SCUBA News 274
(ISSN 1476-8011)

SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 274 - May 2023

Welcome to SCUBA News.

What's New at SCUBA Travel?

Manta rays

Mantas to Mantis Shrimps in Mesmerising Mozambique

Mantas galore in Mozambique, but also everything from whale sharks down to mantis shrimps.

Protarus harbour, Cyprus

The Zenobia Effect - Scuba Diving Cyprus

Voted the best dive site in Europe, the Zenobia lures divers to Cyprus. But Cyprus has many other good dives to explore.


Scuba Divers' Guide to the Seychelles

Clear waters, abundant marine life and diverse underwater topography, ranging from coral reefs to dramatic granite formations and shipwrecks.


Health and Safety Executive Scuba Qualification

Hello. I need my HSE scuba certificate for film and Tv work. Is there anywhere abroad I can go to do it?
Harlon Haveland

Hi Harlon, Interesting question but sorry, there are none that we know of. If any readers know of any please let us know.

9 Last Minute & Early-Bird Liveaboard Deals - Save up to 30%

  1. Philippine Siren, Philippines, Southern Visayas, 12 September 2023 (7 nights) SAVE 25%.
    Blue Adventurer liveaboard in Egypt
  2. Conte Max, Maldives, Central Atolls, 03 - 10 September 2023 (7 nights), SAVE 10%, Price from USD 1,890 per trip per person
  3. Blue, Egypt, Brother - Daedalus - Elphinstone, 07 - 14 September 2023 (7 nights), SPECIAL PRICE from EUR 1,270 per trip/per person
  4. Scubaspa Zen, Indonesia, Komodo Expedition and Best of Komodo, 04 - 11 June 2023 (7 nights) and 13 - 23 June 2023 (10 nights), SAVE 20%.
  5. Carpe Novo, Maldives, different routes, SAVE UP TO 30% on trips from 14 May to 30 September 2023 (7 and 10 nights), Price from USD 1,736 per trip per person, *Discounts are not combinable with any other discounted offers including Repeater Discount, *Confirmed bookings cannot be adjusted or rebooked, *Offer only valid for new bookings
  6. BVI Aggressor (Cayman Aggressor V), British Virgin Islands, Best of the BVI, 21 - 28 October 2023 (7 nights), SAVE 25%
  7. Palau Siren, Palau, Palau Islands, SAVE 30%, Price from USD 2,376 per trip per person *Promotion applies to new bookings only* Promotion applicable to bookings made in the month of May 2023 *Repeater discounts can be applied, other existing discounts cannot *Departures may be added or removed at any point from the promotion
  8. Amira, Indonesia, Komodo & Alor,, SAVE 20%, Amira, Indonesia, Komodo & Alor, SAVE UP TO 20% for 7 and 11-night trips from 24 June to 12 September 2023
  9. Blue Adventurer, Egypt, Simply the Best, 28 July - 04 August 2023 (7 nights), SAVE 10%, Price from USD 1,080 per trip per person
    Blue Adventurer liveaboard in Egypt

The Captivating Grey Seal: A Fascinating Marine Mammal

The grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) is the second largest seal in the world, second only to the elephant seal. It lives in the northern Atlantic, with half of the world's population living around the British Isles.

Grey seal in the Farne Islands
Grey Seal in the Farne Islands. Rudmer Zwerver/DepositPhotos

For hundreds of years the seals were absent or in very low numbers in the North Sea, mainly due hunting. Since the 70s though, when protection for the seals started to be put in place, they have flourished.

Grey seals spend more than 80% of their time at sea and 90% of that below the surface. They are curious and will approach divers, especially the younger seals.

Grey seal, Calf Sound, Isle of Man
Grey Seal watching a diver in the Isle of Man. Tim Nicholson

The seals return to the same shore to haul out. They don't stay close to that area though, they can travel over 100 km between their haul-out and foraging sites. These feeding trips last as much as 30 days, and they can cover the 100 km in just one day.

Grey seal, hauled out. Deposit Photos
Grey Seal hauled out. Alan De Witt

Like most marine mammals, grey seals communicate using calls and whistles, but these seals also clap to warn off competitors and advertise to potential mates.

Amazingly, grey seals can dive to 477 metres. However, they mostly don't go much below 100 m, searching for food.

Grey seal, Isle of Man
Grey Seal keeping an eye on the photographer, Tim Nicholson.

Female grey seals have been recorded living to 42 years in the wild. Males are thought to live less long, to a maximum of 31 years.

The grey seal is so called because of its coat, which is various shades of grey. The pups though are born white. Female pregancies last 11 months, and they then look after the pup until around three weeks later when it is weaned.

Baby Grey Sea. DepositPhotos
Baby Grey Sea. DepositPhotos


Sayer, S. et al. (2019). Pinnipeds, people and photo identification: The implications of grey seal movements for effective management of the species. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 99(5), 1221-1230. doi:

Grey seals discovered clapping underwater to communicate, Monash University

W. D. Bowen et al (2006) Reproductive performance in grey seals: age-related improvement and senescence in a capital breeder Journal of Animal Ecology.

Boehme, Lars et al. (2012). How Many Seals Were There? The Global Shelf Loss during the Last Glacial Maximum and Its Effect on the Size and Distribution of Grey Seal Populations. PloS one.

Diving news from around the World

Red Sea liveaboard

Harnessing the sun to make Red Sea liveaboards more sustainable
Liveaboards are one of the best ways for divers to experience the Red Sea. Their diesel generators though contribute to climate change and air pollution. That's why one liveaboard operator is to use solar panels.

Sea cucumbers

Ranching sea cucumbers to repair the oceans -- and improve human health
Scientist aims to restore sea-cucumber populations to rebalance ocean ecosystems and so that people can use their beneficial compounds.


Titanic: First ever full-sized scans reveal wreck as never seen before
The first full-sized digital scan of the Titanic, which lies 3,800m (12,500ft) down in the Atlantic, has been created using deep-sea mapping. It provides a unique 3D view of the entire ship, enabling it to be seen as if the water has been drained away.

Joseph Dituri

Record broken for living underwater
A US university professor broke a record for the longest time living underwater without depressurisation.

Hammerhead sharks

Hammerhead sharks are first fish found to hold their breath
It pays to be a warm hunter in the cold ocean depths, so the sharks shut down oxygen intake to conserve heat.

right whale

Reducing Vessel Strikes to North Atlantic Right Whales
North Atlantic right whale vessel speed restrictions reduce the likelihood of lethal collisions between vessels and these endangered whales.

Red Sea coral reef by Jill Studholme

Coastal lights trick coral reefs into spawning earlier than they should
Corals exposed to artificial light at night are spawning one to three days outside of their optimum reproductive periods

Sea urchin, Diadema setosum

Within just a few months a deadly epidemic killed all the black sea urchins in the Gulf of Eilat
Mass mortality of sea urchins in the Mediterranean Sea has spread to the Gulf of Eilat and threatens to destroy the coral reef.

Blue Sea Button Jellyfish

Why The Ocean Cleanup might not be a good thing
The Ocean Cleanup's aim is to remove plastic from the ocean surface by collecting it with large nets. However, this approach also kills the surface marine life, like the beautiful Blue Sea Button Jellyfish.

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: Alan De Witt, Rudmer Zwerver, Howard Chew/DepositPhotos, Denis Riek, The Global Ocean Surface Ecosystem Alliance (GO-SEA) Field Guide (CC-BY 4.0), Tim Nicholson, Jill Studholme

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