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Diving with… Mark Milburn, Atlantic Scuba, Cornwall

European DTA Team

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In this ongoing series, we speak with 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?

Mark Milburn

What is the name of your business?

Atlantic Scuba, Cornwall

What is your role within the business?

Owner

How long has the business operated for?

Since 2008, 13 years

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

First qualified in February 2000, multi-agency Instructor

What is your favourite type of diving?

Exploratory dives

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

We specialise in going diving and getting people diving. We encourage all divers and potential divers to get involved with our projects, using their special diving interests whether it’s photography, filming, archaeology or marine biology.

What is your favourite dive in your location and why?

The Bizzies reef system. It is a huge sprawling reef, covered in a wide range of colourful wildlife and amazing topography. It is mainly unexplored.

What types of diving are available in your location?

We have many shore dives that are worth doing. We also operate our own boats, so we can visit many wrecks and reefs, of all depths, within our operational area. We take divers of all levels out, whether they are a newly qualified open water divers, or seasoned technical divers.

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

Showing divers just how good the local diving can be, with the wide range of wildlife as well as the potentially good visibility.

What is your favourite underwater creature?

I really like rays. We have a few rays we see on a regular basis but the male cuckoo wrasse has to be one of the most colourful fish anywhere.

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

Our next move is to get a third boat legal and running, one that can be moved and launched anywhere around Cornwall; so we can access an even bigger range of wrecks and reefs. We have some potentially interesting new sites to find and/or explore.

Is your centre involved in any environmental work?

For many years we have organised underwater litter picks from the local beaches. We have also removed lots of ghost fishing gear, as well as working with Ghost Fishing UK, Fathoms Free and NARC. We have released in excess of 30,000 juvenile lobsters for the National Lobster Hatchery and we have run Seasearch dives with Cornwall Wildlife Trust. We collect any floating debris we see when out on our boat. We have been also involved with several Seagrass projects, including the Sky Ocean Rescue project off Pembrokeshire.

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

Overall the industry is not in the best shape, manufacturers and dive centres should all talk, so that they can organise a systematic approach to promote diving. At Atlantic Scuba we promote diving in whatever way we can, we also actively promote and get involved in both snorkelling and freediving.

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

We specialise in getting individuals and small groups diving. We run scheduled dives, as well as full charters, so that almost anyone can join in without having to worry about filling the boat. With the range of wrecks and reefs we have to offer, for divers of every level, we can find you some suitable good dive sites. Our unique location means that we rarely cannot dive, we may have to switch dive sites but we do have some good back up locations if the weather does try and defeat us, which it rarely does.

Where can our visitors find out more about your business?

Our website www.atlanticscuba.co.uk has details of what we have to offer, from dive courses to dive sites, from sales to servicing.

We organise our scheduled dives within a Facebook group – Falmouth RHIB and Hard Boat diving. We also have a Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/AtlanticScuba/ and a Facebook place – https://www.facebook.com/AtlanticScubaDiveCentre/.

Our Twitter account is #atlanticscuba, YouTube as AtlanticScuba, Instagram as AtlanticScuba and you can find us as Atlantic Scuba on most social networks.

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Jeff chats to… Ana Filipa Sobral, Founder of The Manta Catalog Project in the Azores (Watch Video)

Jeff Goodman

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Ana Filipa Sobral, Founder and Project Leader of The Manta Catalog Project in the Azores.

Ana Filipa Sobral is a marine biologist and conservationist based in the Azores Islands. She moved to the Azores in 2011 and once there, realised that this was one of the few places in the world where Sicklefin Devil Rays (Mobula tarapacana) gather in large groups, making it a strategic place to study them. She started the The Manta Catalog Project and through this project, collects photo ID and occurrence data on Mobulid Rays, with the precious help of divers and dive operators as citizen scientists.

Ana is also finishing her PhD which focuses on population genetics and connectivity of migratory elasmobranchs in oceanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The main goal fueling my research has been to help fill the knowledge gaps on elasmobranch biology and ecology to ultimately assist in the design of effective conservation and management plans aimed at protecting their populations in this remote region of the North Atlantic Ocean.

You can find out more about Ana’s important work at: https://mantacatalogazores.wixsite.com/mobulaid/project.


Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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DIVING talks 2022: the discussion we all want to hear

European DTA Team

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This year’s DIVING talks event will take place in Troia, Portugal from October 7-9 2022. The event will bring together many of the world’s leading divers, explorers, scientists, and researchers, and one of the highlights is sure to be the presentations.

Imagine having PADI, SDI and SSI in the same room to discuss the future of teaching in diving? This would be an exciting debate, wouldn’t it?

Imagine no more. Mark Caney, Mark Powell and Jean Claude Monachon are going to be talking about diving through the perspective of the three biggest agencies: PADI, SDI and SSI.

  • Mark Caney, PADI – Professional Association of Diving Instructors’ Industry Relations and Training Executive, is President of the European Underwater Federation, President of the Rebreather Training Council and President of the World Recreational Scuba Training Council.
  • Mark Powell is the SDI – Scuba Diving International Director of Global Development
  • Jean Claude Monachon is SSI – Scuba Schools International Vice-President, International Business Development & Marketing.

This is one ‘talk’ you won’t want to miss!

For more information, contact Arlindo Serrão via e-mail: arlindo.serrao@portugaldive.com or check out the following links:

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