SCUBA News 151, 20 December 2012Tweet
SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 151 - December 2012
We wish you a Happy and Peaceful Christmas and New Year. Today we publish the 2012 SCUBA bestsellers list. Creature of the month is the amazing air-breathing goby and we've updates on diving Madagascar and Malta.
SCUBA News is published by SCUBA Travel.
Madagascar, the world's fourth largest island, hosts one of the world's largest continuous coral reefs. The country is famous for its unique land animals, but her seas are also full of life not found anywhere else.
More on the excellent diving in Malta now up at
Best Selling SCUBA Books of 2012
We're pleased to release our list of the best selling diving books in 2012. It comprises a mixture of books featuring the best dives from around the world, sea life guides and dive guides to particular places. No books published this year have made it into the top ten though: all were either listed last year or are a re-entry from a previous year.
Here are the top ten: figures in brackets show the previous year's position.
- Fifty Places to Dive Before You Die: Diving Experts Share the World's Greatest Destinations by Chris Santella
The fifth in Santella's bestselling "Fifty Places" series. (1)
- Coral Reef Guide Red Sea (Coral Reef) by Ewald Lieske, Robert Myers
Excellent guide to the fish and invertebrates of the Red Sea. (4)
- Coral Reef Fishes: Indo-Pacific and Caribbean by Ewald Lieske, Robert Myers
Another from Lieske and Myers, this goes on all my tropical diving holidays. (5)
- Ultimate Diving Adventures: 100 Extraordinary Experiences Under Water
by Len Deeley and Karen Gargani
Classic dives and secret spots: the authors' favourite 100 dive spots. (3)
- Diving the World
by Beth and Shaud Tierney
Some 200 tropical sites have been selected, reviewed and photographed by experienced husband-and-wife team, Beth and Shaun Tierney. (--)
- Red Sea Sharks by Jeremy Stafford-Deitsch
Photographic guide to sharks of the Red Sea. (10)
- Shipwrecks from the Egyptian Red Sea
by Ned Middleton
Eight years of research went into this accurate and definitive guide to the wrecks of the Egyptian Red Sea. (8)
- Dive Atlas of the World: An Illustrated Reference to the Best Sites by Jack Jackson
300 pages detailing some of the world's best dive sites. (2)
- Thailand (Lonely Planet Diving & Snorkeling Guides) by Tim Rock
Dive sites of Thailand. Includes city guide to Bangkok. (9)
- Dive Thailand
by Paul Lees
A great guide to diving Thailand. My copy is about 20 years old, but this is the updated version from 2009.(7)
Corals under attack by toxic seaweed do what anyone might when threatened: they call for help. And the fish that rushes to their aid is the Broad Barred Goby.
The Broad Barred Goby, or Gobiodon histrio, is just 3.5 cm long. You find it amongst the branches of coral, from the Red Sea to Samoa in the east, north to Japan and south to the Great Barrier Reef. These fish act as "bodyguards" to their coral homes. When noxious seaweed touches the corals, the polyps send out chemical signals. The gobies quickly respond to these signals by munching the destructive algae. If the seaweed were not removed it would seriously damage the coral
Eating the seaweed makes the gobies' skin toxic and protects them from parasites. It might also make them less palatable to their enemies. This is in addition to spending their lives within the crevices of specific acropora corals to evade predators.
Each coral colony is occupied by a just a single breeding pair of gobies, which live down to 11 m. Some are so shallow that at extreme low tides they may be exposed to the atmosphere. To cope with this they have developed the capability to breathe air! They appear to have done this by losing their scales and producing a network of subcutaneous blood vessels, letting them breathe through their skin.
Another problem with which they have to cope is the possibility of dramatic falls in the oxygen levels among the branches of their coral home at night. This amazing little fish has adapted to this as well and has a high tolerance of low oxygen levels, down to as little as 3%.
Next time you see a clump of shallow acropora coral, look closely and see if you can see this air-breathing, toxic-skinned, coral-defender of a fish.
Corals call for fish aid when attacked by Seaweed
- Coral Reef Fishes, Indo-Pacific and Caribbean, Ewald Lieske and Robert Myers, 2001
- Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS)
- Skin toxins and external parasitism of coral-dwelling gobies, P L Munday, M Schubert, J A Baggio, G P Jones, M J Caley, A S Grutter Journal of Fish Biology Volume 62, Issue 4, pages 976–981
- Hypoxia tolerance and air-breathing ability correlate with habitat preference in coral-dwelling fishes, G E Nilsson, J-P A Hobbs, S Ostlund-Nilsson, P L Munday Coral Reefs June 2007, Volume 26, Issue 2, pages 241-248
Scuba Concepts, Trident Diving and A-Plus Marine have recalled high pressure scuba diving air hoses.
An analysis launched today by WWF shows that over the past nine years fisheries ministers have only followed scientific advice in 13 per cent of their decisions; and set fishing quotas on average 45 per cent higher than the recommended scientific advice.
In a small patch of the Southern Ocean, the shells of sea snails are dissolving as a result of ocean acidification.
Marine zoning in the Pacific Ocean, in combination with other measures, could significantly improve numbers of heavily overfished bigeye tuna and improve local economies, a fish modelling study has found.
A group of amateur treasure-hunters who discovered the remains of an 18th century Dutch merchant vessel lost off the Devon coast during a violent storm in 1721, have uncovered a second wreck - on the same spot.
An autonomous wave-powered robot has completed a 9000-nautical-mile journey across the Pacific Ocean. It navigated along a prescribed route under autonomous control, collecting and transmitting high-resolution ocean data.
Mercury released into the air - as a result of activities such as coal burning, mining, and other industrial processes - is deposited into the oceans and contaminates seafood that is eaten by people across the globe.
The latest summit to stop climate change, held in Doha, Qatar, over the past two weeks has been roundly slammed. Little was agreed to curb greenhouse gas emissions and the latest modelling, carried out by the Climate Action Tracker consortium shows global averages temperatures are still set to rise by at least 3 oC above pre-industrial levels. There was one breakthrough: developing countries won a promise from developed ones that they would compensate them for losses and damage caused by climate change.
Marine Stewardship Council awards the Maldives' pole-and-line skipjack tuna fishery its sustainability certification. x
Fiji achieves first sustainable tuna fishing award, the fourth country in the South Pacific to do so.
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