REEF PREDATOR PROJECT

More than 100 blacktip and Caribbean reef sharks come to feed at the Walker's Cay Shark "Rodeo." They swim in patterns around a giant chumball as they wait their turn to feed. Before divers knew better, we feared these animals. But now, we're swimming among them, studying them and helping their fight for survival. It's interesting, fun and definitely exciting!

In this Audubon Aquarium of the Americas sponsored expedition, volunteer aquarium divers from around the country will join as a single team for the first time using their skills to help preserve our endangered reef predators. The divers that help our public aquariums maintain exhibits, conduct underwater presentations, and feed exhibit animals will be on board to share insights into aquarium exhibit diving and marinelife behavior. This expedition is open to any diver interested in learning more about sharks, lobsters, and the fun of aquarium diving around the country. Reef Predator Expeditions focus on shark biology and feeding behavior.

In addition to learning helpful scientific diving techniques and how to operate oceanographic instruments, team members also have an opportunity to practice their lobster-catching skills and learn more about these heavily hunted predators. We’ll help the Aquarium of the Americas with a tagging project to help preserve lobster and grouper populations that has worked for the past 5 years to learn more about their distribution and movements.

We'll also visit wrecks, mangrove areas and caverns. Divers will be certified as "Shark Research Divers" and earn a Reef Predator Project "Tag-and-Scan Dive Team" shirt.

Walker's Cay

Walker's Cay is a small, private island at the northern tip of the Bahamas. Expedition teams will arrive on this tropical paradise after a 45-minutes charter flight from Fort Lauderdale. Walker's is a classic fishing and diving resort with two swimming pools, tennis courts, marina, game rooms and some of the finest reefs, caverns and visibility in the Bahamas. The air-conditioned hotel and four-star restaurant provide the most luxurious accommodations an expedition could offer. The incredible shark research opportunities there and the dedicated support of the management to marine conservation enable us to accomplish our research and conservation goals at a first-class resort.

REEF PREDATOR PROJECT EXPEDITIONS - Walkers Cay, Bahamas
Tired of regular dive trips? How about diving with more than 100 feeding sharks swarming around? Here's your chance to work with aquarium staff and help us understand shark behavior. Do your part to protect the ocean's top predators and have a fun vacation at the same time.

You can be part of a dive team expanding the envelope of man's knowledge of the sea for little more than the cost of a regular dive trip. No crowded cattle boats or novice divers. Our team has its own boat and you can dive as much or as little as you like.

As part of the Reef Predator Project team, you can explore the mysteries of predator behavior with the experts. You can also learn scientific diving techniques to enhance your skills and be certified as a Shark Awareness Diver. Find out fun facts about sharks and lobsters; dive several times with endangered sharks during mass feeding dives; be introduced to reef fish identification; and catch lobsters and tag them as part of reef predator studies. This is not a regular "dive trip". It's an opportunity to be an oceanographer for a week and find out how exciting, challenging and fun it can be to dive with a team of friends and professionals and help man learn more about reef predators.

When:
TBA

Cost:
$1,245.00

Cost includes:
Accommodations:
We rendezvous at and stay the first night at the Ramada Inn, Fort Lauderdale. On the island, deluxe rooms with air conditioning, ocean view and all resort amenities - two pools, hot tub, tennis courts, water sports and more.

Transportation: Charter flights from Fort Lauderdale to Walker's Cay and return. (Does not include departure taxes.)

Meals: While on Walker's Cay, daily breakfast and dinner at a 4-star restaurant (lunch optional).

Diving: An average of three dives each day, except for last day, and unlimited snorkeling. Multiple shark interaction and lobster tagging dives. At least one night dive as well as wreck and archaeological dives are scheduled.

General:

  • Training in scientific diving, shark and lobster biology
  • Chartered research vessel and project oceanographer on board to lead expedition
  • All tanks, weights, oceanographic equipment and project-specific gear provided
  • Reef Predator Project Team shirt
  • Expedition banquet on last night
  • Shark Awareness Diver Course and OE certification

Experience: To ensure a safe, productive expedition, certified divers must have 25 logged dives and a minimum of 3 night dives.

Limited Space: Team size limited to 15 divers. Cost based on double occupancy.

Deposits: A $500.00 deposit will be required to secure your position on the team. Balance is due 75 days before departure. or we reserve the right to refund your deposit less a $100 administrative fee. Team members will receive a detailed Expedition Plan before departure.

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