SCUBA News 237
23 March 2020
SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 237 - March 2020
It is a very strange time to be sending a newsletter about travel and the sea. One of the few bright sides of this global catastrophe is the improvement in the environment.
Pollution is falling massively in cities where movements are restricted. According to an article in Forbes magazine, scientists have projected that two months of coronavirus lockdown has saved the lives of 77,000 Chinese children and elderly from air pollution. Deaths in China from coronavirus are today reported at 3304.
Greenhouse gas emissions are also plummeting as many people work from home. Worldwide flights have been cancelled. Transport makes up around 23% of global carbon emissions. If businesses realise that much of their work travel is unnecessary then there is hope that the emissions could stay lower than would otherwise be the case, and global warming will slow. The rapid and previously unthinkable actions by many countries in forbidding people's movement shows that with a will, big changes can be taken quickly, giving more hope for future environmental protection.
All that doesn't help anyone suffering with the disease and all the companies, including dive operators, who are suffering financially at the current time. If you have time on your hands you can still use the SCUBA Travel web site to help plan your next trip, whenever that may be.
Keep safe and well.
Spectacular diving with waters jam-packed full of fish.
From sardine runs to great white sharks to the superb Sodwana Bay.
Known as the Grey Nurse Shark in Australia and the Sand Tiger Shark in the USA, the Ragged-Tooth Shark lives in coastal waters of the Atlantic, Indian and western Pacific oceans. One place you are almost guaranteed to see them at certain times of the year is South Africa's Sodwana Bay.
The IUCN's red list of species classes the sharks as vulnerable. This means that, like many sharks, they are likely to become endangered unless circumstances improve. The shark is protected in Australia and America.
The female gives birth to only two pups every two years, and pregnancy can take up to twelve months. As a result populations are slow to increase. The sharks give birth near coastal, rocky reefs. Some live in caves which are also used as breeding grounds.
A large shark, the ragged-tooth shark grows to over 3 m. Generally they stay shallow, not going deeper than 25 m. Sometimes, though, they venture to depths of 200 m. Being large they are not easily frightened by divers. They are generally calm and not aggressive.
The ragged-tooth shark is the only shark known to gulp and store air in its stomach to maintain neutral buoyancy while swimming. The female lives for at least 40 years and the male 34 years.
Elasmobranchii (Class) > Neoselachii (Subclass) > Selachii (Infraclass) > Galeomorphi (Superorder) > Lamniformes (Order) > Odontaspididae (Family) > Carcharias (Genus)
References and Further Reading
M. S. Passerotti et al. Maximum age and missing time in the vertebrae of sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus): validated lifespan from bomb radiocarbon dating in the western North Atlantic and southwestern Indian Oceans. Marine & Freshwater Research. 2014
IUCN Red List
Read more Creatures of the Month.
Italian hospital says it's turning scuba masks into ventilators as supplies run low
Three WWII Aircraft newly discovered in Truk Lagoon
Plastic toys in oceans could be there more than 1000 years
Guam bans scuba spear fishing
Corals in unclear waters less affected by temperature stress
Scientists call on government to increase ambition to save our ocean
Strong association found between whale strandings and use of naval sonar
Can Wind Farms and Whales Co-Exist in our Noisy Seas?
Internet of Underwater Things uses the power of light
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, Kristin Riser, Jianye Sui
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