Every year the 22nd of April is Earth day. This is a day where we give back to earth what it gives us everyday – protection and a chance of life.
This year we contributed in two very different ways:
First of all, as we try and do often – ocean clean up. We sent our staff that was not already busy diving, out to do a clean up. After an hour dive the group managed to collect about 5kg of trash. We went back to one of the sites we progressively try and keep clean. We have chosen this site because its so exposed to trash from the mainland and the local fishing village next to it. One thing we are sure about here, is that the clean ups are helping and we see less and less trash. We will keep doing our part as long as we need and hope one day trash will no longer end up in the ocean.
Secondly the Reed family and Ophelia Bohannon got together and brought vets to the island. They have together donated spay and neuters for cats and dogs together with rabies vaccines and de-worming. Lots of the local community took advantages and brought their pets to the event. The nearest vet is located on the mainland of Cebu about an hour away. So by bringing vets to the island, more animal have gotten attention and more help then they would otherwise. Hopefully this can help to healthier animals on the island and less stray cats and dogs.
Everyone loves shopping for new dive gear, and we at Evolution we are no strangers to this enjoyable activity. So we had fun recently adding new dive lights to our inventory for guest rental.
We have had various types of feedback on our rental lights over the years, so with the improvements in battery and bulb technology recently we took all of this into account. The result is much smaller lights, which are brighter, and last longer, than the sturdy old ones our guests are used to.
But the best part of all is that these lights use rechargeable batteries, so they fit very well with our ethos of environmentally sustainable diving practices. We have spare batteries, to make sure the lights are always available and powered up, so just let us know if you’d like to rent a light for your night dive or swimming through the Gato Island tunnel.
In addition to our efforts, we are encouraging all out guests to bring home their used batteries. Somehow it has become standard practice for people to leave behind used batteries when on holiday, so they don’t have to carry them back home. But this is a dangerously flawed logic, as countries such as the Philippines do not really provide quality recycling for things like batteries. But in most countries in Europe, or the USA or Australia they have facilities which can handle the correct methods to recycle batteries.
So, please, get rechargeable batteries for your devices, and if not, then don’t leave your used batteries to become someone else’s problem!
Seahorses belong to a family that includes other Malapascua gems like Pipefish. They might not look like a typical fish but they are indeed under same classification as other bony fish such as tuna. They belong to the genus Hippocampus, which derives from the Greek for horse (hippo) and sea monster (campus).
- Most seahorses are monogamous and remain faithful to one partner for the breeding season and some even over several seasons. Like any animal, the male provides the sperm and the female provide the eggs. However, instead of the female carrying the eggs, she will hand them over to the male and he will carry them in his pouch after fertilisation. The man womb provides nutrients and oxygen needed by developing baby seahorses. After 2-4 weeks the male will, at night time, go into ‘labour’ and for hours he will be pumping and thrusting to release his brood. He will give give birth to 100-200 babies each the size off 7-12 mm. These tiny creatures are now all on their own straight from birth.
- Seahorses are masters of camouflage with changing colors and changing texture of skin to blend in with their surroundings. Over a short period of time the seahorses can change colours, especially during doing mating or greetings. Male and female seahorses can be told apart by the presence of a brood pouch on the male.
- Seahorses size can vary a lot from 30 cm to a small pygmy seahorse which is less then 2cm. Measurements are calculated from the tip of the tail and to the top of the cornet.
- How long seahorses live is still unknown. Surveys so far have concentrated on seahorses in captivity, where some species range from one year for the smallest species and for larger species its between three to five years.
Here in Malapascua we get three different kind of seahorses; Pygmy seahorse, Thorny seahorse and the common Seahorse. Come dive with us and our amazing dive masters will bring you around the different divesites and do their best to show you seahorses.
Seahorses are a flagship species, charismatic symbols of the seagrass, mangroves, coral reefs, estuaries and seaweeds where they make their homes. Protecting seahorses means protecting these diverse habitats all of the marine life that lives therein.
We need to help protect seahorses and do our best to help research. Soon we will post a new blog on why seahorses are vulnerable and what we can do to help. And don’t forget we have a code of conduct for snapping pygmy seahorses to help them live long and healthy lives!
For more info contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Doña Marilyn is a huge shipwreck measuring 97.6m in length and laying a 1 and a half hour trip from Evolution. This Japanese built ship was a cargo and passenger vessel that met its fate on the 23rd of October, 1988 when it tried to outrun but was unfortunately sunk by Typhoon Ruby (Unsang). The vessel was headed to Tacloban but unfortunately never arrived.
This ship now is sat at around 30m on its starboard side and is surprisingly very intact, making it a perfect diving spot without having to travel too far. We regularly run trips to explore this mysterious wreck which holds some stunning life. With beautiful growth on the top of the wreck at around 18m, and incredible life on it ranging from Scorpion fish, to Nudibranchs and occasionally a variety of the ray family cruising past, all of which contributes to an awesome dive.
The dive itself is perfect for anyone doing their Advanced Open Water (AOW) course, or anyone currently holding this certification just wanting to do fun dives. As well as anyone doing their PADI Wreck Diver Specialty, or even TDI Advanced Wreck as the wreck is fully penetrable.
A site to behold, and a definite must do on your visit to Malapascua.
At home it might seem so obvious to grab a glass of water from the tap and then pop that glass in the dish washer without needing to worry about it. But what happens when you suddenly need to buy a bottle of water every time you get thirsty?
To begin with you might not think too much about it, but suddenly you have five empty bottles spread around your room and you have to wonder “How did it end up like this? Where do all these bottles come from?” Of course, we go and recycle them, but that doesn’t change the fact they have to be produced and therefore leave a carbon footprint.
As ecotourism grows bigger and bigger, more and more people are becoming aware of how to minimize our carbon footprint, and one of the easiest ways of doing this is to get your own reusable water bottle for your stay at Evolution. It’s a lot more durable and we have a wide selection of different sizes, colours, shapes and feature. On top of that a lot of hotels and restaurants have started allowing guests to use refillable water bottles, so you can make use of your bottle elsewhere on your travels.
At Evolution, we save an estimated of 18,000 bottles every year by using reusable water containers in our rooms, so imagine how many bottles we would save if everyone had their own reusable bottle!
With the world already producing more than 300 million tons of plastic every year, and plastic stands for 10% of all generated waste, we really do not need to produce more, especially since 8 million tons of that ends up in the oceans every year. The average American uses 167 plastic bottles per year; imagine replacing those 167 bottles with just one bottle, and doing it for everyone!
So let’s all put a tiny effort in and help Mother Nature get waste-free, get your own reusable bottle and bring it along!
Check out just some of Evolution’s efforts to help the environment here.
Once again Evolution staff and fun divers embarked on another session to help keep our local underwater environment, clean, and as trash-free as possible.
With staff and our fun divers totaling 8 divers in the water, we were able to cover both the dive sites we normally clean, Light house and Los bamboos
After one hour in the water our 8 divers together managed to pick up around 5 kg of trash. This is still less then we would have collected months ago but more then we had hoped to. What we collected remains the same, sachets, plastic fragments and a lot of fishing lines. Though we also had some fun and weird finds such as fuel tank and 3 pair of sunglasses!
We have to keep helping the ocean to stay without to much trash and we will continue doing so, to be able to get more joy out of our daily dives at these sites.
We are also very aware that the problem starts somewhere, and its on land. We keep using as little plastic as possible and keep spreading the word to the locals and the rest of the island, to reduce the use of plastic and help our ocean.