DEMA 2007 Special: Day 3 – 2nd November 2007

The DeeperBlue.net Reporting Team are here on location at DEMA 2007 to report on all the latest happenings.

Following on from a very successful first two days the team have put back on their shoes and hit the show floor to bring you more exciting developments

OMS

Ocean Management Systems (OMS) proudly boasts several new products at its booth this year, including "HazMat" chemically resistant BCs and harnesses. Adding to the already impressive Phantom(tm) dive light series, OMS unveiled a new lightweight 21W HID light. Just over four pounds, one might barely notice the canister’s weight, but would definitely be impressed by the 6-50 degree beam range.

Shark Populations and Global Shark Assesment

One of the researchers from the Global Shark Assesment Project at Dalhousie University, Christine Ward-Paige presented the rationale, history, and goals for the program, and gave and overview of changes in global shark populations.

Highlighting the late maturity and low birth rate of most sharks, Ward-Paige pointed out the precipitous decline of many species, and how that often correlates to trophic cascades or "top down effects" on other species in the oceanic ecosystem.

Currently, 194 species of shark are considered, and another 132 are "data deficient" meaning so little data exists that it’s not possible to determine their actual status.

The Global Shark Assessment program seeks to encourage all divers, professional and recreational alike to participate in one of both of it’s survey programs, thereby actively contributing to much needed shark research.

Participation in the Historical Sightings Survey (HSS) or the Current Sightings Survey (CSS) is simple, and takes just a few minutes. For more information, please visit www.globalshark.ca.

Rescue Tape

Harbor Products has debuted its "Underwater Miracle" Rescue Tape. Rescue Tape is a self-fusing tape with no adhesive. When stretched and wrapped under tension, it instantly begins curing into one piece of silicone, creating an air-tight, water seal that’s resistant to oils, fuels, acids, solvents, salt water, road salt, and UV rays. It takes just minutes and sometimes seconds to permanently fuse together and never comes undone like other tapes do. It is the strongest and quickest fusing silicone tape on the market. Rescue Tape’s amazing fusion works in cold temperatures, while wet and even under water! The product boasts an impressive 700psi strength, so it easily repairs a radiator hose, heater hose, fuel line, wet exhaust hose, air hose, water line, or just about anything that you can wrap it around, and even works over wet, dirty or oily surfaces.

Wyland Clean Water Challenge

Part of this years DEMA show featured artist Wyland’s "Wyland Clean Water Challenge". The foundation’s fundamental goal is to restore the quality of the worlds waters by fostering a sense of responsibility in the next generation through art and science education. The program offers hands on, interactive activities through a joint partnership between the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, The Birch Aquarium at Scripps, and the Wyland Foundation via a tractor trailer packed with educational interactive stations. Each station is designed to educate, instruct, and inspire young people everywhere about marine science and the conservation of water quality on our planet. These stations demonstrate life within lakes, wetlands, rivers, ocean environments, and how they are affected by man-made pollutants.

Divers Platform

The first serious surface float for divers is being demonstrated at this years show. This platform is far more than just a float, it a true tool to assist instructors, freedivers, and commercial divers to enhance their diving experience. The platform is truly a unique design with engineering and initial concept stemming from the aerospace manufacturing industry. For more detailed information on the Divers Platform’s other uses as well as photos please visit the products website at http://www.thediversplatform.com

"Vandenberg" Key West’s Newest Artificial Reef

A decommissioned Air Force ship, that once tracked Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space launches off Florida, is being prepared in a Virginia shipyard to become a new habitat for marine life and an attraction for divers in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Retired in 1983, the 524-foot-long "General Hoyt S. Vandenberg" also saw cinema duty as a Russian science ship in "Virus," a 1999 release starring Jamie Lee Curtis.

The sinking is scheduled for May 2008, in 140 feet of water, about six miles south of Key West.

Prior to scuttling, workers must rid the vessel of all environmental hazards. That means scrapping peeling paint, stripping out almost 800,000 feet wiring and off-loading any remaining petroleum products.

The addition of the Vandenberg is to anchor the lower end of a dive experience area dive shop owners are calling the Florida Keys Wreck Trek. At the top, off Key Largo, is the 510-foot former U.S. Navy Landing Ship Dock Spiegel Grove.

"It’s the final piece in the wreck trek puzzle," said Bob Holston, president of the Keys Association of Dive Operators. "We’ll have wrecks of every size and age from ancient galleons to freighters and military ships."

Artificial Reefs of the Keys: http://www.bigshipwrecks.com

Reefmakers: http://www.reefmakers.com

Body Glove Releases New Water-Resistant Wristwatch Line

Body Glove has teamed up with San Rafael, CA-based Time Concepts LLC to bring out a new line of water resistant wristwatches and introduced them this week at the annual Dive Equipment Manufacturers Association’s annual trade show in Orlando. Aimed at the young adult market, the different models vary in water resistance from 100 meters to 300 meters, ranging in price from $85 to $325. The watches started shipping "last March and April," Time Concepts’ Jennifer Leonard tells DeeperBlue.net. For more info, contact the folks at Time Concepts at tcbsc@aol.com or go to www.bodyglove.com.

‘Team Scuba’ Sponsors NASCAR Driver

If you thought NASCAR and scuba diving had nothing in common, you’d be wrong. Mares, NAUI Worldwide, the Divers Alert Network and Dive Training Magazine are among the sponsors of a new "Team Scuba" car to be driven next season on the lower-tier Busch circuit by 16-year-old, up-and-coming driver Ray Black, Jr. For more information, go to www.diverdownmotorsports.com or www.teamscuba19.com.

New Dive Boat/Base Station Featured at DEMA

A new inflatable dive boat/base station has been introduced at this week’s annual Dive Equipment Manufacturers Association’s annual trade show in Orlando. Originally designed for fly fishermen, the raft can transport two divers to a dive location and can be propelled by the divers’ fins, pinned oars or by an electric motor. It sports an open bottom to allow easy entrance into the water and exit from it after a dive, can carry two extra tanks and has storage bags for each diver’s mask, snorkel and dive computer. Deflated and packed into its own backpack-style suitcase — along with oars, foot pump and patch kit, the boat weighs 55 pounds and retails for $2,100. For more information, check out www.totenfloat.com.

2008 Diving Almanac and Yearbook Featured at DEMA

The 2008 edition of author Jeffrey Gallant’s Diving Almanac and Yearbook was featured this week at the Dive Equipment Manufacturers Association’s annual trade show in Orlando. New additions to Gallant’s 600-plus-page compendium made of recycled paper include popular dive destinations like Egypt, Honduras and Indonesia in the color section. The book also has 100 pages on events that took place in the last year in the dive industry. For more information, go to www.divingalmanac.com.