The waters around Dumaguete are famous for their marine life. Apo Island is mentioned as one of the world’s top-divesites, not only in South East Asia. The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago (a leader in the zoo and aquarium profession for more than three-quarters of a century) used the reefs of Apo Island as a model and rebuild some parts of it for their own “Clownfish-City” in Illinois. Professional Underwater Photographers coming to Dumaguete to take their shots of the famous Mandarin fishes and all the other Critters in the Bohol Sea (the official Name of the ocean here in the Central Visayas).
Especially in the area around the municipality of Dauin (15 km south of Dumaguete) are many well known beach and diving resorts who are hosting international guests from all over the world to show them the best Scuba-diving around Negros Oriental. Dauin has 8 marine sanctuaries and is also the departure point for dive-trips to the surrounding islands like Apo, Sumilon, Siquijor or Balicasag Island.
Most of the Instructors and Dive-Master in this region are Dumaguetenios with some thousand dives under the belt who know the reefs here like their own pocket. They are one of the main-reasons why most of the guests leave Dumaguete with the promise to return.
On March 27, 2008 many of them met at the Waterfront Café at the Boulevard in Dumaguete to found a new Association: The NEGROS DIVE PROFESSIONALS (NDP). The NPD members are all diving and tourism related and work in different resorts and positions. Diveshop owners, Tour-Operators, freelancing Dive-Masters and Instructors as well as employees of dive resorts founded this association to work together for the benefit of the local diving-tourism.
The goal of the NDP is to work hand in hand with the officials of the region to secure the success of “Diving in Negros”. The first public appearance of the NDP will be at a regional meeting in Dauin where their goal is to provide a better solution and give suggestions for a better system regarding all different, sometimes unpredictable fees and regulations for diving around Dumaguete.
Future goals include conservation projects in a joint venture with different Marine Biologists and Universities as well as the operation of a Recompression Chamber in Negros Oriental.
Diving in Dumaguete and Negros Oriental is one of the best of its kind in the Philippines and South East Asia. The NDP want to ensure that it will stay like that and even improve its status worldwide.