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Aquanauts Grenada & attacking Damselfish January 28, 2006

Posted by Stephan Becker in Dive & Snorkel Reports.
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Today we finished the certification process of Beautiful Oceans Science Instructors: Aquanauts Grenada is now officially a Beautiful Oceans Science Dive & Snorkel Center, allowing all those nature lovers among you enjoying diving and snorkelling pristine coral reefs to have even more fun: Mark, our videographer brought some great behaviour footage back. We were observing territorial Damselfish chasing Surgeonfish five times their size away from their algae patch. This is great fun when you dive at the same speed as a school of doctorfish, while Damselfish are frantically trying to ‘bite their tails’ to protect their little territory.

Aquanauts Grenada_Beautiful Oceans Science Dive Center_Grenada
http://www.beautifuloceans.com – Help us spread the word, please CLICK HERE.
Anyway – tomorrow, we will be moving to Barbados – another four weeks of certifying Dive Centers to become Beautiful Oceans Science Dive Centers and having some more fun to tell from our experiences underwater. By the way, have I been writing about Canada’s renowned McGill University having officially selected our course ‘Coral Reef Architecture & Organisms’ as mandatory reading for the field course ‘Applied Tropical Ecology’ taking place in Barbados? So here you have it! Now, what are you waiting for to take one of our online courses? (nasty little advertiser that I am…:-)

Cheers, Stephan

Diving AND Snorkeling in Grenada is fun! January 18, 2006

Posted by Stephan Becker in Dive & Snorkel Reports.
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Now who said snorkeling is no fun for scuba divers? Yesterday, I rediscovered the freedom of swimming, skin diving and roaming around the reef without a tank on my back and weighs around my waist. Not that it replaces scuba diving, but for exporing the shallower portions of a typical Caribbean fringing reef, the shore zone, back reef zone and flat reefs, it seems an ideal way of observing marine life up close.

We visited ‘Flamingo bay’, a wave protected little spot situated righ in the Grenadian marine park. A short 10 minutes boat ride away form our dive base at Aquanauts Grenada, here is what we have come to see: some very nice stands of Acropora palmata (Elkhorn coral), Ophioblennius atlanticus (Redlip blenny), Porites porites (Finger coral), Myripristis jacobus (Blackbar soldierfish) Stegastes planifrons (Threespot damselfish), Turf alage and much more… everything is there allowing our snorkeling students to apply the course ‘Coral Reef Architecture & Organisms’ in the warm waters of this beautiful spot… Tomorrow : night dive! Stay tuned…

Cheers, Stephan

http://www.beautifuloceans.com – Help us spread the word, please CLICK HERE.

What a great day! January 15, 2006

Posted by Stephan Becker in Coral Reef Organism Behaviour, Dive & Snorkel Reports.
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Didn’t I tell that we have arrived in Grenada 7 days ago? Oups… how could I have missed that. Nice Caribbean breeze, beautiful bays, great diving! We are here to promote Beautiful Oceans to the local dive centers – and to do loads of diving of course…

Nice reefs, teamin with life: Nurse sharks, eagle rays, French Angel, Grey Angel are the ones that pop immediately into my mind… Not to forget the smaller, but nonetheless very interesting reef inhabitants that deserve close observation because of behaviours that will always blow my mind: Threespot damsels (Stegastes planifrons) defending their little algae patch against any intruder in the back reef zone, Boulder star coral (Monastrea annularis) adopting a flattened growth form to catch more light for photosynthesis in the drop-off zone… it is actually quite fun to apply our course ‘Coral Reef Artchitecture & Organisms’ – even if I have contributet to the writing of that very same course…

But today, we spent most of the time out of the water: at Saint George’s University, Grenada. Loads of student freshmen of this local University take the opportunity to meet local businesses and organizations at a campus fair… shopping around and getting informationabout what to do in their leisure time (if there is any left…). Quite some students were interested in our course, and a few students have even taken a free online preview of the course while we were still on campus showing our course books around… quite quick on the mouse I’d say…:-)

Anyway – more tomorrow from beautiful Spice Island… (By the way, did you know that Grenada provides one third of the world nutmeg production? – certainly deserves its name for that one alone…)

Cheers, Stephan

http://www.beautifuloceans.com – Help us spread the word, please CLICK HERE.

Why businesses need to take responsibility January 14, 2006

Posted by Stephan Becker in CSR, Uncategorized.
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Environmental degradation often results when competition forces businesses to cut corners. Inevitably this means the environment that ends up paying the price. A car manufacturer, for example, does not consider what happens to the car at the end of the car’s life cycle. Once it reaches the end of the road, brakes down and becomes unusable, it is not the car makers’ responsibility to take back the product and ensure it does not represent a burden for the environment.

What would happen if car manufacturers were held responsible for the proper removal of their products at the end of their life? Initial sales prices would rise because manufacturers would have to include costs related to recycling. This would also, most likely, force companies to search for more environmentally friendly products for use in manufacturing, rather that than simply opt for the cheapest. So what is my point here, in terms of coral reef preservation, you may ask? Well, this example is valid, not just for cars, but for all products we consume.

In my opinion, everything in life is interconnected, making it vital that we take responsibility for our actions. If all businesses took responsibility, by integrating environmental costs into their products, the cost of these products would certainly rise, but we would also reduce (over) consumption – one of the major contributors to environmental degradation. The price we pay for goods today are not the true prices we would have to pay if we took environmental cost into account; we basically pay subsidized market prices, and expect the environment to take up the slack.

So what can we do as consumers if we want to take responsibility? Well, one option would be to look for products that respect the environment in their production, are recyclable and are manufactured by companies that give back to the environment.

This is why I wanted Beautiful Oceans to adopt a policy of charitable donation. Beautiful Oceans takes responsibility by giving back 1% of its annual sales or 10% of its pre-tax profits to not-for profit organizations working in the field of coral reef preservation.

Have a beautiful day, Stephan

http://www.beautifuloceans.com – Help us spread the word, please CLICK HERE.