SCUBA News 201
(ISSN 1476-8011)

SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 201 - February 2017

Welcome to SCUBA News number 201. Thanks very much for subscribing.

I hope you find the newsletter useful - you can download a pdf version of the newsletter here.


Chloe's Diving Center Hurghada
For daily diving excursions, diving courses and diving safaris in Egypt's Red Sea contact
Chloe's Diving Center

What's new at SCUBA Travel?
Which Sunscreens are Safe for Sea Life?
Your Buddy goes free on Indonesia liveaboard in June and July
Diving news from around the World

Follow @SCUBANews on Twitter SCUBA Travel on Google+ SCUBA News  Facebook page SCUBA Travel on Pinterest SCUBA Diving News Feed (RSS)

What's New at SCUBA Travel?

Diving Baja California

Wildlife Heaven of Baja California

Home to the marine biodiversity hot spot of Cabo Pulmo, Baja California has world class diving.
Learn More…

Diving the Red Sea

Red Sea Diving Guide

The Red Sea has some of the best diving in the world. Our guide covers diving in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Sudan, Djibouti, Israel and Eritrea
Learn More…

Diving Greece

Head for the Med: Greece

Discover the marine world of Greece. Where are the best dive sites and centres?
Learn More…


Red Sea Suggestions

I'm starting to plan a 25 day trip to Egypt.
I want to split it up where I'll be diving from boats from a resort
7 to 10 day liveaboard and send my gear home and then go to the markets, museums, and pyramids.
As I said I'm just starting the planning today so any help or suggestions are appreciated.
Normally I'll stay at a place with simple accommodations bed, shower, TV, Internet, aircon and then dive at the resort.
I am thinking about taking my ssi master diver course if it's available.
Thanks for the help in advance.


Diving in April

Hi guys
Any recommendations for the first week of April? I've got 120+ dives logged, my girlfriend has about 30. Based in UK.

Scott Critchley

Help Needed

Dear Scuba Travel
I really enjoy your very informative guide for the diver and traveler such as myself. Im actually emailing in hopes that you can assist me with something.
I am working on a guide for divers, new and old, and im trying to gather as much information as possible. Your website is perfect for destinations and is so informative and helpful, but I wish to gather my own information with your help.
Seeing as you have first hand accounts, by the divers to pass on to the divers, I was wondering if you would be able to circulate two surveys i have made. One for the experienced diver, one for the inexperienced. They are at
Zayma Gorfe

In Reply to previous Letter on easy, good, warm diving within reach of Vancouver.

Try Baja, wonderful fish populations. I love St Croix, great conditions, easy diving and the best pier in the world! I can dive 90 minutes on a single tank at 20 ft. Shore diving is simple there and is much cheaper than boat diving. Key Largo, also easy diving in terms of depth and conditions. Just don't go in August, jellyfish!

I recently became a dive professional at the age of 55 and am now working in St. Croix. I love helping people find the perfect places to dive! Your site is really a wealth of info and I will share it often. I am presently in Barbados, diving the wrecks and reefs, doing a preliminary assessment of the island as a location for a coral reef restoration course and a marine archaeology certification.

Janet Matthews

Can you help any of our letter writers who asked questions? Contact

Which sunscreens are safe for sea life?

It’s a minefield trying to buy a sunscreen which doesn’t harm the sea life. Even those trumpeting their green credentials are not always free from harmful chemicals and components. You have to read the label very carefully. So what are the nasties of which scuba divers and snorkellers should be wary?


Nano particles are minute chemical substances, which are about 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.

Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles are often used in sunscreens. They allow clear sunscreen which can be sprayed on. However, they produce significant amounts of hydrogen peroxide, a strong oxidizing agent that generates high levels of stress on reef-building corals and marine phytoplankton. They have also been shown to make sea urchin embryos more vulnerable to toxins.

You need to avoid nanoparticles if you are looking for a marine-friendly sunscreen.


A study by Dr Craig Downs published last year showed Oxybenzone (also known as Benzophenone-2 or BP-2) increased the rate of coral bleaching. Additionally, the chemical damages the coral’s dna, affecting their reproduction. If that wasn’t enough other effects are to make juvenile corals become grossly deformed and encase themselves with their own skeletons.

Octinoxate, Butylparaben, 4-Methylbenzylidene Camphor

Another study, this time by Roberto Danovaro, named butylparaben, octinoxate and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor as being harmful to reefs.

How Much of a Problem is it?

According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) 4,000 to 6,000 tons of sunscreen enters reef areas annually. This does not spread out rapidly or evenly over the entire ocean, but concentrates on popular tourist sites. It is estimated that 90% of snorkellers and scuba divers are concentrated on 10% of the world’s reefs.

Coral Reef

So which sunscreens can you use?

Look for ones without the ingredients mentioned above. Zinc oxide and Titanium dioxide are good as long as they are not in nano-format. A quick guide is whether the sunscreen is clear or not. If it is clear, or in a spray, it probably contains nano-particles.

If the ingredients state “uncoated” zinc oxide then these are larger particles (non-nano) and safe.

Some examples of sunscreens which safe for sea life are:
Badger Sunscreen Unscented
Lovea Natural Sunscreen Spray
Jason Sunbrellas
Bio Solis

Further Reading

Which sunscreens are safe for sea life?. SCUBA News 2017.

Half-Price Liveaboard Diving

Dive Indonesia on the beautiful Dewi Nusantara liveaboard in June or July and your buddy goes free! Visit the amazing, world class dive sites of Alor.


Learn More…

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

From sea to plate: how plastic got into our fish

From sea to plate: how plastic got into our fish
Eight million tonnes of waste plastic ends up in the sea each year. Fish eat it - and then we do. How bad is it for us?

Brittle Stars that Steal Food From Jellyfish!

Brittle Stars that Steal Food From Jellyfish!
They are what's called kleptoparasites. In other words, they take food directly away from the jellyfish out of the mouth or the oral arms, stealing or scavenging food from the jellyfish which are known as big pelagic predators.

Marshall Islands first to ratify global HFC greenhouse gas pact

Marshall Islands first to ratify global HFC greenhouse gas pact
The Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean became the first nation on Tuesday to ratify a 2016 accord to cut the use of powerful factory-made greenhouse gases, saying the survival of the nation was at risk from climate change.

Bali beach cleanup clears 40 tonnes of rubbish

Bali beach cleanup clears 40 tonnes of rubbish
Working with a number of Bali-based organisations, the "Bye Bye Plastic Bags" campaign was able to recruit 12,000 people to participate and collect 40 tons of garbage across 55 locations around the island

Green Turtle

Mystery eye disease is latest blow for Australia's sick turtles
Green turtles on the Great Barrier Reef have developed a strange eye disease, which could be a result of a recent herpes outbreak or high levels of cobalt

Coral bleaching

Worst-ever coral bleaching event continues into fourth year
Sea surface temperatures are so high across much of the tropics that many reefs will suffer severe bleaching for an unprecedented fourth year in a row. Divers in Australia are already reporting new bleaching in the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef, where last year half of corals in the worst-hit areas died.

Cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Can we engineer our way towards cleaner oceans?

SCUBA News is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. This means we are happy for you to reuse our material for both commercial and non-commercial use as long as you:
credit the name of the author, link back to the SCUBA Travel website and say if you have made any changes.

Photo credits: Tim Nicholson, Rick Tesoro, Postlethwaite,

Previous editions of SCUBA News are archived at

Visit [UNSUBSCRIBE] and add or remove your e-mail address. To change whether your receive the newsletter in text or HTML (with pictures) format visit [PREFERENCES]

Should you wish to advertise in SCUBA News, please see the special offers at
Other advertising opportunities are at

Please send your letters or press releases to:
Jill Studholme
The Cliff
Upper Mayfield

SCUBA Travel Ltd, 5 Loxford Court, Hulme, Manchester, M15 6AF, UK

Subscribe To SCUBA News

Our newsletter, SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011), is absolutely free. It is a monthly publication, delivered by e-mail. To receive your copy fill in your details below. We will never pass your e-mail address to any third parties, or send you unsolicited e-mail.

You will receive an e-mail confirming your subscription. If you don't receive this you may have entered your e-mail address incorrectly - revisit this page and re-subscribe.

Write to SCUBA News

If you would like to write to SCUBA News, please fill in the form below. You can as well post on our Facebook page and