SCUBA News 229
(ISSN 1476-8011)

SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 229 - July 2019

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What's new at SCUBA Travel?
Featured Liveaboard
Creature of the Month: Moorish Idol
Diving news from around the World

AquaMarine Diving Bali
10% off published prices, free rental gear and an AquaMarine Goodie-Bundle when you use code ScubaTravelUK2020 at

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What's New at SCUBA Travel?


Galapagos: Trip of a Lifetime

Not just hammerheads but whalesharks, eagle rays, turtles, orcas - more pelagics than you can shake a stick at.
Read More…

Red sea reef

Terrific Coral in Jordan

Plus you will often see turtles, morays, napoleon wrasse and nudibranchs. Not to mention great wreck diving on the Cedar Pride.
Read More…


Best Diving Spots in August

From Mexico to French Polynesia - suggestions for diving trips in August.
Read More…

Featured Liveaboard - Welcome to Sudan

Save $1000 on new scuba liveaboard exploring Sudan

Arabian Aggressor

Book by 3 August and get a free shark T-shirt as well! See hammerhead sharks and the fascinating wreck of the Umbria.

Learn More…

Creature of the Month: Moorish Idol

Moorish Idols are very easy to recognise, with their daytime black, white and yellow colours. They also have a distinctive orange band over the long nose which they poke into cracks and crevices on the reef to feed on coralline algae and sponges. You see the Moorish Idol in ones, twos or large groups in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It's not found in the Northern Red Sea though.

Moorish Idol
Photo credit Derek Keats (CC BY 2.0).

To reduce their chances of being spotted by nocturnal predators, Moorish Idols change colour at night. The darker hues blend in with the gloom and help to break up their outline.

Moorish Idol
Photo credit Vincent Kruger (CC BY 1.0).

The common name, Moorish Idol, is said to originate from the Moors of Africa who purportedly believed the fish to be a bringer of happiness. It is the only species in the family Zanclidae.

Moorish Idols mate for life. They live at depths of 3 to 180 m.

Like many fish species, they are moving north from their traditional areas. Up until last year, for example, none were found in the north of the Sea of Cortez, only in the south. Now, however, there are confirmed sightings 200 km north of their previously known limit.

Moorish Idol
Moorish Idol in the Sea of Cortez. Photo credit Tim Nicholson.

Further Reading:

Coral Reef Fishes, Indo-Pacific and Caribbean J. Fernandez-Rivera Melo et al. Northernmost Occurrence of Zanclus cornutus (Zanclidae) in the Eastern Pacific (Northern Gulf of California, Mexico) . Thalassas: An International Journal of Marine Sciences October 2018, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 301-304

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

Coral closeup

Which sunscreens are safe for sea life and which should you avoid?
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?


How to protect corals from climate change?
The best way to protect corals threatened by climate change is to conserve a wide range of their habitats, according to a study in Nature Climate Change.


Light pollution stops clownfish eggs hatching
Clownfish can't raise any young when exposed to artificial light.


Feeding dolphins for tourism lowers the survival of calves
Feeding dolphins decreases their reproductive success and hinders calf survival, even when it is conducted under State-issued permits.

Fishing boat

Fish discard ban not being enforced
Rules designed to protect fish stocks are failing to have an impact, leaving vessels free to discard unwanted catch, according to a report.

Green turtle

Crime-scene technique used to track turtles
Scientists have used satellite tracking and a crime-scene technique to discover an important feeding ground for green turtles in the Mediterranean.


Robot Squid and Robot Scallop Showcase Bio-inspired Underwater Propulsion
Most underwater robots use one of two ways of getting around: with propellers or with fins. But animals have shown us that there are many more kinds of underwater locomotion, potentially offering unique benefits to robots.

Fish discard

Our global food system discards 46 million tonnes of fish each year. Why?
Producing food without waste - or at least with much less waste - requires skills. More than that, it requires a shift in values and awareness.

liveaboard sinking

Galapagos Majestic scuba liveaboard sinks
The 26 divers and crew safely abandoned ship onto the ships lifeboats and were rescued by the Ecuadorian Coast Guard.

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, Jill Studholme, Nick Hopgood, Dan Shapiro

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