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SCUBA News



News and articles on scuba diving, marine biology, oceanography and marine conservation.



 



Blue whales' unique feeding habits revealed by sensors
Whales are the biggest animals to ever have existed on Earth, and yet some subsist on tiny creatures. How they do this is only just being uncovered.



Seafood fraud found worldwide
In-depth examination into global seafood fraud shows that it is still a serious problem, hurting consumers' health and wallets, and threatening marine wildlife and ecosystems.



Sharm el-Sheikh flights to resume soon?
The British Government should lift the ban on travel to the popular Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh as a crumbling tourism industry in the region could leave it "vulnerable to radicalisation", the head of the cross-party parliamentary group on Egypt told the Daily Telegraph.



Ocean Art Underwater Photography Contest 2016 Now Open
Enter the Ocean Art underwater photography competition to win one of $75000 of prizes.



Scuba News 195 now up
Latest issue of SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011) now up. In this issue: interview with the author of Careers in Scuba Diving, the two sides of diving the Dominican Republic, the successful lionfish, where to dive in the Maldives and the roundup of the most interesting underwater news and research.



Beneath India's Islands
Isolated and unspoilt, India's Lakshadweep and Andaman Islands have fabulous diving.



Fishing ban in four new marine reserves
Four vast marine reserves are to be created around remote British islands in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will announce today. Commercial fishing will be banned permanently in a million square kilometres of ocean teeming with sharks, turtles and whales. Destructive methods of fishing will be banned in another million square kilometres



When and where to dive in the Maldives
Serious diving resorts include Biyadoo - very good food as they grow their own fruit and vegetables and Elaidoo. The best option for divers though is a liveaboard.



Human activity means sharks are disappearing from the North Sea
Long-lived species like sharks, rays and skates are declining at an alarming rate in sites across the North Sea.



Revealed: Why Malta and Gozo have some of the best dives in Europe
Year round diving, clear waters and $75 off diving - read more



Sharks smarter than we think, have great awareness of surroundings, experts say
Sharks are large-brained species and they are capable of such an incredible range of complex behaviours



Melting Sea Ice Boosts Food Availability for Bowhead Whales
bout 23600 square miles of Arctic sea ice melted every day in May, a record-high amount.That is good news for one group: bowhead whales, the Arctic's largest marine mammal. Warming temperatures are leading to a massive sea-ice melt that's troublesome for native people and polar bears. Both rely on the ice to launch hunts. But the melt also seems to boost food availability, at least if you're a bowhead.



Baby lobsters surf jellyfish while they eat them
First, the baby lobster grabs onto the passing jellyfish, clambering up its body until it's on top of the jellyfish's head-like bell, gripping tight with its legs so that it 'surfs' its gelatinous mount. And then the baby lobster chows down on the jellyfish-tentacles first - until it eats the creature out from under itself.



Endangered dolphin with broken blowhole learns to mouth-breathe
Not just a pretty face? A dolphin has learned to breathe through its mouth after developing a faulty blowhole, highlighting the animal's ability to adapt.



Mix of marine zones matters most for prey fish
A mosaic mix of marine zones could benefit populations of prey fishes.



The two sides of diving the Dominican Republic
Atlantic or Caribbean? Wrecks, reefs or caves?



70% of Great Barrier Reef visitors are there to see it before it goes
Tourists are hurrying to experience Australia's Great Barrier Reef before it's gone, says new report.



Passing ships' noise could disrupt ability of whales to feed
Researchers find 10 humpbacks in the Gulf of Maine descended more slowly and made fewer side-roll maneuvers.



Welcome Lanzarote Dive Centre to the SCUBA Travel site
Friendly, professional dive centre, customer focused on safe fun diving for beginners to pros and tec divers alike.



Oceana completes Malta marine survey - identifies hundreds of species
Oceana has concluded its at-sea research in Malta to explore deep-sea areas, underwater caves and sandbanks. Findings include species that hadn't previously been recorded in the Mediterranean.



Maldives citizen science aims to protect turtles
Of the seven species of marine turtles in the world, five species have been recorded in the Maldives. A new paper recommends stringent protection measures for the Maldives' turtles, including strict penalties for anyone catching or killing turtles or collecting eggs.



More than 60% of Maldives' coral reefs hit by bleaching
Scientific survey found all reefs had been affected by high sea surface temperatures, with up to 90% of coral colonies bleached in some areas



World's Best Wildlife Dive Sites
From the sardine run to swimming pigs - a diver's wish-list for finding the very best underwater wildlife experiences.



Latest issue of SCUBA News now up
Issue 194 of SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011) is now up at http://www.scubatravel.co.uk/scuba-news194.html



71 Manatees killed in Florida in 2016
Boats are killing manatees in Florida at a record-setting pace this year.As of July 22, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission had counted 71 manatees killed by boats, compared with 58 manatees killed by boats by mid-July 2009. In 2009, a record 97 manatees died from boat strikes.



Scuba Divers could be used to measure ocean temperatures
Decompression computers worn by divers provides accurate data, study shows. "The potential of scuba divers to contribute to ocean monitoring is huge"



Diving the Canary Islands
Thanks to the Canary current bringing nutrient-rich upwellings, the Canary islands have lots of sea life and great underwater architecture created by lava flows



Scorpionfish Too Deep for SCUBA Divers Caught by Submersible Turns Out to Be a New Species
Discovered by scientists using the manned submersible in the deep-reef waters of the Caribbean island of Curacao, a new scorpionfish species is the latest one captured with the help of the sub's two robotic arms.



Diving Unspoilt Papua New Guinea
The diving in Papua New Guinea is spectacular - with waters jam-packed full of fish



SCUBA News 193 Now Up
Latest issue of SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011) is now online



Personal care products "still polluting oceans with microbeads despite company promises"
A ranking of the world's 30 largest personal care companies, published today by Greenpeace, shows that big brands are failing to remove microplastics from their products.



Farmed fish drive sea change in global consumption
The world is eating more fish now than ever - with farmed, rather than wild-caught, animals driving the increase in recent decades. Still sustainability problem for wild-caught fish.



Cocos Islands - World Class Diving at World Heritage Site
300 miles off Costa Rica the Cocos Islands are a great place to see pelagic species like marlin, sailfish and sharks when they visit the islands to feed and mate.



Whale sharks added to endangered species list
Whale sharks and slender hammerheads are nearer extinction due to human actions.



Diving Providenciales - what to expect
In the Turks and Caicos islands - insider tips for getting the best out of a diving trip to Provo island



'Zombie corals' pose new threat to world's reefs
Scientists discover corals that look healthy but cannot reproduce, dashing hopes such reefs could repopulate bleached areas



Lionfish begin invasion into Mediterranean Sea: Cyprus already colonised
Scientists urge divers to remove Mediterranean lionfish as they are a huge threat to native species



The most intelligent invertebrate - what can the octopus do?
The octopus can remove lids from child-proof bottles, unlock and open boxes and recognise people - shaking hands with some and squirting water at others.



Welcome Manta Divers to the SCUBA Travel Site
With some of the cheapest prices in the Maldives, Manta Divers are on the island of Guraidhoo in the South Male Atoll.



Diving in Italy
Read divers' reviews of dive centres around Italy. Where to go and which to choose.



Underwater robot could help in search and rescue
One use for a robot like this is during underwater search and rescue operations. The robot modules could split up and search for survivors and recombine to lift heavy objects and open a passageway.



Great Barrier Reef - best liveaboard or dive operator?
Read real divers' reviews of diving Australia's Great Barrier Reef



Sonar to listen for moving icebergs near Arctic Oil Platforms
A fixed array of sensors roughly 200 metres under the surface of the sea that will use sonar to listen out for ice on the move. However, dolphins and whales are sensitive to the sonar frequencies used. It's another thing that adds to the clutter



Latest issue of SCUBA News now up
Issue 192 of SCUBA News is now up at http://www.scubatravel.co.uk/scuba-news192.html



Magnets could pull oil out of ocean before wildlife is harmed
Magnets could be used to pull oil from spills out of the water, with the help of iron oxide nanoparticles.



Malaysia creates its largest marine park in diving hotspot
Malaysia has created the Tun Mustapha Marine Park - its largest yet. In the coral triangle, the new park will help protect almost 1 million hectares of coral reef, mangrove and seagrass and fishing grounds including more than 50 islands.



Free online shark course
Cornell University, in collaboration with The University of Queensland, has created a free online course on sharks to to spread the message that shark populations need help if we are to prevent further declines and possible extinctions



$75 off diving
Use for training, kit hire, guided dive or liveaboard anywhere in world



UK closer to banning cosmetic microbeads that clog up its seas
It's a plastic plague. More than a third of fish in the English Channel are now contaminated with microscopic plastic debris from exfoliating skin scrubs, synthetic fabrics and other everyday products.



More fish in Indonesia shark sanctuary
Good news for Indonesia's shark sanctuary: sharks and other fish are more abundant within zones with fishing restrictions according to a new study. Bad news for the people who fish for a living - they sometimes turned to crime to make ends meet.



Top beauty brands accused of refusing MPs' call for hearing on microplastics
Companies should come clean on the harm plastic microbeads in their products is causing to marine life, says environment committee chair



This Week: 33% off Advertising for Dive Shops
Over 40000 people visit the SCUBA Travel site each month looking for information on diving. Wouldn't you like them to know about your dive company? You can lock into our low prices for the life of your advert - no price increases ever!



Best dive operator in the Philippines?
More reviews from divers in the Philippines. Find which get the 5 fish rating and which to avoid.



Microplastics killing fish before they reach reproductive age
Tiny particles of plastic litter in oceans causing deaths, stunted growth and altering behaviour of some fish that feed on them, research shows



Time to dive the Galapagos
Darwin and Wolf islands have the largest concentration of sharks in the world, and their marine protection has just been stepped up. If you haven't been - go now.



Dive Palau : The Shipwrecks
The wrecks of Palau are revealed by Rod Macdonald in this newly published book. Each wreck is covered in detail and is supported by underwater photography and great illustrations by renowned artist Rob Ward.



Great Barrier Reef: advisers call for cap on farm pollution
A cap on pollution from farms close to the Great Barrier Reef has been proposed by advisers to the Queensland government. ugar cane, grazing and other sectors should be given pollution load limits for their industries in each catchment.



Save $75 on scuba diving
We've teamed up with Divebooker to offer you $75 off diving anywhere, anytime in the next 12 months. You can use it against training, dive packages or liveaboards.



Nearly 100 of the world's 500 shark species are found around Cuba
The coral reefs, sea grass beds and mangroves in Cuba are amongst the most intact marine ecosystems in the region



Thailand closes Similans island to divers and other tourists
All 17 marine national parks in the Andaman Sea will be closed from next Monday to Saturday 15 Oct during the monsoon season - that's over 60% of coral reefs. But even after the rest re-open, Koh Tachai will remain off-limits.



Iron fertilization won't work in much of Pacific
Iron fertilization won't work to combat climate change in much of Pacific



Albania - Europe's next big diving area?
The Republic of Albania is opposite the heel of Italy and north of Greece. It borders the Mediterranean, with the South-West of Albania on the Ionian Sea and the North-West on the Adriatic. Many dive sites in Albania have yet to be explored. It is a new area for diving, but the number of dive centres is increasing.



Spanish Empire Shipwrecks Offer New Data in the Quest to Understand Hurricanes
Caribbean Sea shipwrecks offer a high-resolution record of historical hurricane activity, which could be used to tune climate models.



Galapagos Islands home to largest shark biomass in the world
The islands of Darwin and Wolf in the far north of the Galapagos Marine Reserve though, are known for their large shark abundance, making them a global scuba diving and conservation hotspot. New study has found that they are home to the largest shark biomass on the planet



Why do so many dive shops in Bali have the top '5 fish' rating
What is it about the dive shops of Bali? Loads of them have the top "5 fish" rating awarded by divers



Solomon Islands already sunk
Study says five Solomon Islands have already disappeared underwater due to rising sea levels



Florida's coral reefs rapidly wasting away under stress of climate change
Accelerated acidification of coastal waters has brought about structural decline of only reef in continental US, initially pegged by scientists at around 2050.



Revealed: Best Dive Shops and Liveaboards in the Philippines
Which dive operator to choose in the Philippinees? Read today's divers' ratings and reviews.



Diving Tioman Island - What to Expect
If loads of fish and nudibranchs are your thing, then Tioman island in Malaysia is the place for you.



Jellyfish stings: treat with hot water not cold
Jellyfish stings are responsible for more deaths than shark attacks each year. Even mild stings can hurt for hours to days and leave lasting scars. According to some estimates, more than 150 million people are stung by jellyfish each year. New research shows that applying hot packs or immersing in hot water is much better for treating jellyfish stings than cold water which was previously widely recommended.



Right whales threatened by planned seismic surveys
A series of seismic surveys for oil and gas planned for the mid- and southeastern Atlantic coastal areas of the United States pose a substantial threat to one of the world's rarest whales, according to a group of renowned marine mammal scientists urging a halt to the surveys.



Diving the Bay Islands of Honduras
The best diving in Honduras is in the Bay Islands. These comprise Roatan, Utila and Guanaja which are part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. Of these, Utila has the better diving, and has the added advantage of being cheaper than Roatan.The best time to dive the Bay Isands is April and May when the weather is warm and dry. You might see whale sharks at any time of the year but mid February to April are the peak months. Sea temperatures are warm throughout the year, at coldest it is 26 oC at the surface (January and February).



Tuna industry calls for a cut in yellowfin catch
It's got so bad that even the big tuna fisheries are calling on the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission to reduce catches of yellowfin tuna.



Crossover Scuba Diving Qualifications
24 scuba diving agencies compared - CMAS v BSAC v PADI v NAUI v SAA v ANDI v ACUC v RAID v NASE...



IUCN Oceans Photographer of the Year 2016 now Open
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has launched its 2016 Oceans Photography contest. Photographers are invited to submit up to three photos in six categories, including marine life, destinations, human impact and marine conservation.



Underwater robots make independent decisions
When acoustic sensors aboard an autonomous underwater vehicle detected the right size and concentration of squid, it triggered a mission: to report the robot's position in the water and then map the area in finer detail.



The best scuba dive sites in Bali
Although small Bali has a wide variety of dive sites, some suiting beginners and others with fierce currents and only for experienced divers. Highlights include Tulamben's awesome Liberty wreck, the reef manta rays of Nusa Penida and the fascinating macro marine life of Tulamben and Seraya Secrets.



Subscience Inc - World's first Haircare especially for Divers
Subscience Inc. are aware of the damaging affects water, sun and salt have on the hair and skin. At their laboratories, they have researched and tested unique formulations with divers, snorkellers and hair care professionals. Their comprehensive hair care system is formulated for SCUBA divers and water enthusiasts.



GPS signal used for sat-navs could improve knowledge of ocean currents
For the first time sea level has been mapped from space using GPS reflections.



Revealed: the best Portuguese dive sites
As well as the diving around mainland Portugal, there is also splendid diving in the Azores and Madeira archipelagos which sit way out in the Atlantic.



Welcome Dive Funatics Philippines to SCUBA Travel
"Conveniently located, just about 30 minutes away from Cebu City. The dive team are passionate about diving, not for the money. Transparent dealings, no hidden costs, no sugar coating."



Lion's Mane Jellyfish: Big and Dangerous
With tentacles up to three metres long and covered with stinging cells, it's better not to get too close to the Lion's Mane jellyfish. It's body can be 2 metres across, making it one of the largest species of jellyfish.



Motorboat noise halves reef fish survival rate
The rate at which predators capture fish doubles when boats are motoring nearby



Third off advertising for diving companies: 5-30% ctr
Over 40000 people visit the SCUBA Travel site each month looking for information on diving. Wouldn't you like them to know about your dive company?



Consider Palau - one of the best diving spots on Earth
Palau offers world-class diving with sea walls, sheer drop-offs, caves and an exuberance of marine life.



Best Diving Centres in Thailand
Discover inside information on the diving centres in Phuket, Khao Lak, Koh Phi Phi, Krabi and elsewhere in Thailand



Marine Life in the Red Sea: Identifying Fish, Invertebrates, etc
With around 1000 species of fish and 150 species of coral, the Red Sea is rich in marine life. Photo guide to animals you might see there.



Where in the World are the 10 Best Wreck Dives?
Revealed - the top ten wreck dives on the planet



Blackwater Image wins Ocean Art Underwater Photography Contest
Extraordinary blackwater photo of an eel larva, which has been photographed a handful of times before, wins the 2015 Ocean Art Underwater Photo contest. Organised by the Underwater Photography Guide, the competition saw over $70,000 of prizes awarded to 75 underwater photographers.



$7 Million Prize for developing Ocean Explorer
A global competition is challenging teams to design an underwater vehicle to explore the deep sea. It must map the seafloor, produce images of specific objects, identify archeological, biological or geological features and, for a bonus, track a chemical or biological signal to its source.



Tagging Seals Improves Ocean Weather Forecasts
Elephant seals improve weather forecasts by up to 6%



Revealed - the World's Top 100 Dive Sites
Compiled from divers' votes, SCUBA Travel have updated the definitive list of the best dive sites on the planet.



Stealthy cuttlefish use electric cloaking
Newly discovered weapon in cuttlefish camouflage armoury: electric cloaking



Best Winter European Diving?
Canary Islands are warm, have good vis and the most diverse array of sharks and rays in the EU.



Diving with Crocodiles
Botswana - that land-locked country. Not the first place you might think of for a diving holiday. But you can now go diving with Nile Crocodiles in the Okavango Delta!



Scuba Bestsellers of 2015
SCUBA Travel are pleased to release the list of the 2015 best selling SCUBA books and dvds.



Scuba diving incidents up in 2015
The British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) has published its Annual Diving Incident Report for 2015. This year's report records a total of 226 incidents, up by ten on last year. However, fatalities were the lowest for twenty years.



The fast and deadly Great Barracuda is Creature of the Month
The Great barracuda is amongst the top predators in their environment and use very highly developed smell and vision senses to locate their prey. When attacking, the barracuda will charge at fast speed (approximately 12 ms-1) and ram their target. They then unleash the power of their jaws which allows them to slice through their prey, even those larger than the barracuda itself. The jaw of the barracuda is formed in such a way that the upper and lower jaws form rows of teeth. The top jaw has smaller serrated teeth on the outside and larger canines on the inside, and the teeth of the lower jaw fit between them when the mouth is shut. When the jaw closes this acts like scissors and slices through prey with ease.



Where and why to dive in Cuba?
Nearly 100 of the world's 500 shark species are found around Cuba. The Cuban government is currently developing new measures to both protect the most vulnerable species and guard against overfishing of all shark species in Cuban waters.



Corals which store fat cope better with global warming
Study reveals that corals which store fat are more able to survive bleaching events.