SCUBA News 202
(ISSN 1476-8011)

SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 202 - March 2017

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Downbelow Marine & Wildlife Adventures
Committed to a great diving experience in Borneo whilst protecting the environment.
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What's new at SCUBA Travel?
Shark diving - Good or Bad?
Dive the World's Top 10 - 25% off Belize Liveaboard
Diving news from around the World

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What's New at SCUBA Travel?

Opening Up: Diving in Vietnam

Opening Up: Diving in Vietnam

Vietnam - a relatively new destination for divers - offers areas of pristine diving, especially at the marine reserve of Con Dao.
Learn More…

Diving Gozo and Malta

Diving Malta: Azure Window Falls

The iconic Azure Window, on the Maltese island of Gozo, has collapsed into the sea. The rubble starts from 10 metres and descends down to some 50 metres. People have been warned not to dive in the area for the time being.
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Diving South Africa

South Africa: Something for Everyone

Chokka squid run, sardine run, great white sharks or the Sodwana Bay national park? Diverse diving in South Africa.
Learn More…


Divemaster Internship Wanted

Hello there!

My name is Saroya, I am from the Netherlands and my biggest passion in life is diving. Last year I finished my bachelor study Facility Management and have been working for almost 6 months. But I quit my job and decided to follow my biggest dream, to go travelling and diving again and hope te become a good divemaster soon.

I started travelling half of february and like to start with the divemaster course around the beginning of May (earlier/later is also possible).

Because I am travelling on a low budget I am looking for a place where I can work for my divemastercourse. It will also give me a lot more experience.

Maybe it is good to know that I already have done my Open Water, Advanced, EFR and medical examination. I'm looking for a free divemaster course while I work for you to pay it off.


Saroya de Vries

Can you help Saroya? Contact

Diving with Sharks - Good or Bad?

Does diving with sharks and rays affect their behaviour?

Guide to Responsible Shark and Ray Tourism

Shark and ray tourism generates thousands of millions of dollars globally each year and, says WWF, it is growing substantially. Florida alone generates more than $221 million in shark diving revenue per year.

Businesses around the world provide a variety of activities that allow people to get close to sharks and rays, ranging from boat-based spotting to guided snorkelling, cage viewing experiences and scuba diving. If current trends continue, the numbers of shark related tourism could more than double over the next twenty years. Is this a good thing or a bad thing for the sharks?

Research published this month by American scientists finds that scuba divers can repeatedly interact with reef sharks without affecting the behaviour of the shark in the long term. Well-regulated shark diving tourism can be accomplished without undermining conservation goals.

So, how can divers and dive operators ensure that they dive with sharks responsibly? The WWF, Project Aware and the Manta Trust have produced a Guide to shark and ray tourism.

Guide to Responsible Shark and Ray Tourism

Advice from the Guide to Responsible Shark and Ray Tourism to Dive Operators

  1. Operate a code of conduct to reduce pollution from vessels, discarded waste and plastics, physical and chemical damage such as boat strikes, breaking off coral and damage from sunscreen.
  2. Avoid touching the animals or altering their habitat which could ultimately damage the resources upon which the tourism businesses are based.
  3. Think several times before feeding or “provisioning” sharks. Provisioning may lead to animals begging from tourists, and becoming aggressive if they aren't satisfied.
  4. Proactively support conservation of the habitats and species on which your business depends. Marine protected areas (MPAs), which limit or restrict activities that affect marine life within a defined area, are one widely adopted conservation tool. In Palau, shark diving within the MPA is popular because the white tip and grey reef sharks are predictable, relatively numerous and spend most of their lives in the one area.
  5. Customers want the best experience they can get, so it's important staff training goes beyond safety and customer service. Staff should receive a comprehensive induction into the business; and this should be followed by regular training and updates on the latest science, management practices, conservation and regulatory issues.
  6. Use eco-accreditation, such as that from Green Fins,

You can take a self-assessment survey to see how you score as a dive operator. The guide also provides a suite of free, practical, downloadable tools that can be used by operators, NGOs, local communities and resource managers.

Further Reading

Diving with Sharks - Good or Bad, SCUBA News March 2017

Bradley D, Papastamatiou YP, Caselle JE (2017) No persistent behavioural effects of SCUBA diving on reef sharks. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 567:173-184.

Dive the World's Top 10 - 25% off Belize Liveaboard

Belize's Blue Hole is ranked one of the world's top ten dives, but divers say Belize has even better. Get 25% off a Belize liveaboard in June, August or September

Dive Belize

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


Entries now open for Global Underwater Photography Contest
Underwater photography contest open to amateur photographers around the world.

Grey Shark

PADI sold for $700 million
Shark-related dives in Florida generated more than $221 million in revenue and fuelled over 3700 jobs in 2016, according to a new report from Oceana. This compares to the total U.S. shark fin export market of just $1.03 million.

Grey Shark

Florida sharks worth more alive than dead, says study
Shark-related dives in Florida generated more than $221 million in revenue and fuelled over 3700 jobs in 2016, according to a new report from Oceana. This compares to the total U.S. shark fin export market of just $1.03 million.

Great Barrier Reef suffers extreme coral bleaching for the second year in a row

Great Barrier Reef suffers extreme coral bleaching for the second year in a row
Greenpeace have released shocking photos the Great Barrier Reef's first severe coral bleaching to happen two years in a row. The bleaching is the result of 12 months of above-average sea temperatures, which is "cooking the reef alive".

3D-Printed Reefs Offer Hope in Coral Bleaching Crisis

3D-Printed Reefs Offer Hope in Coral Bleaching Crisis
Experimental installations of 3D-printed reefs are now being implemented in the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Persian Gulf and Australia.


Obscure plankton that influences climate, ocean ecosystems, and perhaps even evolution
Prochlorococcus, a cyanobacterium that is the smallest, most abundant photosynthesizing cell in the ocean, is responsible for 5% of global photosynthesis.

How Government Subsidies Led to Global Overfishing

All the Boats on the Ocean: How Government Subsidies Led to Global Overfishing
Most current fishing practices are neither economically nor biologically sustainable. Every year, the world spends 80 billion dollars buying fish that cost 105 billion dollars to catch, even as heavy fishing places growing pressure on stocks that are already struggling with warmer, more acidic oceans. How have we developed an industry that is so wasteful, and why has it been so difficult to alter the trajectory toward species extinction?

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Photo credits: Tim Nicholson, Rick Tesoro, Postlethwaite,

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