Tom Ingram, Executive Director for DEMA, talked about the future of DEMA and of sport diving in general in an interview on November 6, 2013. He laid out several initiatives DEMA will be undertaking over the next five years.
“DEMA needs to serve as a catalyst in the world of diving,” Ingram said. “Over the past 60 years, the dive industry has been self-regulating, but we must continue to be proactive if we want to keep the government from over-legislating our sport.” He cited concerns over proposed government legislation to ‘zone’ the oceans for commercial and private usage. “Not only will this type of legislation result in keeping divers away from areas they would like to dive, it will also result in an increase in usage fees and travel costs.”
Additionally, Ingram sees the need for DEMA to continue to serve as a standard setter for the industry. “If we are not proactive in setting our own standards, then government will step in and do it for us.” Ingram stated DEMA would continue to monitor current and future legislative efforts on both the state and national levels, and would be active in advocating for diver’s rights and the conservation of our oceans through program such as DEMA’s anti-shark finning efforts.
DEMA will be continuing its efforts to support instructors, dive shops and manufactures through its research efforts. “We will be announcing more on this later this week. It is hard to keep from saying more at this time because it is so exciting.”
Ingram also sees DEMA staying on the cutting edge of technology, and staying relevant in the world of social media savvy consumers. “We live in a world with increasing social media, and we must be a part of that world. However, face to face interaction is still the number one way people wish to communicate, which is why the DEMA show is critical to our industry.”
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