by Chloe as Rosie told the audience how Greenfins had helped Tioman Dive Centre with a series of small changes that put them on their way towards sustainability. She was also grateful for the considered actions recommended by GreenFins which promoted change without disrupting businesses. She added that by transmitting the correct sustainability mindsets and behaviour to her staff, the staff were in turn able to pass on this wisdom to customers. Rosie also added that being consistent was key to effective change.

With a footprint of 15 resorts all over the world, Mik Jennings shared his experience of obtaining sustainable products for all of Blue O Two’s resorts, which proved to be a headache as distributing products from a central source could often lead to a bigger carbon footprint as opposed to sourcing items were locally.

With audiences encouraged to join in the dialogue, Bruce Dudley, Senior Vice President of Globe Series, ADEX Singapore’s partner in the Ocean Partnership Summit in Singapore next year, posed a question to the panelists about whether any of the panelists had seen tangible rewards from being sustainable. Adam Broadbent from ZuBlue acknowledged that while their efforts might initially only be just a marketing benefit, Mik felt that while some were choosing their vacation according  to the green credentials of the resort, many others continue to use price as a major yardstick for their vacation choice.

Asian Geographic Magazines Publisher, John Thet explaining the need for balanced reporting and green companies

One of the most valuable insights proffered by the panelists was provided by John Standing, who stated that Fourth Element’s willingness to sell gear made from sustainable products was something that everyone should pursue as customers would eventually be forced to buy only sustainable products once most manufacturers moved in concert to produce them. He then offered to reveal his sustainable product sources to help other manufacturers with production of their green products.

Women Diving Future Forward

Adjourning for lunch, dive fans were treated to yet another compelling Fast Forward Panel discussion at 1pm at the main stage as a who’s who of women divers assembled onstage for the Women Diving Future Forward Panel discussion. Moderated by Jamie Piyada from Manta Trust, the panelists included Ms Hidy Yu, ADEX Marine Conservation Ambassador, Ms Beatrice Rivoira, Marine Biologist and technical diver, Ms Ellen Cuylaerts, ADEX Ambassador for Photography, Ms Jill Heinerth, Member of the Woman Diver Hall of Fame, Patty Lee, host of popular Taiwan dive travel show, Salty Mask, Ms Jade Hoksbergenn, Professional Underwater Photographer, Ms Nathalie Lasselin, Film Director and Professional Technical Diver and Ms Amanda Cotton, ADEX Singapore 2019 VOO Judge completed the list off women luminaries in the discussion.

Amanda Cotton addressing the audience

As strong women in diving, it was uplifting to see that they had all challenged the status quo and emerged as leaders in their field despite their common experience of encountering sexism in their early years. A common refrain from the panelist was how they noticed that sexism was not overt today as compared to the past when DEMA shows would feature bikini women hired to appear in the show even though they were not divers. Most of them acknowledged that unintentional sexism due to old mental habits might still be a common occurrence but as leaders in diving, they were seeking to not be defined by their gender anymore but to be recognised as just great divers, biologists, artists and photographers.

Photo-Video Zone: What’s it Like to be An Underwater Photographer

One of the most beautiful and dangerous activities in diving is ice diving. Underwater photography fans were given a rare treat at 2pm at the Photo-Video Zone in ADEX Singapore as Gerald Nowak shared with audiences his incredible photographs taken during his ice diving trip to Antartica in 2008. A long-held cherished dream, Gerald managed to capture never before seen photographs of a sea leopard underwater underneath the ice. A whopping four metres long, Gerald described the playfulness of the sea leopard and only realised the enormous size of his subject when he surfaced after hearing shouts from his friends to come out of the ice.

Gerald Nowak showing audiences his beautiful photos of marine creatures underneath the ice.

But the eye-opening talk has to be Tobias Friedrich’s “Dream Job Underwater Photographer” talk. Peeling away the veil behind the perceived glamour of the underwater photographer’s life, Tobias revealed the average fee you can expect to get from magazines for an article (700 – 800 Euros), and how the bulk of his time is spent, touching up pictures, writing stories, setting up shoots, planning trips and suffering through frozen arms when your wetsuit inadvertently gets torn

Tobias Friedrich telling audiences about the real side of underwater photography

Fireside Chat: The Tham Luang Cave Rescue and Beyond

The highlight of the day was undoubtedly the Tham Luang Cave Rescue Panel discussion headed by Asian Geographic CEO, John Thet and DAN (Divers Alert Network) President and CEO, William Ziefle. The discussion saw a reassembly of some of the heroes of the Tham Luang Cave Rescue team such as Ben Reymenants from Blue Label Diving, Mikko Paarsi of Koh Tao Tec Divers, Claus Ramsmussen of Blue Label Diving, Douglas Yeo of Sunfish Dive, Professional Tech Diver, Tan Xiaolong,  famous Thai singer and actor Ms Narinthorn Na Bangchang of Eightyy Eight Eight and her assistant, TV Producer, Ms Chang Pichamon Changkwangyuen of Eighty Eight Eight.

The Thai Cave Rescue talk captured the imagination of everyone at ADEX Singapore 2019

Ben, Claus, Mikko, Xiaolong all shared their experiences and feelings about the rescue and it was evident that all of them now enjoyed a shared bond from experiencing such a harrowing but life affirming experience. Their bravery and selflessness was evident from their demeanour onstage as it was with Ms Narinthorn and Ms Chang Pichamon, both of whom provided invaluable help to the trapped school boys as well.

ADEX 2019 April 12 Post Show Report

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Deva Harris and Orange Production performing their famous water drums at the opening ceremony of ADEX 2019

ADEX Singapore 2019 at Suntec City Convention and Exhibition Hall kicked off with a bang to mainstream visitors on 12 April 2019 morning as some of the biggest names in technical diving such as former AquaCorps founder and editor, Michael Menduno, David Strike, the recipient of the ADEX “Lifetime Achievement Award” for his contributions to technical diving, and Ritchie Kohler, technical wreck diver, shipwreck historian and host of the documentary television series Deep Sea Detectives, took to the stage at the ADEX Tek Dive Conference to share their knowledge with ADEX attendees.

Michael Menduno and David Strike opened the Tek Dive Conference witth a short history of technical diving

TEK Conference Kicks Off ADEX 2019

With a background in military, commercial, recreational and technical diving, David Strike served in the United Kingdom Royal Navy, during which he participated in a ground-breaking oceanographic research project. Joined onstage by Michael Menduno, who founded AquaCorps magazine and was the first person to coin the term “technical diving”, Meduno and Strike proceeded to talk about the humble beginnings of technical diving and how it has evolved from a little known fringe sport to being the vanguard of diving exploration.

Next up was Beatrice Rivoira from Italy. An active technical instructor on both open circuit and close circuit rebreather, Beatrice has a Master’s Degree in Marine Biology and Oceanography and does biological studies on deep wrecks. In her talk, Beatrice shared with the audience how the public’s perception of what is a deep shipwreck has changed over the years along with the improvement in tech diving technology from 30 metres to 40, 70 and more than a 100 metres, even though technical diving is dangerous at all depths. She shared that for marine biologists, going into a deeper environment , biological coverage at different depths is different.

Marine Biologist and Tek Diver Beatrice Rivoira shared her experience tech diving in Italy

An experienced tech wreck diver and a shipwreck historian, Ritchie Kohler stepped up to the stage next to introduce himself to the audience but was beaten to the punch by Michael Menduno’s teasing introduction of him as an “old shipwreck diver”. Laughing at his buddy’s good-natured ribbing, Ritchie continued with his introduction, revealing that he had been sharing stories on ship wrecks for the last 20 years on television, adding that “it’s the ability to share that passion for diving” that drives him. As one of the co-hosts of History Channell’s Deep Sea Detectives, Kohler regaled the crowd with insider stories of his shipwreck dive exploits, including his exploration of the sunken Britannic, the sister ship to the Titanic.

Ritchie Kohler showing the audience the interior photos of the diving bell he was in during the trip down to the Britannic

First featured in The Jacques Costeau Odyssey: Calypso’s Search for Britannic, Kohler showed the conference interior underwater pics of the Triton submersible he rode to explore the Britannic before introducing Dimitri, the pilot of the Triton as well as pics of the Diving Bell that was also used for shooting the Britannic.

Kohler ended the talk by showing the audience a sneak preview of his new documentary series, Dark Waters, which has already been sold in the United States and will be coming to Asia soon.

The concept of bringing a hundred years of maritime history to life by recreating the past with character actors and sets is an exciting concept that brought thunderous cheers from the audience. By bringing heroes, villains and victims off maritime history to life, audiences get to live in the exciting moment of history.

Ritchie Kohler showed audiences snippets of his new television documentary series, "Dark Waters".

BllueGreen360 Zone: Sustainable Think Tank

Chaired by Chloe Harvey of Reef-World Foundation (Green Fins international coordinators), co-organised by UW360 and supported by Blue Ocean Network, this Sustainable Think Tank conference featured a gathering of pro-active dive industry leaders to share intel on how to pursue a sustainable business model. Chloe elicited knowledge sharing from the industry leaders in attendance as they shared their experiences and lessons in how they improved access to environmentally friendly products like reef safe sunscreen, and environmentally friendly cleaning products and shampoos.

Lembeh Resort, a luxury dive resort in the Lembeh Straits in Indonesia shared with conference participants about their alliance with mainland partners in pooling their resources to lower prices for green products through bulk purchases. SuSan Stephanie, from the Diver Operator Community Komodo (DOCK) also shared with the think tank their eco travel kit for tourists. Sold to tourists in reusable bags, these eco travel kits help fund the waste management and environmental awareness programmes run by DOCK.

Beside this knowledge sharing, the think tank also broke into small groups to discuss examples of sustainability projects launched by group member companies, the challenges encountered and the support given or needed.

Books Galore and Talks Aplenty at Main Stage

The Book festival at ADEX also saw plenty of renowned underwater photographers talking about their latest exciting work, such as the Legend Beneath the Waves Philippines by Andrew Marriott, Silent Kiingdom by Christian Vizl, Face to Face: Up Close with Mother Nature by Al Hornsby , Elysium: Heart of the Coral Triangle by Michael Aw, Dinner with Divers by David Strike and Simon Pridmore and Black is the New Blue (Second Edition) by Scott Tuason, Ace Wu, Jade Hoksbergen, Henley Spiers and Ram Yoro.

Robert Scales from Ceningan Divers poviding tips on how to make yourself a conservation kid for travel

There was also the inaugural Future Forward Panel on Innovation moderated by Diving Industry Pro Consulting CEO, Ronny Roskoosch with a panel consisting of product inventors/company founders and diving agencies including: Jean-Cluade Monachon (SSI), John Seddon (Scubapro), Sandro Lonardi (PADI Travel), Harold Hordosch (Seacam), Pete Ceglinski (Seabin), Louise Hardman (Plastic Collective), Brad Chen (Crest Diving), Cyril Castello (Jellyfishbot). The panel raised many salient points on how innovation and training advancement can work hand-in-hand in advancing the advancement of the industry and the increased protection of the ocean and its inhabitants.

The Future Forward Panel on Innovation moderated by Ronny Roskosch

Pete Ceglinski, the founder and creator of Seabin was also on hand to give a talk on how Seabin is revolutionalising the cleaning up of the oceans by sucking up rubbish in the ocean.

ADEX Opening Ceremony: A Look Back

After lunch, the exciting festivities at the main stage of ADEX reached its climax as the water drums trio of Orange Productions led by mermaid Deva Harris hyped out the crowd in a cacophony of latin rhythms outdone only by the coloured splashes of water spritzing into the air with every beat of their drum sticks.

After the performance, the crowd was treated to a touching look back at the early beginnings of ADEX as the founders of ADEX, Rainer Sigel and Chris Sweeting spoke about the early days of ADEX while David Strike and Mike Menduno also touched on ADEX being the first in Asia to promote widely the advent of tech diving 25 years ago. The other essential men responsible for the past success of ADEX such as former ADEX CEO, Herman Ho and Clement Lee, formerly from the Sabah Tourism Board both gave touching testimonies to the progress of ADEX over the years.

Deva Harris and Orange Production performing their famous water drums at the opening ceremony of ADEX 2019

Asian Geographic Magazines Pte Ltd and ADEX Singapore CEO John Thet also gave a speech thanking his predecessors, his team and the commitment of ADEX towards the ocean with the setting up of Ocean Citizen to unite all comers towards the protection of our oceans.

His speech was followed by an address by the High Commissioner of Canada, Her Excellency Lady McDonald, who spoke on the three issues Canada has recently committed to. The first is the oceans plastic charter against single-use plastics at the G7 meeting lasty ear. The second was the contribution of an art piece by Canadian artists to Singapore’s year of zero waste at the Sustainable Singapore Gallery. The third was the introduction of Canadian technology companies who have taken up the fight against plastic pollution through innovation.

Ocean Partnership Summit

Bruce Dudley, Senior Vice President of Globe Series, then took to the stage to announce the Ocean Partnership Summit, which will be co-organised by ADEX next year in conjunction with ADEX 2020. A government-to-government summit dedicated to combating plastic pollution in the ocean, the Ocean Partnership Summit marks a new chapter in the development of ADEX to a dive show that now engages on a policy level with governments worldwide.

With more than 17,000 islands, Indonesia is the Official Country Partner of ADEX 2019. To commemorate the official opening of ADEX, ADEX is proud to have ADEX Singapore 2019 Guest-of-Honour Ms Rizki Handayani, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Indonesia, speak at the official opening of ADEX 2019 as all attendees listened intently to Indonesia’s commitment to a plastic-free ocean.

ADEX Youth Ambassador, Ms Chelsea Islan, then took to the stage to talk about her initiative against waste and plastic pollution in Indonesia. Ms Islan highlighted the fact that two thirds of Indonesia is the ocean and encouraged everyone to “be the change you want to see in this world.”

Thirach Rungruangkanokkul, Executive Director of AFMA (Agricultural and Food Marketing Association for Asia and the Pacific) – the inter-government non-profit organization in association with Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, also specially flew in to appoint ADEX as the Sustainable Ocean Ambassador.

An environmentalist in Malaysia, HRH Princess Zatashah Idris W also took to the stage at ADEX to speak about combating plastic pollution in Malaysia.

Lastly, the first day of ADEX was capped off by a luminous eco-fashion show by mermaid and fashion maven Anne K Adijuwono from Indonesia, who created 25 handpainted dresses depicting the 25 threatened marine animals featured in Asian Geographic’s January 2019 issue of Scuba Diver OCEAN PLANET magazine

Club 25 Profile – Keldan Advanced Lighting Technology

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Photo courtesy of Keldan Advanced Lighting Technology

Founded in 1994, Keldan Advanced Lighting Technology came about when Daniel Keller, a prolific diver and an electrical engineer with a MSc in electrical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ), made a dive light for his wife as a birthday present in the early 90’s. When his friends at his local dive club saw the incredible performance and quality of the dive light, Keller was inundated with requests to manufacture more and KELDAN was born. Since then, KELDAN has grown to become a globally respected manufacturer of the highest performing underwater video lighting equipment.

Continuous Research and Development

KELDAN has built its reputation on the continuous improvement of its product through continuous research and development. All its optical, mechanical and electronic components are carefully designed in-house to ensure that even professionals will be impressed by the quality of its products.

Keldan Products

Known for their video lights and handheld lights, KELDAN video lights are known to be compact, light in weight with excellent photometric specifications. Its modular design allows KELDAN lights to be easily configured for all types of professional video needs underwater.

KELDAN handheld lights are dive lights with full features which are small in size, user friendly and are optimized for maximum brightness. They are often used by divers who need a light in lakes, night dives, ice-, wreck- and technical diving as well as rescue and outdoor operations and law enforcement.

Club 25 Profile – TUSA (Tabata USA)

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An international sporting goods manufacturer heaquartered in Japan, TUSA is one of the world’s first scuba equipment makers. Founded by Kazuo Tabata in Japan in 1952, Tabata made his first mask and goggles by hand in his garage. Today, Tabata’s global network includes facilities in Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Netherlands and the United States.

Renowned for using the finest materials with an unparalled commitment to quality and innovation, TUSA was the premier manufacturer to introduce crystal (premium) silicone mask skirts with their original Liberator model. It was also the first to introduce vibrant colours to their diving equipment.

With 67 years of history, TUSA’s commitment to continued innovation is evident throughout Tabata’s product line, including the VIEW Swimming Gear, TUSA Sport Snorkelling Equipment Vitalshot Golf Equipment and other recreational sporting goods.

Designed and manufactured to ISP 9001 standards, TUSA dive equipment is made to the highest innovation standards and quality. The ISO certification provides independent assurance of TUSA’s commitment to developing and manufacturing innovative equipment to the highest international quality standards.

Club 25 Profile – Suunto

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Founded in 1936, Suunto is a Finnish company that has been pioneering exploration since its founder Tuomas Vohlonen found a way to produce more accurate compasses for his orienteering adventures. Derived from the Finnish word “suunta”, which means “direction”, “path”, “bearing “ or “heading”, Suunto is a manufacturer of sports watches, dive computers, compasses and precise instruments. Currently headquartered in Vantaa, Finland, Suunto’s founding was a result of Vohlonen’s idea of filling and sealing a lightweight compass with liquid to dampen the needle in order to protect it from shock and wear due to excessive motion. Vohlonen, who was a surveyor, built the compass housing out of celluloid and applied for a patent on his design in 1932.

After being granted the patent in 1935, Vohlonen put his wrist-mounted M-311 compass into mass production. Although it wasn’t the first liquid-filled compass, the design of the M-311 was lightweight and small, which enabled it to be easily worn on your wrist. After a few minor changes, the M-311 was adopted by the Finnish Army as the M-34. Suunto was registered on February 1936.

After his death in 1939, his widow Elli Vohlonen took over Suunto until 1952 when she sold the company to Paavo Kajanne, Aarne Mahnala and Veli-Jussi Hölsö, who also ownd Redox Oy. The company was sold to the Niemistö family at the end of the 1970s and was purchased by Sponsor Oy in the early 1990s. Then known as Suunto Oy, the company took over Recta SA, a Swiss compass manufacturer in 1996 but Suunto Oy was purchased by Amer Sports in 1999.

Besides its wide variety of magnetic compasses, Suunto also makes multi-functional electronic wristwatches which include compass bearings, altitude, barometer, sports training and GPS.

Suunto dive computers are trusted, functional and durable tools for all kinds of underwater adventures from the beginner to the advanced. Extensively tested and manufactured in Finland, Suunto’s venture into the underwater products began in 1965 when a British sport diver realised that Suunto’s liquid filled compass also worked underwater. Suunto’s first dive compass the SK-4 was soon launched. Renowned for being reliable and durable, it was used by famous underwater explorers like Jacques Costeau.

Suunto went on to become a leader in the field of dive instruments during the 1980s. In 1987, Suunto went digital by producing the SME-ML, Sunnto’s first electronic diving computer. The SME was Suunto’s most impactful creation during the 1980s and was hugely influential in the popularisation of underwater diving. The SME eliminated the need of divers to calculate dive times using diving tables. In 1989, Suunto marine compasses became the standard in Swan and Baltic boats and almost all the yachts in the Whitbread Round the World race are equipped with Suunto compasses. In 1997, a decade after the launch of the SME, the Suunto Spyder, the world’s first watch-sized dive computer is launched – combining a top-of-the-line diving computer with a high quality dive watch.

Today, Suunto is still based in Finland where most of Suunto’s products are designed and handcrafted in Suunto’s flagship factory outside Helsinki. Suunto’s aim is to provide adventurers and sports enthusiasts with the best tools to explore and conquer new territory form the highest mountains to the deepest oceans – and anywhere in between.

Club 25 Profile – Mares

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One of the world’s leading manufacturers of scuba equipment, MARES was founded by Ludovico Mares in Rapallo, Italy in 1949. The son of an Austrian naval officer, Ludovico Mares was born in Pola, Italy on January 10, 1898 and was an avid sportsman who excelled in many sports. Ludovico was a national champion in hockey and held regional records in diving while also excelling in figure skating regionally.

It was during World War I that Ludovico found his calling. A diver with the Austrian Royal Navy, Ludovico continued to dive after the war as he focused on submarine recoveries. At the end of World War II, however, like a lot of Istrian (present day Croatia and Slovenia) exiles, Ludovico was forced to emigrate. He moved to Rapallo, Italy where his passion for the ocean and his ambition drove him to begin producing dive equipment.

Starting out with spearguns, Ludovico started making masks and fins. After a few years, his continued drive for innovation and his enterprising spirit helped spread the word about the quality of MARES products around the world.

In 1971, Ludovico Mares retired and sold his company to AMF, a large multinational company whose portfolio of companies included Harley Davidson and leading sports equipment brands like HEAD (tennis and skiing), Tyrolla (ski bindings) and Munari/Sanmarco (ski boots). MARES is still a member of this group of sports brands, now known as Head NV.

The innovation spirit of Mares continued as MARES became the first to introduce fins made in two materials in 1973 – with the blade made out of technopolymer and the overmolded foot pocket made out of thermoplastic rubber.

In the next five years MARES perfected the bi-material technology and brought the famous Plana fins to market. Lighter and better performing, the Plana fins married its unique good looks with indisputably superior consistency in quality that quickly made rubber fins obsolete. Today almost every fin produced is made using this technology.

MARES launched the new “optical system” for dive masks in 1979 with customers now able to get a customized optical mask from their local dealer in a few minutes.

In 1981, the MR12 III regulator, designed and manufactured entirely in Italy, was launched. A fine-tuned version of the MR 12 II, the world’s first regulator with the VAD (Vortex Assisted Design) system, the system was further perfected and improved, thereby making breathing more natural while delivering exceptional results under any conditions.

The next year, MARES became the first company to use brand new silicone technology by introducing a series of new masks with it.

With Scuba Schools International (SSI) joining the MARES family in 2014, new product lines were developed by MARES to serve the needs of the sectors in which SSI offers training. A new Freediving line was developed from research done by MARES with special suits, monofins and specially designed accessories developed specifically with the passionate freediver in mind. The XR- Extended Range line was introduced for divers who like to try new dive systems and who want to extend their range of experience such as using gas blends or making cave dives. The Scuba Ranger line was also introduced for kids learning how to dive.

In 2016, MARES further extended their range by acquiring rEVO, a company specialising in rebreathers. With the company going from strength to strength through its relentless dedication to innovation, the innovative excellence of Ludovico Mares will go on for generations to come.

Club 25 Profile – Bauer Compressors

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BAUER COMPRESSORS INC is recognized around the world as one of the most innovative designers and manufacturers of high-pressure systems. Founded in 1976, BAUER COMPRESSORS is headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia and specialises in high pressure breathing air products, GSA/military breathing air products, industrial air and gas products, natural gas and inert gas compression.

BAUER’s Breathing Air Compressor Systems are the gold standard for firefighting, diving, military, offshore, industrial and medical applications where reliable ultra-pure breathing air is required to maintain life safety. Ranging from small mobile systems to very large stationary systems operating in fire stations, mobile vehicles, dive operations, shipboard, offshore platforms, industrial plants, etc, BAUERS air compressor systems fit any need from 2.9 scfm charge rate up to 145 scfm charge rate (per compressor system) with fill pressures up to 6000 psig. BAUER COMPRESSORS Containment SCBA/SCUBA fill stations are built to exceed the current NFPA standards and including independent certification by a third party laboratory.