With the camera stuff out of the way, I went looking for places to use my camera.I popped over to say hi to the people at Misool Eco Resort. MER is the only resort in the South East Misool area and right next to the awesome diving of Pulau Boo and the famous Fiabacet, where the annual migration of baitfish brings in all sorts of wonderful life. It is still my favorite area in Raja Empat.
MER’s Marit Miners minding the MER booth
Another booth that caught my eye was Laca Dives from India. Siddharth Pujari, the manager of Lacadives, talked about relatively new area in India called Lakshadeep island group, off the west coast of India, NorthWest of Trivandum/Kerala. The island group has leatherback and green turtles, pristine coral and apparently unmolested by fishermen. I always like finding new places to dive and Laca Dive also operates in the Andaman Islands on Havelock, an old haunt of mine. There’ve been horror stories lately about the unfettered longlining in the Andamans and Sid assured me that parts of the Andamans are still pristine. I’d love to return just to see how it has changed.
Laca Dives crew at ADEX
OneDiver is a phone app company that has made an iPhone/iPad app that lists all dive resorts in the world on a database. The app displays dive packages from various dive resorts as well as lists the resorts which sign up. Quite a nifty app to have to daydream about destinations. Android will be next with Blackberry possibly in the future.
The OneDiver app crew.
I walked by a small booth that had a big banner saying they sold Panda meat. They had some food on a stick and Shawn and I went over to try it out. Turned out to be tofu vegetables! How boring! The Panda Meat idea is the latest Sea Shepherd’s latest campaign to garner attention to the plight of tuna in the oceans. They believe that people relate to Panda’s more than tuna and played on that affection to mount this shock campaign. I was listening to a few local Singaporeans who walked by and noticed the booth. They wondered if it was real Panda meat then realized the truth. One lady mentioned it was quite effective but a little vague. Still, it’s an interesting campaign and I was hungry!
Shawn tries some vegetarian “panda meat!”
Simon “Pieman” Christopher joins in on the free food
ADEX the show:
The first ADEX was in 1998 and it grew to be a major show for the South East Asian region. In recent years, it has shrunk a bit in size, in all probability due to various other countries organizing their own dive expositions, like the Thai Dive Expo and DEEP Indonesia. Still, it is an important event on the Asia circuit and certainly Singapore is an important market for the region. Speaking to the participants, the overall impression was mixed. Some resorts did very well, getting bookings for their destinations. Others felt there was no improvement in traffic from last year. This year’s ADEX was held over the Easter weekend, traditionally a long weekend where many people travel. It could be that the traffic was less because of the holiday weekend. In fact there were a few grumblings about that. Still, many people were happy with the show and would return. Of course, our Wetpixel gathering wouldn’t have happened if ADEX didn’t happen. So I do hope ADEX continued success in the increasingly competitive market of dive shows.
That’s all from ADEX this year!