SCUBA News 242
(ISSN 1476-8011)

SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 242 - August 2020

Hello. Just as we thought much of the world was slowly returning to normal, more cases of COVID-19 are arising in previously "unlocked" countries. But there are still plenty of places that you can go to dive - and some insurance companies now offer COVID-19 cover.

What's new at SCUBA Travel?
Your Letters - Wreck position wanted
Some stunning photos win underwater photography prizes
Diving news from around the World
Download as a pdf file

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What's New at SCUBA Travel?


Crossover Qualifications

You've trained with PADI and want to transfer to CMAS. Or with NAUI but you want to be a BSAC diver. Discover the equivalent qualifications from 35 different diving agencies.

Moorish idol

Diving Insurance & COVID-19

Where to get SCUBA diving insurance which covers you for COVID-19, even in areas with government "essential travel only" advisories.


Does anybody have the lat./long. position of UJ 6076, ex-French trawler Volontaire? Thanks!
William Blythe

She is thought to be south of Cape Sicie, France. If you have any more info for William contact and we'll pass the message on.

Some stunning photos win underwater photography prizes

In April, the Underwater Photography Guide launched the Ocean Art Safe Under the Sea underwater photo competition to help raise money to fight coronavirus.

Yannick Bruynoghe
“Welcome to Tubbataha”

Photographers from 79 countries entered with some spectacular shots. The Best of Show winning image, “Releasing Hope” by Edwar Herreno, does indeed convey hope for our future oceans. It shows marine biologist, Eduardo Espinosa, releasing a tagged hammerhead pup in order to study a unique shark nursery.

Edwar Herreno
Releasing Hope

Top prizes included more than a few gift certificates from Bluewater Photo and Bluewater Travel, a $500 gift certificate as well as an Ikelite DS161 strobe from Ikelite, the new Paralenz Vaquita dive camera from Paralenz, a 5 day dive package with AquaMarine Diving Bali and the Watergarden Hotel, and a trip for one at Atlantis Dive Resorts. Twelve different categories ensured a competitive contest for all levels and disciplines of underwater photography.

Barraque Nicolas
Panoramic of the Rubis
Shot in South of France

Paul Cox won first place in the wide angle category for his manta shot in South Kona, Hawaii.

Paul Cox
“Arms Wide Open”

Fighting skeleton shrimps won top honours in the macro category. The photographer, Lars Michaelis, commented “Diving at the famous divesite Arthur's Rock, I noticed 2 big skeleton shrimps fighting for territory on a hydroid at 15m depth. All the other smaller shrimps kept distance and watched the fight. It was like in a boxing ring. The upper skeleton shrimp hit his rival's head with one of his his big claws.The lower one stumbled backwards. The scene reminded me of the world champion-fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman 1974 in Kinshasa.”

Lars Michaelis
“Rumble in the Jungle”

In the portrait category this magnificent mako shark was the winner for Jacopo Brunetti. Taken in Cabo San Lucas, Brunetti explained “Mako sharks display a strange behaviour called gaping. Mouth gaping in sharks has been considered to be either a threat display or a response to their innate territorialism especially when multiple makos are around. Makos are also attracted by the electricity of the camera, that’s why sometimes they gape at divers and bite the camera dome. This mako was a real player, he bited my dome 4 times on the same dive, this photo is the instant before he bites my dome. This mako was around 8 ft, it showed up from the deep on the typical vertical approach, like a silver rocket, amazing, pure adrenaline!”

Jacopo Brunetti
“Vertical Approach”

Compact cameras had their own category, and the winner here was Uwe Schmolke for his photo of this beautiful nudibranch. It was taken in Tulamben, Bali.

Uwe Schmolke

Underwater Photography Guide publisher, Scott Gietler commented, "The images from this special competition, especially the winning conservation image, represent hope. Hope for our oceans, hope for our travel & dive industries ravaged by Coronavirus, and hope that our nations can come together."

Petr Polach
Flooded Magic Castle

More of the winning photos are at

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

Blackbird Caye, Belize. Image by Adam / Flickr.

Belize takes ocean action with expanded marine reserve and ban on gill nets
In August 2020, the Belizean government enacted two conservation efforts - the expansion of the Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve to be seven times its original size, and a plan to phase out gillnet fishing by 2022.

Sperm whale

Underwater robots reveal habits of endangered whales
Not all humans are morning people. Neither, according to a new study, are all sperm whales - at least when it comes to foraging for food.

turtle migration map

How turtles find small isolated islands
One of Charles Darwin's long-standing questions on how turtles find their way to islands has been answered .

Ocean in a lab

Ocean microbes could interact with pollution to influence climate
Air pollution can change the makeup of gases and aerosols that sea spray releases into the atmosphere and, in turn, potentially alter weather patterns.

Dolphins feeding

Dolphins starving in the Baltic
Lack of fish mean dolphins are suffering from malnutrition or starving to death.

plastic fibres

Critical questions over disease risks from ocean plastics
Key knowledge gaps exist in our understanding of how ocean microplastics transport bacteria and viruses - and whether this affects the health of humans and animals, researchers say.

Seahorse mating

Male seahorse pregnancy as complex as females
Male seahorses don't just carry the developing babies in a pouch, they transport energy-rich fats to their progeny during pregnancy.

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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