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Dive Review of Blue Ventures Conservation in

October, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Dan Purnell, Wa, USA
Reviewer   (4 reports)
Report Number 4541
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Indonesia, PNG, Yap, Palau, Bonaire, Honduras
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, dry  
Water Temp
74   to 78    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Depth and time - 45 - 55 min  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
2 stars
2 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
3 stars   
3 stars    
Blue Ventures is a very successful London based conservation non-profit,
operating in Southwest Madagascar.  They have had a very positive influence
on the Vezo fishing communities around Andavadoaka.  They work very closely
with the local villages.  Results so far include the establishment of
octopus no-take zones, establishment of marine protection areas (MPAs),
shark, fish and octopus catch monitoring programs, protected beaches for
turtles, seagrass studies, solar cooking and family planning programs. 
Many of the marine conservation accomplishments stem from strong community
support and the scientific data collected by volunteers.

The diving is not on par with places like Bonaire, PNG and Indonesia. 
Diving around Andavadoaka is mostly on recovering reefs and proposed reefs
for MPAs.  Although some of these reefs have seen little or no previous
diving activity, many have been damaged by fishing, cyclones and coral
bleaching.  The objective for diving on these reefs is to collect
scientific data.  Blue Ventures is trying to determine which reefs have the
ability to recover and are resilient.  These reefs will be candidates for
future MPAs.  If you are mostly looking for pristine recreational diving,
then Andavadoaka is not for you.

You should also expect to average only 1 dive per day, regardless of what
the London office or literature says.  Currently, Blue Ventures only has
the capacity (i.e. boats, motors, dive masters) to comfortably handle 12-15
volunteer divers (this is my estimate).  They will, however, take
additional volunteers, which limits the number of dives per day.  

If you have an experienced group of divers who want to dive more that 1
dive per day, I would suggest that you negotiate a custom charter, which
would limit the number of volunteers, with Blue Ventures.  I believe that
Blue Ventures would be open to this.

That all said, an expedition with Blue Ventures offers a unique, memorable
and rewarding experience for the adventuresome.  You get to experience life
in a Vezo fishing community, and participate in many local activities.  You
get to learn and apply marine science techniques involving reef health, sea
grass and fish biodiversity.  The location is very remote, and the scenery
is breathtaking.  The local people and Blue Ventures Staff are wonderful. 
If you are a new diver, or are looking to become a DiveMaster, the dive
instruction is exceptional.  Although the diving is "so -so", it
will be very interesting and rewarding.  Doing science provides a whole new
dimension to your diving experience.  The scientific data, collected by
Blue Ventures volunteers, is a major driving force behind marine
conservation decisions around Andavadoaka and across Madagascar.  

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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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