Highlights from this year's lecture tours

26. November, 2023

Sharkweeks 2023

This year we were once again able to inspire numerous divers with our varied presentations during the diving safaris to the most famous shark spots in Egypt. The tours usually start in Port Galib / Marsa Alam. The route leads past the Brothers Islands (gray sharks, thresher sharks, longimani), Daedalus (hammerhead sharks, longimani, silky sharks) and Elphinstone (guitar sharks).

Sharkweeks 2023

Our series of lectures on liveaboards in Egypt are already a fixture in our shark year. This time we were able to send five Sharkproject members with a lot of knowledge in their luggage.

René Näf was the first to go. From September 21-28, 2023, he was on board the Blue Seas, the regular ship of Nina Eschner, the co-director of the Squalene project and long-time dive guide for the Blue Planet Liverboards fleet.
Although only 10 divers took part in the trip, 6 nations were represented. It goes without saying that with this mix, the language of presentations was English. It was particularly nice that all of our fellow travelers took part in every single lecture with great enthusiasm. Depending on the position of the sun, sometimes in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon - there was always time between the dives. There were lots of sharks on the presentation screen. In the water, the top predators were a little shyer: a few curious longis, a few gray reef sharks and a shy thresher shark made an appearance.
We are particularly pleased that René was able to recruit two new members: A potential speaker in the Ravensburg area and someone interested in social media.

Sharks meet China

René and Alex Smolinsky could almost have met on site. From September 28, 2023 to October 5, our President of SP International was in Egypt. He traveled for the first time with the Soul of Omneia, which is not part of the Blue fleet. A cornerstone for future cooperation.

At the same time as Alex, Frank Trendelkamp was on site on the Blue Storm. He also had a big task on his hands, because in addition to a few German-speaking guests, the group included ten Chinese divers. It was only after a few days that it became clear that they were actually two groups from different cultural backgrounds who did not speak to each other at the beginning. After initial teething troubles, they showed great interest in the topic of the threat posed to sharks by finning. They told us that shark fin soup is now banned by law in China. A good step in the right direction. However, the Chinese guests suspected that wealthy Chinese in particular are circumventing this ban. We will stay tuned for you in order to actually put an end to the cruel practice of finning and the associated consumption of shark fin soup!

A November full of sharks

After a break, we continued with Barbara Aschauer on the Blue Storm from November 9-16, 2023. She was able to present to a very motivated group, all of whom came from the DACH region.By the end of the trip, everyone already felt like one big family - the solidarity and willingness to help with small technical / health problems was enormous.
The presentations were just as well received as the merchandise we brought along (T-shirts, books, shark teeth made from Swiss stone pine). As a fixed point between snacks and dinner, all participants were able to adjust well to the times. There were also lots of questions outside the official presentations, which meant that even Barbara was able to learn a few things about sharks.
The sharks also delighted the divers in the water. At the Brothers Islands, they were greeted by gray sharks and longimani. At Deadalus, a few hammerhead sharks circled them at the very first dive, and at least one of the three diving groups always had luck with the popular sharks on the subsequent dives. During the night dive at Abu Dabab, a white tip reef shark passed by and at the end the guests were delighted to see a guitar shark on the seagrass meadow. Barbara was also able to recruit new members for the three country organizations on this trip. 

Grand finale

Dirk Schwedler concluded this year's Sharkweeks on the My Blue from November 16-23, 2023, where he also had the opportunity to present to a very motivated group, all of whom came from the DACH region. However, only four of the 23 divers on board had heard of Sharkproject beforehand. So there was a lot for him to do in terms of educating people about sharks, but also about Sharkproject itself, and the afternoon snack time lectureswere always well attended.

The group was very lucky at both the Brother Islands and Deadelous Reef. They had a large specimen of thresher shark right on the first dive - uncharacteristically very curious and relatively close. They also spotted other thresher sharks later on (albeit very deep). Grey reef sharks, lots of longimani and, at the end, silky sharks were other companions on the remarkable dives. 

One group was particularly lucky and encountered a small school of nine hammerhead sharks. In addition, many green sea turtles (eleven in number) crowded together on a dive at Marsa Shona. They also "visited" schools of barracudas, several tuna, bullhead mackerel, giant moray eels, Napoleon fish, stingrays and even a manta ray, just to mention the diversity of the Red Sea!

In the end it was very worthwhile, a dedicated Whats App group was set up and large donations were collected for Sharkproject. A diver from Austria would like to apply as a school representative, the school brochure was distributed just as diligently as the brochure on the "Schillerlocke = Killerlocke" (Schiller curl = killer curl) and another diver from the Germany group would like to actively participate in the PR & communication team at Sharkproject.

We are all looking forward to the coming year and what else will come of it!

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