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Curaçao Women of Ocean Conservation

“Making Women’s Dive Day 2019 and Every Day Count for Ocean Protection”

This Women’s Dive Day, July 20th, the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao is celebrating women who are leading community actions, fins on and fins off, for a clean and healthy ocean. The ladies from The Dive Bus Curacao, Ocean Encounters Diving and Atlantis Diving to share with us what they are doing and why they do it. 

Suzy Pinnell, Co-Owner of The Dive Bus

“Keeping Curacao’s reefs trash free and healthy has been a priority since the start of The Dive Bus,” says Suzy Pinnell, one of the founders of Curacao’s first dive center to adopt the Project AWARE 100%AWARE and Adopt a Dive Site initiatives, and become a PADI Green Star dive center.

“Ocean protection and conservation is something that Mark and I both care about. As divers, we have a responsibility to take care of our reefs and oceans. And as dive shop owners, we’re in the privileged position of being able to influence divers to do the same and make a difference.”

“Over time, we’ve integrated simple conservation-related actions and habits into daily dive shop life, with minimal effort and maximum fun!”

“It’s really important to us that our Crew believe in and support what we’re doing too, so they’re genuinely motivated to influence our divers to do the same. They come up with plenty of their own ideas of their own, and are the reason why the Project AWARE Dive Against Debris Specialty is consistently our top-selling Specialty. They do a great job, we’re super-proud of them!”

KarenMaike Van Asperen Vervenne, Manager at Ocean Encounters Diving

At Ocean Encounters Diving, they not only endorse safe diving practices but have an expectation of environmental conservation during all dives. This is underlined by the companies pledge to sustainability

KarenMaike says, “I love explaining to our guests the importance of coral conservation here on Curaçao and teaching the Coral Restoration Diver specialty every chance I get. I consider myself a passionate caretaker of our underwater environment.  I have come to realize that this is our responsibility to educate and continually increase awareness so future generations can appreciate the incredible world we have, just below the waterline.”

KarenMaike went on to say, “Some of my favorite dive memories are the ones I made with my fellow women divers, both in and out of the water” and that she appreciates PADI’s commitment to highlight the amazing women that are a part of the global Dive Industry.   

Nanda de Loos, Manager at Atlantis Diving

At Atlantis Diving, conservation is a cornerstone for everything they do.  They believe in being “Eco-Active” to instill a sense of pride for our environment through initiatives such as their monthly Reef Dive Day, regular Lionfish educational awareness activities, upcycling old wetsuits and being a proud partner of the Coral Restoration Foundation Curaçao.  

Nanda says, “Due to our overall environmental commitment and our need to have top quality scuba and snorkeling equipment, this is the reason why we have chosen only to use Scubapro as our preferred supplier.  Scubapro CARESunderlines this commitment to our industry and to the protection of the world’s oceans that provide us all with so much of our enjoyment, exploration and adventure.”  

Nanda went on to say, “It’s important to highlight the role that women play in the diving world, because without us, it’s just not as much fun! Besides that, I think women have a strong voice in conservation and I truly believe that it is absolutely important to enable more women to be involved in sustainable tourism and ocean conservation because the future depends on the choices we make today.” 

According to Jack Fishman from Project AWARE, “Scuba divers have a deep connection to the ocean and a desire to want to protect it.  We love to mix the passion for ocean adventure with conservation and the community of Curaçao are true leaders in the fight to protect what we love.  Together dive centres on the island have united to protect their local dive sites because they realise that conservation cannot be done in isolation – it takes the collaborative efforts of all to really make change.”

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