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Diving with… Dennis Rabeling, Euro Divers Lanzarote

European 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?

Dennis Rabeling

What is the name of your business?

Euro-Divers Lanzarote

What is your role within the business?

Owner and Dive instructor

How long has the business operated for?

3 years

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?

I have been diving since I was 8 years old and now I’m PADI MSDT and Full Cave Diver.

What is your favorite type of diving?

Wall or drop-off diving is amazing with the incredible views and big pelagic fish passing by.

If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?

Lanzarote is a beautiful dive destination with lots of life and different species, with stunning drop-offs, wrecks and different dive sites and, of course, we have famous Museo Atlantico. The waters around the island offer a big diversity with small macro life like the seahorse, nudibranch and more, to the bigger life like the Angelshark, different kind of ray types and types of dolphins and whales. Lanzarote is also very interesting for the non-divers, which makes it a perfect destination for the whole family.

What is your favorite dive in your location and why?

In front of the dive centre there are five dive sites which are very nice because they are all drop off’s and walls, with, at the start, sandy areas where we encounter bigger life. Easily accessible and starting from the dive centre makes it very comfortable.

What types of diving are available in your location?

Shore, boat, wreck, cavern, drop offs and many more, which makes the island very attractive with varied types of diving.

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

When people are coming out of the water with a big smile on their face talking about the awesome encounters they saw underwater.

What is your favorite underwater creature?

My favourite animal here in the Canary Islands is the Angelshark; they are unique because they are living on this planet already for 150 million years. They look very ancient but also elegant. We can see them here during mating season and in spring time we find juveniles on our night dives.

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

In front of the dive centre there is the newly renovated Fariones Hotel which is a 5+ star hotel. We hope we will get some more customers who will only have to walk across the street to get to their dive centre.

As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?

We are always trying to find a better way to make the diving more easy, safe and logistically so the client can enjoy their diving in the best way.

Is your center involved in any environmental work?

We organise regular clean up days. The biggest problem with trash over here is that the wind comes from the other side of the island and goes towards the sea. What happens is that the trash that is on the streets sometimes gets blown into the ocean. But every day they clean up the streets, the trash is minimal, and when we find trash we always try to take it with us.

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?

For us as a family it is not only a job. For us it is also a big passion. Every day that we go in the water we are enjoying being there. In my eyes, everybody in the industry should see it this way. The enthusiasm will reflect back in the results towards the customer.

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

You have to come and see the Angelshark with us here at Lanzarote! The doors are wide open at our dive centre and the coffee, tea or water is always ready for you. Hopefully I will see you soon in Lanzarote so we can make some amazing dives!

Where can our visitors find out more about your business?

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News

Whale world record and the power of citizen science

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

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A sperm whale has been observed in the Azores archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic ocean over a 34 year time span, setting an observation record in the Atlantic and very possibly the world. The observations over this record-breaking time span were made by a combination of scientists and citizen scientists, showing once again the power of this increasingly prominent branch of science.

34 year record

The female sperm whale “19” was first seen in 1987 in the Azores during the research cruises of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Scientists know she is a female, because she was spotted with several calves over the years. Thirty-four years later she was spotted again by cetacean scientist Lisa Steiner of Whale Watch Azores.

In between she was recorded in 1991, 1994, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2015, 2016 and 2021 by a combination of science and citizen science projects. She has not been seen outside of the Azores, but it is possible that her group has travelled to other parts of Macaronesia, like several other groups have.

CSI of the seas

Steiner, who is based on the Azores and has followed whales around the North Atlantic for 33 years, says: “Whale tails (flukes) are like fingerprints. By photographing flukes and then matching them up like a CSI of the seas, we can trace the movements of the animals. Being able to follow an animal for 34 years is amazing and once again shows the power of long-term datasets.” The significance of such findings goes well beyond mere scientific curiosity, however. As Steiner explains, “hearing the histories of individual whales catches the public’s imagination, because personal stories are much more interesting to the general public than generalisations, leading to increased interest and support. That support is priceless when protections for animals are being considered”.

Lisa Steiner (right) with citizen scientists spotting whales in front of Pico Island, Azores

Death and conservation

One example is whale “3418”, also a sperm whale, who was killed by a high-speed ferry in the Canaries. He had been seen for 15 years in the Azores, beginning when he was still a calf, before making the trip to the Canary Islands. His tragic and premature death is being used to promote speed limits of the high-speed inter-island ferries around the Canaries.

Citizen science gathers valuable data

Citizen science is defined as public participation in scientific research. Outcomes are often advancements in scientific research, as well as an increase in the public’s understanding of science. In nature conservation in particular, international citizen science has become increasingly important as a duel stream of data and funding. An example of this, citizen scientists of Biosphere Expeditions (an international non-profit NGO at the forefront of wildlife conservation powered by citizen science) have worked with Steiner on an annual Azores expedition since 2004 and contributed to this record-breaking fluke dataset.

Sperm whale fluke (c) Lisa Steiner

Dr. Matthias Hammer, founder and executive director of Biosphere Expeditions, says the NGO “is proud to have contributed a piece of the puzzle to this Atlantic or possibly world record. This shows again how citizen science is part of the solution. This recent achievement is just the latest in a long line of citizen science contributions since our foundation in 1999, such as the creation of protected areas on four continents, amongst many others. Thank you to all our citizen and professional scientist, as well as all the other helpers over the years.”

For more information about Biosphere Expeditions visit their website by clicking here.

Header image: Sperm whale and calf (c) Gabriel Barathieu

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Blogs

Take an immersive dive below the waves off the Welsh coast using 360 VR: Common Spider Crab (Watch Video)

JD Scuba

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A week-long series from Jake Davies…

Below the waves off the Welsh coast, there are a range of species and habitats that can be seen. However, you don’t have to venture too far from the shore to see them or don’t have to leave the comfort of your home. Using 360 videos provides an immersive feeling of being below the water and encountering many species and habitats from diving one of the most important habitats and species that aren’t often seen whilst diving. For more of an experience of being below the waves, the VR videos can be viewed using a VR headset.

Take a VR dive just off the shore and explore what can be found within the shallow waters of a sandy beach. Fish can be founding cruising amongst the seaweed and numerous crustacean (Crabs, lobster, prawns, shrimps) species can be found walking around the seafloor. Common Spider Crabs (Maja brachydactyla) are one of the largest crabs species found along the coast and during the early summer, they aggregate in large numbers to moult which allows them to grow.


Follow Jake aka JD Scuba on the YouTube channel @Don’t Think Just Blog.

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