SCUBA News 270
(ISSN 1476-8011)

SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 270 - January 2023

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What's New at SCUBA Travel?

Caribbean Coral Reef

Best dives in the Caribbean

Top ten list now updated - how many have you dived?

Great white shark

Why closing Guadalupe Island puts sharks at risk

Isla Guadalupe is still open to divers, in spite of the Mexican government, but for how long? Why banning dive boats could be disastrous for the sharks.

Sperm Whale

Oman Diving

The only place in the world where coral co-exists with kelp, plus Arabian humpback whales, sperm whales, manta rays and 1500 other species of fish.

Lemon sharks in Bahamas

Where to Dive in February?

From the sharks of the Bahamas to the Mantas at Richelieu Rock, plenty of world class sites are fantastic in February.

10 Last Minute Liveaboard Deals - Save up to 35%

From the Red Sea to Raja Ampat, Maldives, Solomon Islands, Caribbean and the Galapagos. All fabulous diving destinations.

  1. Valentina, Mexico, Socorro Islands, 15 - 24 February 2023 and 26 Feb - 07 March 2023 (9 nights), SAVE $300, Price from USD 3,690 per trip per person
  2. Royal Evolution, Egypt, Sudan 2 Weeks and Sudan Deep South, Suakin Group, 09 - 23 March 2023 and 18 May - 01 June 2023 (14 nights), SAVE 10%, Price from USD 2,828 per trip per person
  3. Conte Max, Maldives, Central Atolls, 29 January - 05 February 2023 (7 nights), PRICE FROM USD 1,990 per trip per person
  4. Galapagos Aqua, Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, from 14 February till 13 June 2023 (7 nights), SPECIAL PRICE, Price from USD 4,095 per trip per person
  5. Humboldt Explorer, Ecuador (Galapagos Islands), Central Archipelago, Darwin And Wolf Islands, from 13 March till 03 May 2023 (7 nights), SAVE UP TO $1000
  6. La Galigo, Indonesia, Raja Ampat, 17 - 24 February 2023 (7 nights) and 27 Feb - 10 March 2023 (11 nights), SAVE UP TO 10%, Price from USD 3,038 per trip per person. This discount cannot be combined with other offers
    Raja Ampat liveaboard
  7. Caribbean Explorer II, Saint Martin/St. Maarten, St. Kitts and Nevis, from January till December 2023 (7 nights), SAVE UP TO $600
  8. Turks and Caicos Explorer II, Turks and Caicos, Provo, West Caicos, French Cay, from 13 May till 30 Dec 2023 (7 nights), SAVE UP TO $600
  9. Resolute, Philippines, Apo Reef - Coron and Cebu (Visayas), from January 2023 till October 2024 (6 nights), SAVE UP TO 35%
  10. Infiniti, Philippines, Apo, Bohol and Islands and Malapascua and Leyte, October 2023 - February 2024 (6 nights), SAVE 20%

Note: The discounted price doesn't include any marine park or other permits and fees, or any applicable fuel surcharges. Any bookings made utilising these special offers are not eligible for flexible rescheduling

Baby octopus wins World's largest underwater photo contest

The Underwater Photography Guide have released the results of the world's largest underwater photo contest. The winning images showcase a new and exciting post-pandemic era for underwater photographers. The lifting of travel restrictions led to an unprecedented calibre of photos, including the best in show image featuring another teachable moment from an octopus. The photo, taken by Kat Zhou in Palm Beach, Florida, depicts the bittersweet final days between a mother octopus and her young before dying of old age.

Baby octopus visible inside the eggs

See more winning photos...

The contest awarded the largest selection of prizes ever in an underwater photo competition, totalling over $100,000.

1st Place Wide Angle by Renee Capozzola
This over-under image was shot on the remote atoll of Fakarava in French Polynesia, which is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Due to strong legal protections, the marine ecosystem here is full of life, and you can view many sharks in their natural habitat.

This year's competition debuted a new Mobile Phone category, with inspiring images captured by a tool that almost every ocean lover has in their pocket. The category aimed to inspiring new underwater photographers and explorers to tell their own stories.

Cassiopea in the Blue - 1st Place Mobile Phone by Alessandro Buzzichelli
Shot in Cala Liberotto, Sardinia using an iPhone7 and a Haoguduo Phone Case

Other winners were extraordinary extra-terrestrial blackwater scenes of pelagic creatures, images that brought hope and solutions for ocean conservation, imaginative photographic techniques and inspiring animal portraits. With 14 different categories, the competition ensured a competitive contest for all levels and disciplines of underwater photography. After evaluating thousands of entries from 96 countries, the judges selected the final set of images as the Ocean Art winners.

Ribbed - 1st Place Nudibranch by Aleksei Permiakov
Taken in Tulamben, Bali. The photographer post processed this stunning image, mirroring and sharpening the rhinophores.

Ocean Art 2022 judges included prestigious underwater photographers Tony Wu, Mark Strickland,
and Marty Snyderman.

Mirror Reflection - 1st Place Portrait by Kuo-Wei Kao

Prizes for Ocean Art 2022 are provided by some of the world's top scuba diving resorts, liveaboard dive boats and underwater photo gear manufacturers. Sponsors include M.Y. Oceanic, S.M.Y. Ondina, Eco Divers, Coralia, Dive Damai, Colombia Dive Adventures, Meridian Adventure, Avalon Outdoor, Carpe Diem Cruises, Papua Diving Resorts and Sea & Sea.

Long Shadows - 1st Place Black and White by Martin Broen
Shot in Cenote Dos Pisos, Riviera Maya, Yucatan, Mexico

As the world resumes activities once considered normal, Ocean Art 2022 is a testament to the promise of novel photographic talent and innovation ahead. The competition was overseen by Nirupam Nigam, Editor-in-Chief of the Underwater Photography Guide and a partner in Bluewater Photo and Bluewater Travel. Nirupam commented, "The winners of Ocean Art 2022 surprised me. I expected an 'instagramable' moment to steal the show. Instead, each image is that of photographic excellence or poetic reflection of the natural world around us. These images will be seared in my mind of years to come."

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial - 1st Place Compact Macro by Eunhee Cho
Shot in Dauin, Negros Oriental, Philippines

You can see more winning photos here.

Diving news from around the World

Manta ray. Criso/DepositPhotos

Strong marine protected areas credited with manta ray surge in Indonesia
Manta ray populations are thriving in Indonesia's Raja Ampat archipelago, a new population assessment shows, highlighting the importance of marine protected areas to the species' conservation.

Grey Reef Shark. Carol Buchanan/DepositPhotos

Sharks received landmark protection to combat fin trade, but the culling must stop
CTES CoP19 marked a historic win for shark conservation and the fight against the global trade in shark fins and meat, but an equally critical issue that must be tackled is shark culling.

Vaquita. NOAA

Mexico dismantles illegal fishing cartels killing off rare vaquita porpoise
The Mexican government has arrested members of criminal groups dedicated to illegally fishing totoaba in the Gulf of California.

Copper rockfish

Warming oceans have decimated marine parasites - but that's not a good thing
Parasite ecology is really in its infancy, but what we do know is that these complex-lifecycle parasites probably play an important role in pushing energy through food webs and in supporting top apex predators


Researchers create portal of weird and wonderful fish sounds
First-ever global inventory available free online. Discover what your favourite fish sound like.

Anca Vaida and award

Award-winning actor discusses passion for Scuba Diving in exclusive interview
Scuba diver and an award-winning actor, director, writer and producer, Anca Vaida is also a consultant psychiatrist which inspired her medical drama Psyched! Read our exclusive interview with Anca.

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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