SCUBA News 173,

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SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 173 - October 2014
http://www.scubatravel.co.uk
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Welcome to SCUBA News. This month we are delighted to have an exclusive interview with Beth Tierney, co-author of Diving the World. Discover how she got into making a living by diving and writing about exotic places.

You can download a pdf version of this newsletter. I hope you enjoy SCUBA News but should you wish to cancel your subscription you can do so at http://www.scubatravel.co.uk/news.html. SCUBA News is published by SCUBA Travel Ltd.


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Contents:
- What's new at SCUBA Travel?
- Meet the author: Beth Tierney
- Strange animals found in the Canaries
- Diving news from around the world


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What's New at SCUBA Travel?

Diving Madagascar

Diving Madagascar

Madagascar, the world's fourth largest island, hosts one of the world's longest continuous coral reefs with masses of marine life including 34 species of whale and dolphin, 56 species of shark, 300 hard corals and 1300 species of bony fish. Read more about diving Madagascar at
http://www.scubatravel.co.uk/madagascar/

Red Sea by Tim Nicholson

Diving Jordan

You can dive all year round in Jordan's Red Sea. Check out which Jordanian dive centres have the best reviews at
http://www.scubatravel.co.uk/redsea/jordan-diving.html


Meet the author: Beth Tierney

Along with her husband Shaun, Beth Tierney is co-author of the popular Diving the World. Jill Studholme interviewed her for SCUBA News.

What makes your book different from other books about diving around the world?

There are two principals we have stuck to ever since the first edition. Right from the start, we asked other divers where they had been and where they were diving next. And then we focused on those places people actually want to go to and can afford to go to. Let's face it, we would all love to dive the Antarctic, but few of us will win the lottery this week! The other thing is that we can say - hand on heart - that there is nothing in the book that we haven't personally done. If we haven't dived the country or a specific site, we don't write about it or pass opinion. It makes the guide unique. Yes, it is personal to us and our experiences but at least readers know we have said it because we have done it!
Whale shark
Whale Shark

This is the third edition - did you have to revisit all the dive sites in the original book and have you added any new areas to the book?

Wouldn't that be a wonderful thing! I love the idea of going back to everywhere again, but sadly, that's not practical for every edition. However, we have dived almost everywhere more than once and revisited some places specifically to make sure we are up-to-date. Jordan is a good example, it was our first ever foray into the Red Sea but it didn't go into the first two editions. However, this time around, we found it was hitting more wish lists so we went back and checked it out. And yes, it was as good as we remembered it.

Where would you like to dive next?

Always a hard one as we tend to hold off making plans to see what new things crop up - if a different destination or new liveaboard appears, we can just hop on. However, we are both quite keen to go back to Papua New Guinea where there is a mix of reefs and wrecks and it is never that busy. We would both like to revisit Truk Lagoon or perhaps explore the Malpelo in the Eastern Pacific.

Do you have a worst diving experience?

We have been fortunate to never have any really serious dramas, although there have been plenty of small ones that make hilarious dinnertime tales. As for bad dive experiences, the hardest one was a dive in the far south of Indonesia in the Indian Ocean. We were heading for a pinnacle beyond the surf zone with no land in sight. When we reached it and entered the water, all was calm but as soon as we reached about 25 metres there was a phenomenal tidal change that hit the pinnacle as a 5 or 6 metre surge. One minute we would be at 24 metres, and then in seconds were thrown up to 18 before dropping rapidly to over 30 metres. It was terrifying and hilarious all at once. Trying to abort a dive like that is nigh on impossible too as our computers screeched non-stop. We ended up clinging to rocks on the pinnacle and slowly working our way up, ending with just 12 minutes of deco-time. Phew.

Great photos are a hallmark of your books, what photographic equipment do you use?

The images in the book have been taken over quite a few years so some were on film. Way back when, Shaun used a Nikonos V and a Nikon F90 in a Sea and Sea Housing. When he went over to the dark side (oops, digital), he stuck with Sea and Sea housings as he feels they are the most ergonomic and simple, incredibly well built but good value. His first digital SLR camera was a Nikon D200 and he has a D300 as well.
Blue Ringed Octopus
Blue Ringed Octopus

Now that the new book is finished, what projects have you in the pipeline?

At the moment, we are working on converting our previous guide, Diving Southeast Asia to a digital version. This means going back over all the factual content to ensure it is still correct (or fix what has changed) then we also updating the operator listings. We are hoping it will be available before Christmas this year.

What do you do for recreation when you are not diving?

We've recently bought a new house in the wilds of Dorset (UK), so life is currently all to do with renovating and gardening. We are lucky enough to have a stream though, with all sorts of wonderful wildlife - crayfish, kingfishers and water voles - so we are not completely missing the marine world. I am contemplating putting my Canon S110 in it's housing to see what I can get when I go paddling!

Most people would like your job - diving exotic places and writing about it - how did you get into it?

Way back in the 80s we did a round-the-world trek spending long spells in the tropics, floating over vivid coral reefs and wishing we were down below with the divers. At the time our budget didn't extend to learning to dive but within months of returning to London we signed up for a BSAC course, did our first open water dives in the Maldives and our qualification dives in Cyprus.

As the years went by, we became increasingly involved in the diving world as a photojournalist team: Shaun's first career was as a studio photographer and Beth worked in advertising and marketing as a consultant to the travel industry. In the early '90s, we took a 'career break' and aimed to dive our way around the world. We didn't manage to see as much as we wanted but it was a great year.

Since then, we have become PADI Master Scuba Divers and our work has become increasingly focused on dive travel books plus we run SeaFocus.com.

Diving the World Third Edition

Diving the World

You can order a signed copy of Diving the World from the Tierneys' Sea Focus website. It is also available with 11% off from Amazon.

As well as information about over 275 dive sites, the book covers: local customs; suggestions for dive centres, accommodation and restaurants; information on what to do when you're not diving (useful for non-divers travelling with you) and anecdotes about the diving. The authors have dived, reviewed and photographed every site in the book.

The new edition is out 10 November.


Strange Animals found around the Canary Islands

Marine conservation group Oceana have found an amazing array of marine life in their recent scientific expedition around the Canary Islands.

Helmet Jellyfish
Helmet Jellyfish, copyright Oceana

Using ROVs (remotely operated underwater vehicles) down to 1000 m as well as scuba divers to shallow depths, they documented large colonies of deep-sea white coral, crystal aggregations of sponges, dense forests of black corals, oceanic puffers, giant foraminifera, carnivorous sponges and sharks, as well as many other biological communities and species in the south of the El Hierro Island.

Oceana - Siphonophora
Siphonophora, copyright Oceana

"Although there are some habitats that are specific to certain depths, in all dives and environments we have documented many different species, demonstrating the richness in biodiversity of southern El Hierro", says Ricardo Aguilar, Research Director at Oceana in Europe. "With information gathered from this expedition, we intend to promote the creation of a marine national park in the southern part of El Hierro island; the first one in Europe."

Nemichthys sp
Nemichthys sp, copyright Oceana

El Hierro boasts highly diverse and valuable marine habitats and species, which led Oceana to propose the protection of its waters in 2011. Earlier this year El Hierro became the first island in the world to use 100 percent renewable energies, making the island unique from an environmental point of view.

Carnivorous sponge
Carnivorous sponge, copyright Oceana

As well as documenting the sea life around El Hierro, the expedition is exploring for the first time seamounts in the Eastern Atlantic. These have hardly ever been filmed before.

Brown-snout spookfish (Dolichopteryx longipes)
Brown-snout spookfish (Dolichopteryx longipes), copyright Oceana

The Canary Islands and their adjacent seamounts hold the most diverse elasmobranchs (sharks and rays) community of the whole European Union, with up to 79 species identified.

Bigeye thresher shark (Alopias superciliosus)
Bigeye thresher shark (Alopias superciliosus), copyright Oceana

Oceana was founded in 2001 and is the largest international organization focused solely on ocean conservation, protecting marine ecosystems and endangered species.

All Photos copyright Oceana

See more photos at Strange Marine Animals found around the Canary Islands

Further Reading:
Oceana – Canary Islands Expedition 2014


Diving News From Around the World

Divers are invited to new Tsu Social Media site

Help create a scuba diving community at Tsu, and earn money in the process. Tsu pay their users percentage of their revenue: the more interaction your posts get, the more you earn.

Mantis Shrimp

Mantis shrimp inspires cancer-detecting camera design

The mantis shrimp's eyes, which can see differences in polarized light, are informing researchers building a tiny, easy-to-use camera that can spot cancer

Stricter rules will thwart Japan's whaling attempts

Japan's plan to restart its whaling programme just got harpooned. From now on it will have to work much harder to convince the world that its "scientific whaling" should be allowed to continue.

Blue Whale

Blue whales of California are back to historical levels, study finds

Good news, whale lovers: A new analysis suggests that there are as many blue whales living off the coast of California as there were before humans started hunting them to near extinction 110 years ago.

Fishermen will now have to land ALL their catches in Europe

EU does away with the wasteful practice of discarding through the introduction of a landing obligation.

Basking Shark

Ireland the perfect spot for a Shark Park

Hundreds of basking shark 'and maybe even white sharks' make Malin Head in Donegal ideally suited to a 'Shark Park', according to a world-renowned expert.

Fish love skyscraper-style living under oil platforms

Oil rigs are rarely lauded by conservationists, but fish seem to love them - they have more fish living around them than natural rocky reefs do

Bluefin Tuna

Can bluefin tuna limits save fishery?

California anglers will be restricted to just two bluefin tuna per day instead of 10. But is it enough? Should sport fishermen be allowed to catch any of a fish whose population is in collapse?

Great Barrier Reef pollution acidifying inshore areas

It has long been known that pollution is having a devastating impact on the Great Barrier Reef but now scientists are warning that it may also be dramatically increasing the rate of ocean acidification in inshore areas of the region.

5 reasons to worry about a quagga mussel invasion

The invasive quagga mussel has been spotted in the UK. It breeds rapidly and suffocates other mussel species, but could be controlled with a poison pill

For breaking news see our Twitter page or RSS feed



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