SCUBA News 247
(ISSN 1476-8011)

SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 247 - January 2021

Hello and welcome to SCUBA News. Our best wishes for the coming year to you.

What's New at SCUBA Travel?

The Umbria

Where are the best wreck dives in the World?

Build your list for where to go when we can travel freely again - which wrecks have you dived and which await?

Beautiful soft coral

Why dive Thailand?

Resorts in Thailand are open to long stay travellers from low-risk countries. So where are the best dive sites in Thailand?

Bahamas liveaboard

Diving Liveaboards in the Bahamas

From charted yachts to budget liveaboards with dormitory cabins - which liveaboard to choose?

Octopus wins underwater photography competition

This year's Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition was won by an octopus. Not just a photo of an octopus, but the octopus actually took the shot.

The Best of Show by Gaetano Dario Gargiulo is a once-in-a-life-time moment where a curious octopus took a selfie of itself with the photographer's family.

Octopus Selfie
"The Day of the Tentacles" by Gaetano Dario Gargiulo

The photographer commented "On the day of the photo, I remained in the tide pool as the tide was too low to venture outside of its boundaries. In one of the shallowest parts of the pool I noticed an octopus. I placed my camera near its den and the octopus started interacting with it. It came completely out of the den and to our amazement it started shooting pictures"

Covd-19 mask in sea
"French Reviera Corona Mask" by Laurent Lombard

Another notable photo is the winning image of the conservation category by Christophe Chellapermal which reflects on the need to preserve our environment as well as take care of ourselves.

Tiny nudibranch in bubble algae
"Quarantine" by Wen Chou Wu

This fascinating photo shows a nudibranch inside a crystal bubble algae. Here it lives, eats and hides. The nudi is only 5 mm long. The photographer, Wen Chou Wu said "Many people have experienced this kind of quarantine life this year, and I think this photo is suitable for this difficult time."

Organised by the Underwater Photography Guide, photographers from over 80 countries entered the competition. They managed to produce some amazing underwater photos that showcase the perseverance of underwater artistry amidst the adversity of the times.

Five baby seahorses
"5 Baby Seahorses" by PT Hirschfield

This delightful photo was taken by PT Hirschfield beneath Blairgowrie Pier, Melbourne, Australia. It won first place in the Compact Macro category using a Canon G12 camera, Recsea housing and Sea & Sea YS-D2J Strobe.

Blue shark
"Bullet" by Gilles Auroux

Gilles Auroux, the photographer, said "Blue sharks (Prionace glauca) are definitely one of the most elegant species of shark with their thin elongated body, and also one of the fastest. I tried to show this characteristic and chose to shoot it from very close (around 30-50 cm) and in this exact posture. In the photo, it looks like a bullet or a missile, putting the emphasis on its very long nose (even exaggerating it thanks to the use of a fish eye lens) while the rest of the body almost disappear in the back, allowing me to reinforce the sensation of speed it conveys." The photo was taken off Pico Island in the Azores.

Crab and jellies
"Shy and Brave" by Salvatore Lanniello

Over $45,000 in prizes have been awarded, including liveaboard trips in Indonesia and the Solomon Islands, dive holidays with Aquamarine Diving Bali and other companies around the world, gift certificates from Bluewater photo and Bluewater travel, and camera equipment from Sea & Sea and Ikelite.

See more winning photos at and

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

Giant Manta Ray

More than 300 species of sharks and rays now threatened with extinction
Among them are four hammerhead shark species and four species of angel shark that are endangered or critically endangered, making them some of the most threatened shark families, as well as the giant manta ray, which is now facing a very high risk of extinction.

Diver recovering ghost net

Thailand's 'ghost' fishing nets help COVID fight
Net Free Seas recovers discarded nets from the sea and turns them into protective gear like face shields to guard against the pandemic and remove a deadly source of plastic pollution.

Octopus on sea floor

Call for ban on bottom-trawling in 'protected' seas
Damaging fishing is taking place within virtually all of the offshore areas around the UK where protections have been put in place to safeguard important sealife, new evidence has revealed.

Fishermen in India

Sustainable financing is pivotal for marine conservation beyond 2030 pledges
One of the biggest challenges in getting political will for protecting 30 percent of the oceans in MPAs by 2030 and maintaining it thereafter is financial.

Beluga swimming

Beluga whistles and clicks could be silenced by an increasingly noisy Arctic Ocean
Sound is an integral part of a beluga's life, so the quality of the underwater acoustic environment is very important for the health and survival of belugas. Yet climate change is transforming the Arctic marine environment, and it is likely becoming more noisy underwater.

Caribbean King Crab

Crabs with an appetite for seaweed could save Caribbean coral reefs
The seaweed covers up corals, shading them from light and preventing young corals from growing. The seaweed also creates harmful chemicals that repel larval reef fish and may cause disease and shut down reproduction in corals.

North Atlantic Right Whale

Officials hail 'encouraging' number of north Atlantic right whale births
The total count of winter sightings of the species has reached 65, including 14 calves.

Squid robot

Squid-inspired robot swims with nature's most efficient marine animals
Flexible underwater robot can propel itself through water in the same style as nature's most efficient swimmer - the Aurelia aurita jellyfish.


As oceans warm, large fish struggle
Warming ocean waters could reduce the ability of fish, especially large ones, to extract the oxygen they need from their environment.

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

Previous editions of SCUBA News are archived at

Visit [UNSUBSCRIBE] and add or remove your e-mail address. To change whether your receive the newsletter in text or HTML (with pictures) format visit [PREFERENCES]

Should you wish to advertise in SCUBA News, please see the special offers at
Other advertising opportunities are at

Please send your letters or press releases to:
Jill Studholme
The Cliff
Upper Mayfield

SCUBA Travel Ltd, 5 Loxford Court, Hulme, Manchester, M15 6AF, UK

Subscribe To SCUBA News

Our newsletter, SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011), is absolutely free. It is a monthly publication, delivered by e-mail. To receive your copy fill in your details below. We will never pass your e-mail address to any third parties, or send you unsolicited e-mail.

You will receive an e-mail confirming your subscription. If you don't receive this you may have entered your e-mail address incorrectly - revisit this page and re-subscribe.

Write to SCUBA News

If you would like to write to SCUBA News, please fill in the form below. You can as well post on our Facebook page and