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SCUBA News 139

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SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 139 - December 2011

Welcome to the final 2011 SCUBA News - thanks for subscribing and a Happy New Year. This month we have some stunning underwater photos - the winners of the Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition. If you can't see the photos you might like to change your preferences to HTML.

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SCUBA News is published by SCUBA Travel Ltd, the independent guide to diving around the world.

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- What's new at SCUBA Travel?
- Letters
- Winners of the Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition
- Diving News from Around the World


What's New at SCUBA Travel?

Underwater Ireland Photos

Rathlin island and the Wreck of The Laurentic are among the spots now featured in the British and Irish Underwater Photo Gallery. See some great photos at

Diving Malaysia

Malaysia has some world class diving, including the famous Sipadan which is currently third in the Top Ten Dives of the World list. We've updated our coverage of the dives of Malaysia at

For regular announcements of what's new at the SCUBA Travel site see our Twitter feed, our Facebook page or the SCUBA Travel Google+ page.

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Your Letters

Diving Cuba

I'm looking to dive the NE coast of Cuba in my own boat. Any recommendations?

If you can help Jeff please either post on the diving board or e-mail [email protected]


Winners of the Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition

The Second Annual Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition, organized by the Underwater Photography Guide, has announced its winners for 2011. This year's Ocean Art Photo Competition represents entrants from over fifty countries.

Salvatore Ianniello, 1st Place, Nudibranchs
Nudibranch on featherduster worm, taken in the Mediterranean sea

The Best of Show was a fabulous wide-angle photograph of several manta rays, taken by Tobias Friedrich of Germany. Other stunning images include a hunting leopard seal, a pair of eels, and a beautiful squid composition. Thousands of entries were viewed by the judges before the final set of outstanding images were selected, and deemed some of the best underwater photos in the world.

Tobias Friedrich, Best of Show
"Manta Madness"

Judging was quite difficult due to the high quality of images. World famous underwater photographer and contest judge Martin Edge commented,
"This year the judging was very tight due to so many superb images. After much discussion, agreements and disagreements, we felt the winners really stood out. For myself, the best in show was the most awesome shot in the entire collection."

Lill Haugen, 1st Place, Coldwater
"Frozen Fjord", taken in Oslo, Norway

There were 12 categories, including wide angle, marine life behaviour, macro, coldwater, nudibranch, novice and compact macro.

Jackie Campbell, 1st Place, Compact Macro
"Hairy Stare", Hairy frogfish, taken in Lembeh, Indonesia

Jannik Pedersen, 1st Place, Compact Wide-Angle
"Diving in the Beautiful Cenotes of Mexico"

Gery Beeckmans, Honorable Mention, Compact Marine Life Behavior Category
"Me and My Family"

More winning photos can be seen at Underwater Photography Guide, founded by Scott Gietler, is a comprehensive website and community for learning about underwater photography technique, marine life, and scuba diving destinations, and contains over 600 pages of organized tutorials, forums, reviews, and articles. Community members of the Underwater Photography Guide and its equipment sponsor, Bluewater Photo, participate in several international workshops each year, and the site receives over 300,000 unique visitors annually.


Diving News From Around the World

You can display this news, in real-time, on your web site. Just grab our news feed from For more details see You can also read it on our Twitter page Diver fined for stealing from war grave

A diver has been fined 1,400 pounds after pleading guilty to stealing two relics from an official war grave.

Whales and dolphins stranded around UK 'total thousands'

Almost 3,500 whales, dolphins and porpoises have been stranded on UK coastlines over the past six years, according to a study. The Zoological Society of London (ZSL), which co-ordinated the work, says many had died of disease or starvation.

Australia plans huge marine reserve in Coral Sea

The Australian government says it plans to establish the world's largest marine reserve in the Coral Sea. Environment Minister Tony Burke said the protected zone would cover an area more than one-and-a-half times the size of France.

Save the Great Barrier Reef

Millions of cubic metres of sea floor are apparently being removed from the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area right now. It's the largest dredging project ever undertaken in Australia, making way for massive new coal seam gas export facilities.

Sea cucumbers: Dissolving coral reefs?

Coral reefs are extremely diverse ecosystems that support enormous biodiversity. But they are at risk. Carbon dioxide emissions are acidifying the ocean, threatening reefs and other marine organisms. New research analyzed the role of sea cucumbers in portions of the Great Barrier Reef and determined that their dietary process of dissolving calcium carbonate (CaCO3) from the surrounding reef accounts for about half of at the total nighttime dissolution for the reef.

Turtle eggs communicate to hatch together

Talk about egging your siblings on. Baby turtles communicate before hatching to coordinate their arrival into the world.

World-first discovery of hybrid sharks

Scientists have discovered that sharks on Australia's east coast display a mysterious tendency to interbreed, challenging several accepted scientific theories regarding shark behaviour.

Restaurants set to reel in fish mislabelling with DNA technology

The mislabelling of fish is all too common with one study finding that a quarter of fish tested weren't the type advertised. However, DNA technology is being introduced around the world to assure patrons they are being served the genuine fish fillet they ordered, rather than inferior substitutes.

Bathtub-sized marine sponge rediscovered after a century of extinction

Not found alive for over a century the evocatively named Neptune's cup sponge (Cliona patera) has been rediscovered off the shores of Singapore.

Experts probe deadly SA shark attacks

Port St Johns beach in the Eastern Cape is among the world's deadliest for shark attacks, with five fatalities in five years, three in 2009 alone.

Coral reef successfully restored

Corals damaged in 2002 when a boat ran aground in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary are now thriving following a restoration and near decade-long monitoring effort.

Mollusc shell features could be replicated in synthetic fabrics

The mollusc shell is made up of only one mineral: calcium carbonate, yet the combination of that plus enzymes and proteins gives it remarkable properties in terms of strength, while remaining incredibly light.

Methane discovery stokes new global warming fears

Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane - a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide - have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region.

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