So much to discuss! editorial by Dave Moran

Your comments were most welcome. It was gratifying to see we are doing most things right – some even saying 100% right! We will implement some of your recommendations in coming issues. The prize of the stunning book: Underwater World of Wyland for responding to the questionnaire went to Nick Bell of Christchurch.

Congratulations Nick.

New Zealand Underwater Association You may have noticed that the New Zealand Underwater Association (NZUA – www. nzu.org.nz) is taking a more proactive presence in the magazine. The reason for this is to make divers more aware of what this organisation is about and what is does for divers. Many divers have no idea of who the NZUA are, who they represent or of the organisation’s 61 year (1953) history of serving New Zealand divers. For example: they ensure divers’ concerns are brought to the attention of Government officials when policy changes are being considered that may affect the diving community. Turn to pages 70 and 71 for further details.

TecFest I had the enjoyable experience of checking out the recent TecFest held in Taupo. It was great to be in the company of so many young enthusiastic divers excited about furthering their diving qualifications as they venture into the adventurous world of Tech Diving. Congratulations to the organisers. Check our pages 54 and 55.

Diving Adventures Have you a New Zealand or Australian diving adventure to tell? We constantly receive articles about people’s experiences when they’re diving some exotic tropical destination, these are greatly received!  What we would LOVE is articles about your home grown diving. Club dives or just a dive with your mate in you favourite local location. Just contact us to discuss your ideas. We look forward to hearing from you.

STOP PRESS: Conservation Minister Nick Smith and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy announced on 22 May that the proposed banning of shark finning of blue sharks that was originally scheduled for October 2016 will commence on 1 October this year! This brings the blue shark in line with the other shark species that are now protected from the finning knife. The government realized the general public were opposed to this abhorrent practice and decided to act, after consultation with the Fishing Industry. This magazine has been dreaming of this day. We have been pushing for this change for, I guess, over 10 years. In recent times strong groups have been formed such as the NZ Shark Alliance (www.nzsharkalliance.org.nz) and political parties have jumped on board. Divers and all the various conservation groups can celebrate this announcement as you all played a part. There is still a challenge I believe: The new regime requires fishing companies to release sharks alive or bring them ashore with fins attached for processing. New Zealand needs to ban fin products from being exported and imported. New Zealand is still supporting the shark fin markets of the world. Congratulations to Air New Zealand who will not transport fins!

Winter Diving is just around the corner! Bringing clear water to many off shore island – make sure you get out they to enjoy!

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