SCUBA News 183,

SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 183 - August 2015

Hello and welcome to SCUBA News. We're pleased this month to launch a dive booking service, where you can book your dives directly from the website with no booking fees. More details below. We've also news of an underwater photo competition - with categories for novices through to experts - and diving holidays around the world to be won. Many of you are keen photographers so why not give it a go? Good luck.

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- What's new at SCUBA Travel?
- Letters
- SCUBA Challenge
- Underwater Photography Contest - $75000 of Prizes
- Diving news from around the World

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What's New at SCUBA Travel?

Book dives on line

Book your dives on-line

You can now book your dives and courses on-line from the SCUBA Travel site, with no booking fees. Read the reviews, search for special offers and compare costs of different dive shops. We've teamed up with Dive Booker to offer this service - hope you find it useful. Look out for the blue booking engine on the site:

Diving Palau

Diving Palau

Palau offers world-class diving with walls, sheer drop-offs, caves and an exuberance of marine life. Indeed, its Blue Corner Wall dive is currently ranked number two in the world. We've more info, including when is the best time to see shivers of sharks, and a great underwater video by Matthew Moore, at

Diving Italy

Diving Centres in Italy

With its long coast line Italy has many dive centres - which to choose? More reviews are now at

Bali Hai Diving Adventures
Dive into the Paradise with Bali Hai Diving Adventures


If you can help any of our letter writers, e-mail and we'll pass your message on.

Single Traveller

Can anyone recommend a good diving resort for a single traveller. I've been to Egypt several times, the Caribbean and Sipadan and would like to dive with Mantas - and also be able to meet fellow divers.
Lauren Downie

E-mail if you've any suggestions for Lauren, or reply via Facebook at


Hello, I am looking for a hotel or resort that offers scuba diving facilities and boat trips on the premises. Can you help find such a scuba diving place in Fernando de Norronha? Thank you

Chikarma Diving, Gozo

Does anyone have any information on Chikarma Diving? I am having increasing issues in getting hold of them to obtain final details of my diving trip to Gozo. They don't answer emails, telephone calls and the recorded delivery letter I sent has not been delivered. If someone is aware of whether they do or do not exist can they contact me?
Claire Simmons


My name is Neil and I write to you from the Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville, Tobago. We are a non-profit organisation operating in northeast Tobago, with access to the best of the region's dive sites. We work with the local communities on conservation research programmes and also operate a small dive centre alongside, offering a highly personalised dive service to small groups of environmentally conscientious divers.
As the centre for Reef Check Trinidad and Tobago, and the only operator of Reef Check EcoExpeditions in the Caribbean, we are especially focused on providing divers with the opportunity to learn more about the ocean environment and even get involved in our work programme.
Neil Cook, Environmental Research Institute Charlotteville, 2015

SCUBA Challenge

Can you swim a mile underwater in full kit? Dave Thompson can and he is a wheelchair user with limited use in his left arm and none in his right arm or legs. If you want to join Dave in his challenge, which is on the 5th of September in the UK, call 07879 440 134 or tweet @davet21. If you can't make the swim then consider sponsoring him at

SCUBA Challenge

Underwater Photography Contest - $75000 of Prizes

The Underwater Photography Guide is now accepting entries for the 5th annual Ocean Art competition. Prizes worth over $75000 are on offer in 15 categories giving underwater photographers of all levels a chance to win.

For the less experienced photographers there are novice, compact camera and mirror-less camera categories. Then there are the wide-angle, macro, marine life portraits and marine life behaviour. More unusually, this competition also features categories of supermacro, cold or temperate water and nudibranchs.

Award winning nudibranch photo
Photo: Diana Paboojian

Winners from each category will be able to choose which resort, liveaboard or gear prizes they would most like to receive, making it more likely that winners will be able to win something they really covet. The prizes include liveaboards to Raja Ampat, the Solomon Islands and Fiji; diving resort packages at Papua New Guinea, Bali, Philippines, Roatan, Palau and elsewhere; and gift vouchers for photographic equipment.

Photo: Ron Watkins
Photo: Ron Watkins

Judges include world-renowned underwater photographers Tony Wu, Martin Edge, Marty Snyderman and Scott Gietler. Martin Edge is the author of The Underwater Photographer, one of the most useful books on underwater photography ever published. Marty Snyderman is an Emmy winner with work appearing in top publications like National Geographic. Tony Wu is the author of Silent Symphony whilst Scott Gietler is the owner the Underwater Photography Guide.

Photos must be submitted before the deadline on 24 November 2015.

More information and entry forms can be found on the Ocean Art Photo Competition page at

Diving News From Around the World

Our round up of the more interesting underwater news stories of the past month. For breaking news see our Twitter page or RSS feed


Divers urgently call to save lifeboat

The British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) is calling for an urgent re-think of Lifeboat Station closure plans in the popular diving area of St Abbs.

Dive Industry stands up for Marine Parks

Over 100 dive businesses have written to Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt urging him to reinstate a network of marine sanctuaries off the coast.

Humpback whale

Humpback whales make a comeback in Australian waters as numbers rebound

Good news - Australia's west coast population of humpback whales has recovered to approximately 90% of their known pre-whaling numbers

Scuba Professional: Insights Into Sport Diver Training and Operations

New book looks at how diving is taught and gives independent, objective advice for instructors and dive operators. It includes a chapter on "Which Training Agency?", which is a question we are often asked.

Safe havens needed for Britain's threatened dolphins and sharks

Conservationists call for maritime 'safe havens' around the British Isles to safeguard seasonal feeding and mating grounds of porpoises, sharks and dolphins


Mesoamerican Race to Protect Parrotfish and the Reef

In a dramatic twist to the typical fishing tournament, this friendly competition between Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico rewards international players who catch less fish and protect more coral reefs. The countries are closing in on the goal of becoming the world's first ecoregion to achieve full protection of parrotfish, and results published this year show that their efforts are working.

2015 Gulf of Mexico dead zone 'above average'

Scientists have found this year's Gulf of Mexico dead zone - an area of low to no oxygen that can kill fish and marine life - is, at 6,474 square miles, above average in size and larger than forecast.

by Richard Carey

Sardines, Anchovies and Other Fast-Growing Fish Species Vulnerable to Dramatic Population Plunges

Overfishing and climate change appear to be the culprits.

Secret ecosystem found on hills deep beneath the ocean's surface

A treasure trove of biodiversity has been hiding several kilometres below the ocean surface. Only a handful of people have ever seen these enigmatic animals - until now.

Producing bio-methane from seaweed

The Centre for Process Innovation has launches SeaGas, a £2.78m, three-year project to produce bio-methane from seaweed using anaerobic digestion.

Boxfish shell could inspire new form of body armour, which researchers say could inspire new body protection.

The boxfish's hexagonal scales fuse together to provide both strength and flexibility.

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Photo credits: Tim Nicholson; Tam Warner Minton; Javier Grinfeld

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