Atlantis Diving opened in 1989 and is one of the oldest PADI dive centers of the island. They offer all PADI dive courses, as well as re-breather courses and DPV dives.
We spoke with Ingrid van den Bosch (together with Jan Moerland, owner of the dive center) and Ruud de Loos (operational manager).
Ingrid tells how she and Jan came to Curacao eleven years ago. Initially Curacao would only be the first stop on a travel around the world, but after one year, they got the chance to take over the dive center. August 1, 2002, they did so and it turned out to be a very successful move. In fact, last week they celebrated their 10th anniversary! Five years ago they opened a beautiful ocean front 8-bedroom apartment complex next to the dive center, which they are managing now as well.
How would you describe the situation of the reefs in Curacao?
For tourists it might not be obvious, but being here for over ten years, we do see the deterioration of the reef. To contribute to coral conservation we try to raise awareness among our customers by teaching them how delicate corals are and that they shouldn’t touch anything underwater. We organize clean-ups at our house reef and Mari Pompoen with the help of volunteers. We’re glad to see that the amount of litter on those reefs has decreased, but there’s more that needs to be done. For example most local people don’t know much about the underwater world, let alone how fragile it is, and why it needs to be protected.
Why do you support the SECORE workshop?
We’re always interested in coral conservation and research, to learn more about it and what can be done. About ten years ago, we’ve worked with Dirk Petersen when he was doing his Phd on Curacao. So when one of our former instructors asked if we would like to contribute to the SECORE workshop, we didn’t have to think twice.
A better understanding of the process of coral spawning helps coral conservation. When we came to Curacao, hardly anybody mentioned coral spawning. Only since a few years, scientists started to develop the knowledge and research on it, and gaining more attention to the phenomenon. It’s interesting for our staff, since most of our instructors, which mostly stay here for half a year to a year, and are not familiar with it. With the documentation provided by SECORE, we can teach our staff, as well as our customers about coral spawning and conservation.