Editorial 106

Diving Technology – Sharks Finned Alive – Indonesia

By Dave Moran

As the team here put the finishing touches to this issue I could not help but reflect on the huge diversity of activities that divers participate in and also man’s sometimes stubborn attitude as to the way he treats the environment.

The diving adventures that rebreather technology has opened up for divers who are seeking to experience the discoveries of diving beyond the diving capabilities of normal scuba air diving is expanding at an amazing rate.

In this issue Dr Richard (Harry) Harris pushes the Pearse Resurgence cave system to 182 metres (page 39) can you imaging doing that? Amazing!

Rebreathers are just not for deep diving. They provide you with the ability to explore for over two hours the inner passageways of shallow wrecks such as the Russian oceanliner

Mikhail Lermontov

lying in 33 metres with a minimal decompression penalty. Though as world renown UK shipwreck photographer Leigh Bishop found, controlling your rectum’s sphincter valve can be a challenge when surrounded by blackness and steel and you’re relying on a Kiwi, Pete Mesley to lead you out of the maze! (page 13)

Photographers are also discovering rebreathers. To be virtually noiseless and having heaps of time in shallow depth while studying marine life is an absolute pleasure!

The depths freedivers are reaching on a single breath of air is mind boggling! New Zealander William Trubridge broke the world record in constant weight without fins to 86 metres then free immersion to 108 metres. I can just picture Will tapping a rebreather diver on the shoulder at 100 metres … the rebreather diver would think he was suffering a bad case of narcosis! (page 59)

We again confront the issue of shark finning. Tony and Jenny Enderby take a serious look at this hideous practice on page 64.

I had the pleasure of meeting Rob Stewart the director and producer of the film,


which is currently being released worldwide and will be showing in Auckland during New Zealand’s International Film Festival, 10 – 27 July. It will also be screened in Australia.

Visit: www.nzff.co.nz


I believe his film shows ‘˜publicly’ for the first time how man’s greed is out of control as he cruelly destroys animals with a flick of a knife for the mighty dollar. The amount of money involved with shark finning is as high as the drug trade!

New Zealand Commercial Fishing Industry magazines continue to run advertisements for fins – they too are collecting the dollars and contribute to this disgusting practice!

Rob Stewart’s film will have an impact. I wonder if our Minister of Fisheries, Jim Anderton, will make the effort to see the film? He should as 50 thousand sharks are killed annually in New Zealand waters – or as the supermarket advertisements scream ‘˜while stocks last!’ As the film comments, it’s not governments that make change it is ‘˜the people’ who make governments change. The evidence is clear but the ministers who make the laws are wearing rose-tinted glasses.

Our interview with Rob will be in the next issue.

I recently visited Jakarta, Indonesia, courtesy of the Indonesian Government. While there I interviewed their Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Conservation and Environmental Degradation Control Ministry of Environment. She was an inspiration. Indonesia has a population of over 234 million, take a moment and try to contemplate what that means for their environment.

Where would you start? Educating the children. In a future issue I’ll take you on a journey of hope as a nation confronts one of its most challenging battles – saving its stunning environment both above and below the water.

The chilly fingers of winter are starting to sneak through the back door but you can still enjoy some superb diving – winter brings some stunningly clear water and with today’s suits, both wet and dry, you can be as warm as toast (well mild-warm toast) while enjoying one of the most fulfilling and rewarding activities on the planet … enjoy!

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