SCUBA News 214
(ISSN 1476-8011)

SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 215 - April 2018

Welcome to the 215th issue SCUBA News. I hope you find it useful. Any questions or comments email

You can download a pdf version of SCUBA News here.

What's new at SCUBA Travel?
Liveaboard Deals
Your Letters
Creature of the Month: Plumose Anemone
Diving news from around the World

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What's New at SCUBA Travel?

Frog fish in Madagascar

Madagascar's Diving Season Starts Now

Madagascar, the world's fourth largest island, hosts one of the world's longest continuous coral reefs. The country is famous for her unique land animals, but her seas are also full of life not found anywhere else.
Learn More…

Carpenter's Rock dive site in Antigua

Where to Dive in Antigua?

The best diving in Antigua is in the south of the island, around English Harbour. The north is shallow and quite sandy, but calm and good for beginners.
Read More…

Fan Coral in Italy

Head for the Med - Diving Italy

See which Italian dive centres have been given the five fish rating.
Find Out…

Liveaboard Deals

Save 40% on St Johns liveaboard in the Red Sea

Dive Egypt's most southerly spots

St John's Liveaboard

For beautiful deep walls and oceanic white tip sharks.

Learn More…


I wonder if anyone else feels this way about dive travel. How many have booked dive travel through a shop? You are basically paying for the dive shop person to go on a trip and take their pics . I do not see any added value they offer. Would love to hear others views.
Sean S, via Twitter

Creature of the Month: Plumose Anemone, Metridium senile

Attack of the killer clones: Plumose anemones strike their neighbours

You often see small forests of Plumose anemones when diving in temperate waters. The is due to their ability to clone themselves.

Forest of plumose anemones

Genetically different patches of clones are often separated by narrow paths free of anemones. Along the edges of these corridors, the anemones often possess two types of tentacle. One type for catching food and one much smaller type which can expand tremendously. They use these expanding tentacles to reach over and attack non-identical anemones across the border. The tip of the tentacle doesn't hurt anemones the same as itself, it only discharges its stinging nematocysts upon contact with a genetically different individual. After stinging the tentacle breaks, leaving about 1 cm of the tip attached to the victim. The tissue around the sting dies as, occasionally, does the victim.

More Plumose Anemones, Metridium senile

Plumose anemones comprise a tall, smooth column topped with a crown of feathery tentacles. When they contact they look like swirly blobs.

Individuals are usually white or orange, although they are sometimes dark green, grey or brown in colour. They grow up to 30 cm tall and 15 cm across at the base. They like areas with currents so tend to live on prominent pieces of wrecks or on rocky pinnacles - in other words, in good diving areas

Anemone sticking out into current

With fine, delicate tentacles they are unsuited to capturing large animals like fish. Instead they specialise in smaller prey such as small planktonic crustaceans. The anemone's columnar body is narrower just below the tentacles. A current will bend the stalk at this point and expose the tentacles broadside to the flow in the best position for feeding on suspended matter.

Plumose Anemone bending over

The Plumose anemone occurs from the Bay of Biscay (North of Spain) to Scandinavia in the northeast Atlantic, and on the west and east coasts of North America. It is unknown from the western basin of the Mediterranean but has been seen in the Adriatic, where it is believed to have been introduced. It has also been seen in Table Bay Harbour in South Africa where it was probably introduced from Europe.

Plumose Anemone with jellyfish
Plumose anemone with jellyfish

The common name comes from pluma - feather. The Latin name, which it was given by Linnaeus, is Metridium senile which means Fruitful old - probably a reference to its cloning ability. There is some confusion as to whether this has been replaced by the name M. dianthus, but M. senile is still the accepted name according to ITIS - the Integrated Taxonomic Information System. M dianthus is listed as a different species but with "data quality indicators unverified".

Animalia (Kingdom) > Cnidaria (Phylum) > Anthozoa (Class) > Hexacorallia (Subclass) > Actiniaria (Order) > Enthemonae (Suborder) > Metridioidea (Superfamily) > Metridiidae (Family) > Metridium (Genus) > Metridium senile (Species)

Photos copyright Tim Nicholson, taken off the Isle of Man

Read the full story here. Previous creatures of the month are in our Marine Life section.

Diving News From Around the World

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

Relaxed diver

5 Ways to overcome dive anxiety
Divers, and especially new ones, can experience dive anxiety at times. Dive anxiety though can be managed and overcome in time. Here are five techniques to make it a thing of the past.


Cost of Sipadan diving permit to rise by 250 Percent
Everyone wishing to dive the conservation area of Sipadan in Malaysia must obtain a permit: only 120 permits are issued each day and from August the cost is rising.

Manta ray and diver

Where to dive in April & May?
From Belize to the Red Sea - where to go and what you might see there in April and May.


Underwater sensing with light and sound
Oceanic sensor networks that collect and transmit real-time data could transform our understanding of marine ecology and improve pollution and disaster management.

Philippines shrimp

Boracay Island to be closed to tourists - Philippines
Boracay Island in the Philippines will be closed to tourists from 26 April 2018 for 6 months for environmental rehabilitation

No plastic bags

Drop in plastic bags littering British seas linked to introduction of 5p charge
Scientists find an estimated 30% drop in plastic bags on the seabed in the same timeframe as charges were introduced in European countries

Bowhead whale

Bowhead whales: jazz artists of the deep whose calls rival birdsong
Bowheads serenade each other off Greenland with a vast repertoire of improvised jazz-like song, study says

Divers collecting rubbish 49,188 Divers collect 307,064 kg debris from ocean
Thousands of divers have participated in Dive Against Debris in more than 50 countries around the world, reporting over 900,000 pieces of rubbish

Underwater Australia: The Best Dive Sites Down Under

Underwater Australia: The Best Dive Sites Down Under
It's difficult to find an up-to-date book covering the diving all around Australia - this new publication remedies that.

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. Some of the photos though, might be copyright the photographer. If in doubt please get in touch.

Photo credits: Tim Nicholson, Andrew Reay-Robinson

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