New Program Takes Non-Certified Divers Closer Than Ever To Sharks

Francis YupangcoBy Francis Yupangco 3 years ago
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Shark-Dive-PDZA Jumping in the water to get face to face with sharks is a great way to teach people that these creatures are ones to be admired rather than feared. Now, with Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium’s unique new program, diving with sharks just became a lot more accessible to the general public and non-certified divers. ‘Beyond the Cage Dive’ begins on October 10, 2015 and will be open to children as young as 10 years old. The dive allows participants to get up close and personal with five different species of sharks, including sandbar, sand tiger, black tip reef, nurse, and wobbegong sharks, in the water of the South Pacific Aquarium. Registration for the dive is available at www.pdza.org/dive. The dive costs a very reasonable $80.00 for members and $95.00 for non-members; this includes admission to the zoo and even a souvenir towel. The program lasts 80 minutes, with 30 minutes spent underwater. It is the second dive, for those who have already completed a cage dive. This dive literally goes beyond the cage dive and in the open waters. There is no diver certification necessary, but participants must have completed a dive in the eye-to-eye program before they can register for this dive. The divers use dry suits and breathing masks with surface supplied air to navigate around the 225,000 gallon tank.

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  Fish, Tanks
Francis Yupangco
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 Francis Yupangco

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Francis is a marine biologist with an MBA and over 20 years of professional aquarium experience. Francis is the former Aquatic Development Manager at Hagen USA., makers of Fluval brand aquarium products. He co-stars on Nat Geo WILD's reality TV series Fish Tank Kings where he is the resident "Fish Geek" and was Director of Marketing at Living Color Aquariums. He is an avid explorer having visited over 45 countries and lived in 7. At 17, he was among the youngest aquarists ever hired by the Vancouver Aquarium, where he worked for 7 years. His aquatic biology experience ranges from larval fish rearing to the design, construction and operational management of renowned public aquariums around the world. Francis is currently head of marketing at the world's largest vertically integrated fish farming company.

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