This month, REEF is proud to highlight one of our outstanding Conservation Partners: COJO Diving, located in Lincoln, New Brunswick, Canada. REEF Conservation Partners are active organizations and dive shops dedicated to protecting marine environments. As valued REEF ambassadors, they teach fish ID classes, host survey dives, organize volunteer events and more. You can see the full listing of Conservation Partners or register your business or organization as a REEF Conservation Partner here: www.REEF.org/conservation-partners.
In what ways does COJO Diving engage with REEF’s main programs?
The identification and photography of local marine life are activities which are hugely popular with our local divers. The Bay of Fundy is in our backyard, which not only has the highest tides in the world, but is well known for the richness and diversity of marine life above and below. Early in the season we host fish ID classes which are offered free at our shop, and this sets divers up to be more aware going into the season and participating in the many event dives COJO offers.
On our summer charters out of the seaside town Saint Andrews, divers not only enjoy topside sightings such as seals, porpoise and whales, but then get to explore and document new dive sites. In July as part of the Great Annual Fish Count, we sponsor at least one event dive where divers are briefed onsite on how to conduct survey dives, the materials used, and all about REEF and how to submit their surveys.
What other actions do you take to promote marine conservation?
When divers enter our shop and ask us what kind of diving we offer around here, we immediately talk about the events and trips we offer to various locations and how accessible these are to divers of every level. Our shop counter is the place to find information about REEF, find local identification books, and purchase REEF materials to conduct surveys. We are a 100% Project AWARE partner, so we make a donation to Project AWARE for every recreational certification we process, and we partner with the Nature Trust of New Brunswick to promote and survey sites under their protection. We also participate annually in the Great Fundy Coastal Cleanup by hosting a 'Dive Against Debris' event on one of the sites protected by NTNB. We work with the Huntsman Marine Science Center, which is an aquarium and research center located in Saint Andrews. We support activities such as "bio blitzes" hosted by our partners, in some of our many unique coastal areas. We are also environmentally conscious in selecting partners for our dive travel and charters. Not only do we give our divers the opportunity to see other unique areas in Canada and around the world, but we want them to see it through the eyes of local operators who fight to conserve and protect their areas.
How can REEF members get involved with your dive shop/organization?
REEF members can contact us through Facebook or through our website, www.cojodiving.com. All of our dive events, trips and charters are posted on our Facebook Events page with details on the site and timings. To encourage divers to come out to as many events as possible, we offer a 25% discount on all rentals for event dives. Event dives are free to attend and family friendly, and divers without a buddy just register onsite and we make sure everyone has someone with compatible experience to dive with. We make sure divers of every level have opportunities to come out for fun dives!
We also provide detailed site and safety briefings, identification materials, Divemasters and safety divers to help on shore and in the water. We have water, snacks, first aid and oxygen kits at all of the dive events. We often follow the events with a BBQ, and we do a sweep of the beach and area for debris. Not only are the events fun, free and educational, but all divers leave with a sense of how they can also be good stewards of our marine area!