The SEASFiRE MX2 program exposes you to scuba diving, environmental activism and conservation science. It’s an amazing, rewarding and fun experience that will develop your skills and open your eyes about how you can help preserve the beauty of the underwater world. Please email us at [email protected] to register your interest or to ask any questions you have about the program.
The program includes a number of SEASFiRE modules which cover conservation, marine science, and media production. By participating in the program you will become published marine conservationists by the end of the week!
What’s the Problem?
An introductory module that sets out the environmental challenges facing the underwater world, from global warming to marine debris. As we explore the issues, we talk about the actions you take during the program and beyond will impact upon the environment.
Introduction to Blogging
All SEASFiRE participants blog about their experience. You will write expedition diaries, report on the modules you complete, and publish media on the SEASFiRE website. In this module, we introduce the concepts and good practices of blogging, and help you to post your first blog and images on the website.
As well as being essential to the documentation of marine life, underwater photography is also one of the most exciting skills you can learn underwater. As most beginners soon realise, it’s also a difficult one to master! This is a bespoke SEASFiRE module that is more rigorous than any other underwater photography training we have seen.
Interactions on Coral Reefs
Understanding the relationships between organisms on coral reefs is vital to knowing how delicately balanced the reef ecosystem is. This module will enable you to identify organisms on the reef, and to identify the role they play in the ecosystem, and their resulting interactions with other marine organisms. You will be able to apply the learnings in this module across a number of dives during the programme, and afterwards, will find you have become a keen enthusiast for spotting new and interesting critters underwater.
6 million tons of trash finds its way into the ocean each year. Plastics make up at least half of the debris found in our seas. We will explore the causes of this pollution, its impacts on the underwater world, potential solutions, and the implications for humans if this continues.
If you are not already a certified diver, you will be enrolled in the PADI Open Water course. Certified divers will engage in the AWARE Shark Awareness Specialty and PADI’s Peak Performance Buoyancy specialty.
PADI Open Water Course
Over the first four days of the program, you will be taken through the theory and practice of becoming an environmentally-conscious scuba diver. Through Knowledge Development, you will learn about the equipment you will use, and how to dive safely. You will learn the skills required in a pool (Confined Water) with your instructor before undertaking four Open Water dives, during which you will demonstrate your growing skills before becoming certified to dive with a buddy anywhere in the world!
AWARE Shark Conservation Diver
Sharks are arguably the most misunderstood creatures in the ocean. They are vital to a healthy marine environment, but their numbers are in rapid decline. We will explore the causes of this decline and the value of sharks to the marine environment and to human economic activities as well.
PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty
The most important skill a diver can master is buoyancy control. Across pool sessions and during two open water dives, we will help you hone your buoyancy so that you are correctly weighted during your dives, you consume less air, use less energy, and can focus on the activities during the dives later in the week with confidence.
The programme includes a number of dives which support the learning and conservation goals of the program.
Marine Life Surveys
To measure the health of the coral reefs we explore, we will record the fish and other organisms living on the reef, and the roles they play within the ecosystem . We will perform different surveys during the program, looking at interactions between marine species, the presence of different organisms, and what this means for the health of the reef. We will document species we encounter in the SEASFiRE Marine Life Database.
Coral Health Check
Coral bleaching is one of the most dramatic illustrations of environmental pressures on a coral colony. Coral’s color is a good proxy for more general coral health. All data collected is submitted to CoralWatch, an international body collecting coral data from around the globe at the University of Queensland.
One of the highlights of the dive expedition is a truly unique experience – the SEASFiRE art dive. We take the participants to a shallow reef and ask them to draw the corals and fish they see. No-one else in the world offers this experience, and it is always one of the most fun and memorable parts of the expedition.
Plastic Beach Survey
Plastic waste dominates the 6 million tons of trash that finds its way into the sea each year. We will complete a survey of plastic waste on a beach. This survey will be conducted along transects and should allow us to create an estimate of plastic washed ashore on the adjacent coastline based on this sample.
We will remove trash that has washed ashore on the island, preventing further damage to the ecosystem. We will either complete a beach cleanup or we will snorkel to a less accessible spot and clean the trash from there. We will document the trash we remove so that we can enter this into the SEASFiRE marine waste database.