51. PADI Pro Night, the Grouper Moon Project, and U.S. Divers

A PADI Pro Night is a time to get together with a PADI dive shop to learn more about what it takes to become a leader in the scuba diving community as a PADI Professional. It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned diver or just starting out. A PADI Pro Night will give you the information you will need to make this journey. You will hear from dive professionals and get to ask questions about you can expect by embarking on this rewarding career.

The Grouper Moon Project is the most advanced tropical fisheries research program in the world. The project is a joint program run by Reef Environmental Educational Foundation (REEF), the Cayman Island Department of Environment, Scripts Institute of Oceanography and Oregon State University. The study is conducted off Little Cayman during the winter aggregations of Nassau grouper for spawning. The project incorporates research, monitoring and outreach. It has been instrumental in progressive rising policies in the Caymans. It is working. The Little Cayman aggregation grew from 1200 fish in 2009 to over 7000 by 2018. Check out more at the REEF website.

U.S. Divers was another one of the five original scuba equipment manufacturers in the United States. It started out as Rene Sports in Los Angeles that was owned by Rene Bussoz. Rene was born in Paris in 1906 and emigrated to the US in 1939 after visiting with his father who was an inventor delivering slot machines to Las Vegas. Rene was introduced to Cousteau’s aqua-lung and wanted to become the West Coast distributor for their units. Along the way, Rene got the license agreement to make the aqua-lungs in the US. He formed U.S. Divers out of Rene Sports in 1952 and registered the name Aqualung. By 1956, it looked like he would lose his licensing agreement and after tense negotiation he sold U.S. Divers to L’Air Liquid with Jacque Cousteau becoming the chairman of the board of directors. In 2003, U.S. Divers was renamed Aqualung America. Rene moved back to France after selling the company and passed away in 1989.