Sub Sea Systems — Our World is a blog dedicated to the unique experiences of Sub Sea Systems — Immerse yourself in our incredible adventures, company culture, and innovative programs and products.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Myth busters #1 — Sharks & Stingrays


Sharks and Stingrays have pretty bad reputations. People fear them for many reasons, but are any of these reasons based on fact? Read on for interesting myth busters about these misunderstood creatures of the sea.



SHARKS
Movies like Jaws have instilled fear into the hearts of people around the world. The idea of a giant, intelligent, man-eating shark with 3 rows of razor sharp teeth and a quest for vengeance is quite daunting, but the reality is that sharks need our help. We need to quell these myths in order to protect these magnificent creatures.

Myth:
Sharks are man-eaters.

Fact:
Sharks are being hunted to the brink of extinction in part because of their reputation as man-eaters. Generally when a shark ‘attack’ happens (which is very rare) it is a case of mistaken identity. When sharks bite humans they think they are getting a nice bite of seal (one of their favorite sources of food), and usually they swim away when they realize their mistake.

Myth:
Sharks are not threatened.

Fact:
Many species of sharks are threatened because they tend to grow slowly and produce few young, which leaves them vulnerable to overfishing. Sharks are very important to the eco systems within which they exist. Not only is it very sad to lose any species to extinction, but it affects other populations, and causes imbalance and further extinction. The key cause of this sad state of affairs is shark finning. Shark finning is the horrible fishing practice where fishermen catch sharks, slice off all of their fins, and throw their still living bodies back into the sea. The mutilated sharks (still alive) sink to the bottom, and being unable to swim they are slowly eaten alive by other fish. The multi billion-dollar industry is estimated to kill 100 million sharks annually.  To spread awareness of this cruel practice a very graphic and disturbing video was created by www.sharkproject.org.
Watch it here! 


Myth:
Sharks do not have predators.

Fact:
Humans are the scariest predators to ever exist.
  



Sub Sea Systems® has helped to develop SHARKS! Interactive® — A Hands-On Shark Adventure. This interactive program puts guests face-to-face with the feared animal! The program uses trained nurse sharks, and allows visitors to touch, pet, feed, and swim with sharks! This interaction educates people about sharks, alleviates fears, and promotes deep personal connections to the misunderstood creatures. Education is the key to saving these animals from overfishing.




Visit www.sharksinteractive.com for locations and information.



STINGRAYS

The stingrays’ already shady reputation was exacerbated when Steve Irwin — ‘The Crocodile Hunter’ — was killed by a stingray in 2006. A stingray’s venomous barb stabbed Irwin’s heart and caused his death while he was filming a series called “Ocean’s Deadliest,” in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef. The story is tragic, but the late Steve Irwin would never want his death to create animosity toward the stingray. He spent his life trying to quash fears about ‘so-called’ dangerous creatures. It is important that fear does not take away our desire to protect the diversity of life that exists on our planet.

Myth:
Stingrays attack humans.

Fact:
Stingrays are very gentle creatures and generally only use their venomous barb when they feel threatened in some way. To avoid coming into contact with a stingray, experts recommend you do the ‘stingray shuffle’ when you are walking in the ocean. This means you walk and drag your feet through the sand. Because stingrays burrow into the sand, this motion will warn them of your presence. The stingrays will swim away — no harm done.

Myth:
Stingrays do not give live birth.

Fact:
Stingrays give birth to live babies that look exactly like miniatures of their mother. They usually have between 2–6 pups each year. Watch this amazing video of a live birth. 



Myth:
Stingrays are not threatened species.

Fact:
Many species of stingrays are threatened and some are even endangered due primarily to overfishing, habitat destruction and climate change. The beautiful creatures need people to work to preserve their species. Learn more at the Save Our Seas’ website



Stingray Bay® is a program founded by Sub Sea Systems. It allows people to interact with stingrays in the water, petting, touching, and feeding them. These stingrays are trained by knowledgeable trainers, and they love to be pet. The program helps to dispel fears about stingrays, and inspires desire to help protect the friendly docile creatures. Visit www.stingray-bay.com to sign up for news about the program. Currently the program is offered at Xcaret in Mexico. 

Additionally, if you ever want to interact with stingrays or sharks under the sea — we offer SeaTREK® with Stingrays and SeaTREK with sharks in a few select locations.



Check out the website at www.sea-trek.com

Do you know any myths about stingrays or sharks that you would like to dispel? Write them in the comments below.

Resources:


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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Inspirational Animal Rescue Stories


Sub Sea Systems and Sea TREK are committed to ocean conservancy. We are members of AMMPA, co-founders of Reef Alliance, and participate in Ocean Conservancy’s annual International Coastal Cleanup. Eco-tourism is one of the best ways to reach people’s hearts and inspire them to make positive changes toward protecting and conserving our world’s oceans and its amazing creatures.

There are many remarkable ocean animal rescue stories, and we are proud that Sea TREK is associated with some incredible programs, parks and aquariums that make great efforts to protect and rehabilitate injured and displaced sea creatures. From giant green sea turtles, to pregnant manatees — our world’s creatures need help. Education, passion, and action are the answers to the plight of our world’s oceans. We would like to share some inspiring stories about animal rescue efforts, and we hope you will be motivated to make a difference, too.



At SEA LIFE Manchester (the first European location to offer Sea TREK) Ernie the giant green sea turtle is a star, and the mascot for the aquarium’s ‘Breed, Rescue and Protect Program.’ Ernie was rescued from a farm in the Cayman Islands that raises turtles for turtle soup. He is addicted to sprouts, and furthermore only enjoys a particular brand of sprouts. Recently, Ernie has even been put on a diet because he is getting a little bit too fat! He is famous at SEA LIFE Manchester and has become known for ‘photobombing’ during Sea TREK tours. Thanks to all of the efforts that SEA LIFE has made, they have been able to fund a turtle hospital in Greece where 90% of loggerhead turtles nest. Ernie is unable to be released back into the wild, so he spends his days gliding through the gorgeous aquarium, eating his favorite brand of sprouts, and posing in photo shoots. Read more about the ‘Breed, Rescue, and Protect Program’ here. Learn more about Ernie here.


Another amazing animal that frequents a Sea TREK dive site is ‘Sharky’ the stingray at Xcaret Park in Mexico. ‘Sharky’ is missing his tail, and it is assumed it was bitten off by a shark, hence his nickname. ‘Sharky’ is not captive, but he is never far from the Sea TREK dive site. He loves to be fed, pet and play in the bubbles from the Sea TREK helmets. “He is happy living around Sea TREKKERS,“ says Jim Mayfield — owner and co-founder of Sub Sea Systems and Sea TREK, “it is amazing to see.” Learn about Xcaret’s protection programs here.


As you know, SeaWorld has been helping to rescue and rehabilitate animals for more than 50 years. From dolphins and pregnant manatees, to sea lions and pelicans, over 23,000 animals have been rescued. The majority of them are released back into the wild, while the small percentages that cannot return to nature are provided homes. SeaWorld has an amazing Pinterest board called ‘365 days of rescue’ that outlines many of their miraculous rescue stories.

Discovery Cove in Orlando (a SeaWorld Park) also offers an amazing educational Sea TREK helmet dive, and the education does not stop at the park; Discovery Cove offers hundreds of educational community outreach programs each year, finding and filling “eager hearts with an appreciation of the natural world.”



Sea TREK of Cabo Expeditions in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is owned and operated by a very talented photographer — Oscar Ortiz. His passion for the ocean is apparent in his photography, but it does not stop there. In 2010 Oscar, the staff at Cabo Expeditions, and the Mexican Navy helped to free a humpback whale from the clutches of fishnet that was wrapped around its fins. The team worked for 2 hours, meticulously and carefully cutting away the knotted net. One staff member was almost knocked out after a swift ‘whack’ from the whale’s tail. Seth Romans, Cabo Expeditions’ Director of Marketing, shares “I’m really proud to be associated with a team that saved this and many other whales. The entire team at Cabo Expeditions is absolutely passionate about the preservation and protection of the natural environment… they are true heroes.” Read the full story here or watch the video here.


Coral World Ocean Park, another location that also offers Sea TREK, is on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. The Virgin Islands are nesting sites for hawksbill sea turtles. Every year an incredible hatching takes place and thousands of tiny turtles make their way out to the sea, but when things go wrong Coral World is there to help. Any of these little guys who lose their way have a home at Coral World until they are ready to be released into deep waters where they will grow up to 150 pounds. Coral World reminds us that we can help protect these wonderful creatures by keeping plastic out of the sea and out of the bellies of these beautiful babies! For more information click here.

We know you have some amazing stories you would love to share with us, and we would love it, too. Comment below, and remember our world’s oceans need us, as much as we need them. Pick up trash, reduce, reuse, recycle, and help conserve the home of our friendly sea creatures.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

FunCat Franky Comic Strip No.2


A few weeks ago we introduced FunCat Franky & Friends with our debut comic strip. In that issue we introduced Olly the motorboat Cockapoo. Today we get a little sneak peak into FunCat Franky's romance with Cali the sassy beach Boxer. FunCat Franky is always leaving behind a great impression; his chill attitude and charming demeanor had Cali taking to the Personals to seek her knight on shining FunCat.




Want to be as cool as Franky and ride into the sunset on your own FunCat? Visit our website at www.funcats.com 

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Things you may not know about Sea TREK



Sea TREK is known for offering astounding underwater tours. With the space-age technology and design of the Sea TREK helmet, and the specially designed redundant safety systems, Sea TREK is cutting edge in shallow water helmet diving equipment. Additionally, the tours offered are unparalleled, and the Guides are incomparable in the industry. The high standards of the Sea TREK program extend themselves to every aspect of the tour. Sea TREK is the whole package: technology, wonder, customer service, eco-tourism, respect, and passion for the ocean.

When our guests participate in the Sea TREK tour we want to make sure they come away from the experience with a complete sense of awe. We hope to inspire ocean conservancy by creating memories that offer emotional connection to our world’s oceans and its creatures. We offer an amazing underwater adventure to people who don’t have dive certifications or may not even be able to swim. The Sea TREK experience provides guests with memories that last a lifetime.

Did you know?

Sub Sea Systems contracted a leading innovator in high performance, after-market vehicle manufacturing to assist in the design of the Sea TREK helmet. The same designers who work to make sleek high performance cars collaborated with us to create the mold, look and shape of the Sea TREK helmet.



Did you know?

The first location to offer Sea TREK was at Xcaret park (outside of Cancun, Mexico) in July of 1999. 582 people experienced Sea TREK that month. To date Xcaret has hosted the largest number of Sea TREK guests in the world. In July of 2013 they took 12,798 people under the sea on a Sea TREK. In total, 89,217 people participated in Sea TREK at Xcaret in 2013! Xcaret is also where Sub Sea Systems does all of its beta testing on new equipment, innovations and technologies.

Did you know? 

Sea TREK was at Sea World Orlando? Originally, the Sea TREK experience there was uniquely different than other Sea TREK tours. In a 660,000 gallon tank teeming with bull sharks, saw tooth sharks, lemon sharks, and sandbar sharks — to name a few — guests would don a Sea TREK helmet and climb into a large shark cage that ran on a track. TREKKERS would have the opportunity to stare through the bars as massive sharks checked them out!




After the success of this program, Sea World incorporated Sea TREK into the design of its newest park, Discovery Cove Orlando (DCO). DCO’s ‘Grand Reef’ (a man-made ocean lagoon) was customized to include a specialized Sea TREK path.  Sub Sea Systems was involved in the planning process: laying out the trail, handrails, and specific stops, as well as features, and entry and exit designs. Discovery Cove calls their program Sea Venture, and it features a large acrylic panel that looks into the neighboring shark tank, and an enclosed lionfish tank where guests can get face-to-face with the poisonous and invasive (yet beautiful) fish.




Did you know?

Sea TREK in Cabo San Lucas has had some pretty amazing wild sea life visitors, including: gliding devil rays, beautiful sea horses, sassy sea lions, and even a whale shark!



Likewise, recently Sea TREK at Coral World filmed a wild dolphin as he passed through the Sea TREK dive site!


Did you know?

Sea TREK Guides can do some pretty amazing stunts with their helmets? From creating bubble rings and standing on their helmets, to front flips and human pyramids — our guides are part of the entertainment!



Did you know?
Two 93-year-olds have participated in Sea TREK?... making them the oldest participants to have joined us on a Sea TREK tour.




Did you know?
Sea TREK has introduced more than 2.5 million non-swimmers and non-divers from the ages of 8 to 93 to the beauty of the underwater world.

Did you know?

Sea TREK is in the process of developing a completely new experience? The next level of underwater interaction is about to be introduced. Check back often for more information.



Hint: Clear. Social. Fun.


Have any questions or comments? Post below or visit the website at www.sea-trek.com


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