SCUBA News 254
(ISSN 1476-8011)

SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 254 - August 2021

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What's New at SCUBA Travel?

Alpine lake

Ultimate guide to diving Germany

Germany might not be well known for diving, but it offers countless dive opportunities, with crystal-clear alpine lakes, sunken cities, WWII wrecks, Baltic Sea dives and more.

Harlequin Glass-Slug in Dominica

Delightful diving in Dominica

With hot bubbles, volcanic craters, walls, an exuberance of invertebrates and a chance to see whales - Dominica is different from other Caribbean islands.

Win a diving getaway

Book any liveaboard trip at the Divebooker site and be entered into a draw to win a free Red Sea trip. But hurry, entry ends 31 August.

Win a liveaboard trip

First prize: Free Egypt liveaboard trip. Second & Third prizes: Travel vouchers for $250 USD. Full rules here.

Show Deals…

Creature of the Month: Leopard-Spotted Goby, Thorogobius ephippiatus

Gobies are the largest family of marine fishes with about 500 Indo-Pacific species alone. However, the Leopard-Spotted Goby is not a tropical species but is found in the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic, from the Canary Islands to the British Isles and Norway.

Leopard spotted goby
Photo credit: Tim Nicholson

A shy fish, Thorogobius ephippiatus lives in cracks on steep walls and caves. Shipwrecks are also a favourite habitat. You find them in the shallows and down to 40 m. It tends to face its crevice home and shoot back in if disturbed, making it difficult to take photos of it face on. Dark brown or brick red splodges cover this goby. It has diamond-shaped scales. blue-edged dorsal fins, and a black spot at the back of the first dorsal fin. Its distinctive colouring makes it one of the easiest gobies to identify.

Leopard spotted goby
Photo credit: Christophe Quintin (CC BY-NC 2.0)

This goby breeds from May to July. Adult males excavate a nest under stones or shells and defend their territory around the nest. The female deposits her eggs on the underside of the nest roof. The male goby then guards the eggs, fanning them to ensure enough oxygen until they hatch.

Leopard spotted goby
Photo credit: Tim Nicholson

The Leopard-Spotted Goby may live at least 10-12 years, as deduced by counting annual rings laid down in the earstones (otoliths).

Leopard spotted goby head
Photo credit: Tim Nicholson

Gobies are small fish with large mouths. They are often confused with blennies but can be easily distinguished by their two dorsal fins as opposed to the blennies one.

For more featured creatures see the marine life highlights.

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

Blue shark

UK to ban shark fin trade
The UK are banning the import and export of detached shark fins and products containing them, an essential act for a healthy ocean.

Pretty Phytoplankton

Robot floats give new look at ocean health
A fleet of robotic floats could revolutionize our understanding of how microscopic marine life plays a fundamental role in the health of the ocean and, ultimately, the planet

Diver and seagrass

Underwater gardeners restore seagrass meadows to keep oceans healthy
The more than 70 known species of seagrass play a key role in helping mitigate climate change by sequestering large amounts of carbon, as well as providing habitats for fish and invertebrates.

Warming map

Global warming would be 2.5 degrees C higher without 1980s CFC ban
New evidence suggests that the planet's critical ability to absorb carbon from the atmosphere could have been massively degraded - sending global temperatures soaring - if we still used ozone-destroying chemicals such as CFCs.

Hands holding ocean

We have just two years to stop deep-sea mining from going ahead
Deep-sea mining would be an environmental disaster, so we need a global moratorium to halt it in its tracks. Here's how we go about getting one

Diver and sculpture

New statue in place for underwater sculpture gallery in Marseille
The ninth of 10 sculptures for an underwater museum off the coast of Marseille has been installed, with the final exhibit due in September.

basking sharks holding fins

Sexy secret life of basking sharks uncovered in Hebrides
Scientists record fin-to-fin contact in gentle giants, most likely part of courtship, for first time

Coral closeup

Thailand bans coral-harming sunscreens
Thailand has banned several sunscreen products from the country's national marine parks. These contain chemical compounds proven to be harmful to coral reefs.

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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