SCUBA News 189,

SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 189 - February 2016

Welcome to SCUBA News. Last month we had a complaint about the layout - so we've changed it a little in this issue. We wanted to keep it simple and easy-to-read though - so have stuck to one column. Does it work for you or have you improvements to suggest? Email

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Tell Me More

- What's new at SCUBA Travel?
- Letters
- Europe's Top Ten Dive Sites
- Diving news from around the World

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What's New at SCUBA Travel?

Manta Ray in the Philippines

Philippines Dive Shops and Liveaboards

The apex of the coral triangle, with around 36000 km of coastline, the Philippines has lots of options for diving and many, many dive shops - but which to choose?
Read Divers' Reviews

Anemone Tanzania

Diving Tanzania's Spice Islands

March is an excellent time to dive Zanzibar and Mafia Island - Tanzania's Spice Islands. Travel is cheaper and it's a good time to see see whales, sharks and turtles.
Read More

Mediterranean diving

Diving Albania

Albania is opposite the heel of Italy and north of Greece. It's a new area for diving, with plenty of places to be explored.
Read More


Diving with Dyslexia

Please could you tell me which teaching regime would be best for my 14yr old dyslexic daughter.

It's a good question and we don't have a definitive answer. It is probably more important to choose a sympathetic dive school rather than a particular teaching regime. Regarding the written tests, it should be possible to have the questions read out to her and to give oral answers if necessary. Good luck to your daughter - I hope she enjoys learning to dive.

Please contact with your experiences of diving with dyslexia and we'll pass them onto Alex.

Europe's Top Ten Dive Sites

Europe boasts some world class dive sites, with great visibility and masses of underwater life. According to our readers, these are the ten best dive sites in Europe.

  1. Blockship Tabarka, Scapa Flow, Scotland
    This shallow 18 m dive is a real beauty. One of the block ships scuttled to prevent submarine attack during WW2. Covered in life, worth the trip and the one of surprises of Scapa.
    Blockship Tabarka, Scapa Flow, Scotland
    Photo credit: Joe Ryan
  2. The Zenobia, Cyprus
    The wreck of a huge ferry. Lying on its port side, the wreck starts at about 15 m and descends to 42 m. Needs several dives to see anything like all of it.
    Diving the Zenobia, by Malcom Browne CC BY-NC 2.0
    Photo credit: Malcom Browne (CC BY-NC 2.0)
  3. Cirkewwa, Malta
    Features the wreck of the Rozi MV as well as stunning underwater topography. Visibility is very good and there is a mass of sea life: barracuda, morays, octopus, cuttlefish and even dolphins.
    Wreck of the Rozi
    Photo credit: Richard Kingfelt
  4. Silfra, Thingvellir, Iceland
    An extraordinary dive in a narrow crack between the American and the European continental shelves, in astonishingly clear water. The clarity of the water gives the diver the feeling of flying above the bottom and on sunny days, when there are slight waves on the surface, the light breaks into a rainbow of colours.
    Diving Silfra
    Photo credit: David Ramsey
  5. Blue Hole, Gozo
    A beautiful sharp drop off into the blue hole with what seems like limitless visibility and feels like you are on the very edge of the world.
    Leaving Inland Sea on way to Blue Hole, Gozo
    Photo credit: Runeng
  6. Eddystone Reef, England
    12 miles off Plymouth, England. The reef is from 8 to 60 m. Encrusted with jewel anemones and with the remains of ancient wrecks, including a large 17th century anchor. Stunning.
    Jewel anemones
    Photo credit: Tim Nicholson
  7. Chios island, Greece
    Small undersea caves and paths between impressive rocks, colourful reefs and vertical walls.
    Undwater cave roof with loads of life
    Photo credit: Andrew Reay-Robinson
  8. Diamond Rocks, Kilkee, Ireland
    Claimed to be on a par with the famous Yongala. It is a cold water dive off Ireland's west coast. The bay is fairly sheltered and is teaming with life. The terrain is full of rocks and gullies and the water is really clear.
    Crab with anemones
    Photo credit: Tim Nicholson
  9. Fortunal, Vis Island, Croatia
    Wreck of a fishing boat which sunk in 1991. Lies at 45 - 55 m
    Photo credit: Divebooker
  10. Fanore, Ireland
    Shore dive in crystal clear Atlantic water with abundant fish. You might even see Dusty the Dolphin.
    Photo credit: Tim Nicholson
Your favourite dive not included? Then cast your vote.

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

Shark virgin birth

Shark virgin births seen in two generations for the first time

Two surprising new findings are overturning everything we knew about parthenogenesis, suggesting virgin births could be far more common than we thought.

Reef sharks prefer bite-size meals

Black-tip, white-tip and grey reef sharks have a similar diet to large fish like groupers and snappers, but they don't eat each other. So rather than eating big fish, reef sharks are eating like big fish.

Dusky dottyback

Motorboat noise halves reef fish survival rate

The rate at which predators capture fish doubles when boats are motoring nearby. But this means that just by banning motorboats from some areas fish there can recover.

Devastating global coral bleaching event could hit Great Barrier Reef next

Australia's world heritage-listed reef is threatened by warmer waters that have killed off coral in Fiji but the full impact depends on the weather.

Coral ceramics

Artist creates exquisite, hand-crafted coral to send a message about climate change

An artist who has been using ceramics to call attention to ocean issues for years, unveiled an enormous installation - a larger-than-life tour through coral and its biggest enemies: rising sea levels, higher temperatures, and of course, humans.

Rare Right Whales Get 40,000 Sq Miles Protected Habitat

Entire Georgia and and South Carolina coasts declared Right Whale haven

Beluga whales

Beluga data show whales dive to maximize meals

Study helps illuminate aspects of a yearly migration that spans thousands of kilometers in a region that's experiencing rapid change.

Sperm Whales' Language Reveals Hints of Culture

These deep-diving whales off the Galapagos have their own dialects, a sign that they have a culture.


Octopuses resolve conflicts with many-armed body language

Often thought of as solitary animals, octopuses have been observed changing colour and posture to prevent confrontations in crowded spots from escalating

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

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