SCUBA News 271
(ISSN 1476-8011)

SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 271 - February 2023

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What's New at SCUBA Travel?

Tank on the Nippo Maru

Top Wreck Diving in Truk Lagoon

More than 60 Japanese ships & aircraft were sunk by the US Navy in Feb 1944 during Operation Hailstone in Truk Lagoon. Nowhere else in the world can you find so many wrecks in such clear water, but which are the best?

Scalloped hammerhead sharks

Suberb diving in St Johns and Fury Shoals

World class diving in Egypt's southern Red Sea - with hammerhead sharks to dolphins, manta rays to nudibranchs. Go!

Grouper, diver and hydroids in Tunisia

Time to Try Tunisia?

With its clear waters, diverse marine life and rich cultural heritage, Tunisia offers a unique diving experience.

10 Last Minute & Early-Bird Liveaboard Deals - Save up to 67%

From the Red Sea to Fiji, Maldives to Sudan. All fabulous diving destinations.

  1. Reef Endeavour, Fiji, Mamanuca and Yasawa, Save 30% until 28 February on trips until 2024. Price from USD 805 per trip per person - save a massive
  2. Red Sea Aggressor IV, Egypt, Brothers - Daedalus - Elphinstone, 11 -18 Mar, 08 - 15 April, 22 - 29 April 2023 (7 nights), Price from USD 899 per trip per person - save a massive 67%
    Deep South, 01 - 08 July and 29 July - 05 Aug 2023 (7 nights), Price from USD 1,499 per trip per person.
  3. Theia, Maldives, Central Route, from 29 April to 20 May 2023 (7 nights), SAVE 15%, Price from USD 1,827 per trip per person
  4. Bahamas Aggressor, Bahamas (Tiger Beach), Exuma Cays and Southwest Eleuthera, from 25 Feb 2023 to 25 March (7 nights), SAVE USD 800, Price from USD 2,295 per trip per person
  5. Seafari Explorer 2, Maldives, Sharks and Mantas, from 25 Feb 2023 to 25 March (7 nights), 26 Mar - 09 Apr 2023 (14 nights), SPECIAL PRICE, Price from USD 4,290 per trip per person
  6. Seadoors, Philippines, Southern Visayas, 09 - 15 December 2023 (6 nights), SAVE Euro 300, Price from EUR 1,980 per trip per person
  7. Blue Horizon III, Maldives, Deep South Atolls and South Atolls, from 19 February 2023 to 09 April 2023 (7 nights), SAVE 30%, Price from EUR 2,238 per trip per person
  8. Royal Evolution, Sudan, Egypt, Sudan 2 Weeks, 9 - 23 March 2023 (14 nights), SAVE 25%, Price from USD 2,295 per trip per person
  9. Indo Siren, Indonesia, Komodo National Park, 06 - 13 June 2023 (7 nights), SAVE 20%, Price from USD 2,800 per trip per person
    Komodo liveaboard
  10. Indo Aggressor, Indonesia, Komodo National Park, up to 9 April (7 nights), SAVE 40%, Price from USD 2,250 per trip per person

The Bull Shark (Carcharhinus leucas) is our Creature of the Month

One of the extraordinary things about bull sharks is that they are as happy in freshwater as they are in the sea. They have even been seen far inland up the Mississippi river. Many spend time in the freshwater Lake Nicaragua - jumping up the river like salmon to get there.

Bull Shark at Cabo Pulmo
Bull Shark (Carcharhinus leucas) Cabo Pulmo, Baja California Sur, Mexico. DepositPhotos

Bull sharks - latin name Carcharhinus leucas - are medium-sized sharks with thick-set bodies. They are requiem sharks, related to tiger sharks and oceanic whitetips. Like these they are aggressive hunters. They eat all sorts of animals, including turtles, birds, dolphins, terrestrial mammals, crustaceans, fishes and other sharks.

Bull shark
Bull shark from Pacific ocean at 30 meters depth. DepositPhotos

The young bull sharks live in inshore estuaries but adults are highly dependent on coral reef communities for their food.

Female bull sharks return to their birth place to mate. The mothers are viviparous - they give birth to living babies rather than to eggs. Their litters contain between one and fourteen pups. A single litter of pups can come from two fathers. Scientists think that the female sharks mate several times with different males to increase either the number, or the quality, of their babies.

Bull shark
Bulls shark at the Bahamas DepositPhotos

The IUCN now assess the bulls shark as "vulnerable", a step closer to endangered than their 2009 assessment. The location of nursery areas in estuarine and freshwater systems makes the species vulnerable to pollution and habitat loss. Other threats include recreational fishing and by-catch in commercial fisheries. In addition, global climate change is causing coral reef degradation, the feeding ground for adult bull sharks.

Further Reading

First Evidence of Multiple Paternity in Bull Sharks, SCUBA News

Simpfendorfer, C. and Burgess, G.H. 2009. Carcharhinus leucas. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: e.T39372A10187195.

Evidence of Partial Migration in a Large Coastal Predator: Opportunistic Foraging and Reproduction as Key Drivers? Mario Espinoza , Michelle R. Heupel, Andrew J. Tobin, Colin A. Simpfendorfer, February 3, 2016

Diving news from around the World

Orca and baby

Raising sons is draining killer whale mothers, study finds
Sons, but not daughters, cut a mother orca reproductive rate in half

Rock Fish/NOAA

Study reveals biodiversity engine for fishes: shifting water depth
Fish, the most biodiverse vertebrates in the animal kingdom, present evolutionary biologists a conundrum: More species in tropical water, but more new species in colder seas.

Sharks by Carol Buchannon/DepositPhotos

Paying fishers to ease off sharks and rays is cost-effective conservation
Interviews with fishers at two sites shows that payments of $71K to £236K dollars per year could protect up to 18,500 hammerheads and 2140 wedgefish at those sites, money which could come from dive tourism.

Pink sea

Why are scientists dying the ocean pink?
They're looking to provide crucial data for quantifying the spread of sediment, pollutants, larvae and other important material in the nearshore sea.


Mining at key hydrothermal vents could endanger species at distant sites
Destruction of key hydrothermal vents by deep-sea mining could have knock-on impacts for vent fields hundreds of kilometers away

Whale shark and Diver

Three superb dive spots in March
March is a great month for shark diving, both in the northern and southern hemisphere.

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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