SCUBA News 277
(ISSN 1476-8011)

SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 277 - August 2023

What's New at SCUBA Travel?

Sailfish in Watamu, Kenya

Diving Kenya

Five marine parks protect Kenya's fringing coral reef whilst whale sharks, manta rays and humpback whales pass by.


World Class Diving at Bikini Atoll

The Marshall Islands boast not only many great wrecks but one of the biggest shark sanctuaries in the world plus lovely nudibranchs.

Carless Reef

Welcome Egypt Divers to the SCUBA Travel Community

The 5 star SSI and PADI diving center in Hurghada and Marsa Alam. Check them out.

Creta's Happy Divers

Diving in Crete
Since 1989 and now offering a 10% discount!.

10 Last Minute Liveaboard Deals - Save up to $2000!

We bring you news of the latest dive boat deals, specially selected for us by, the liveaboard specialists. Including 7, 10 and 14 night trips.

  1. Aurora, Raja Ampat 20 - 26 December 2023 (6 nights), SAVE 25%, Price from EUR 2,949 2,212 per trip per person
    Aurora in Raja Ampat
  2. Theia, Maldives, Central Route, SAVE 25%, Price from EUR 1,530 per trip per person
  3. Cocos Island Aggressor, Cocos Island Adventure, 02 - 12 Dec 2023 and 10 - 20 Jan 2024 (10 nights), SAVE 25%, Price from USD 6,599 4,949 per trip per person
  4. New White Manta, Indonesia, Ambon - Banda - Ambon, 09 - 16 Sep 2023 (7 nights), SAVE 20%, Price from $2,800 per trip per person
  5. Jelajahi Laut, Indonesia, Maluku and West Papua, 28 Oct - 11 Nov 2023 (14 nights), SAVE UP TO 20%, Price from EUR 4,143 per trip per person
  6. Turks & Caicos Explorer II, , Provo, West Caicos, French Cay, 8 - 25 Nov 2023 (7 nights), SAVE $1200, Price from USD 3,195 1,995 per trip per person. Valid for new reservations only, booked, and deposited between August 10 and September 15, 2023. Cannot be combined with other discounts or credits.
    SAVE $1200 on Turks and Caicos trip
  7. Philippines Aggressor, Visayas - Central (Bohol), 24 Aug - 03 Sep 2024 (10 nights), SAVE 25%, Price from USD 5,295 3,971 per trip per person
  8. Humboldt Explorer, Central Archipelago, Darwin And Wolf Islands, 11 - 18 Dec 2023 (7 nights), SAVE $2000, Price from USD 6,195 4,195 per trip per person * Valid for new reservations booked and deposited before September 15, 2023.
  9. Palau Aggressor II, The Best of Palau, The Best of Palau, 09 - 16 June 2024 (7 nights), SAVE 25%, Price from USD 3,535 2,651 per trip per person
  10. Seven Seas, Komodo, East of Flores & Alor, 21 Sep - 05 Oct 2023 (14 nights), SAVE 25%, Price from USD 9,310 6,983 per trip per person
    25% off Komodo 14-night liveaboard trip

Creature of the month is the Sicklefin Devil Ray, Mobula tarapacana

The beautiful sicklefin devil rays are fast and often jump out of the water. Sometimes mistaken for manta rays, you can tell these rays apart by their dark green to brown colour. Their "horns" (cephalic fins) point forward rather than curling like the mantas. This is were they got their name "devil ray".

Sicklefin devil rays. Photo credit: Tim Nicholson.

The largest sicklefin devil ray ever observed was a female with a wing span of 370 cm, more commonly females are 270 cm and males are around 250 cm. They are over a metre wide even when they are born. These rays reproduce slowly, the females having just one pup at a time and possibly pausing for up to three years between pregnancies.

Devil rays in the Azores – Princess Alice Bank. Photo credit: Tim Nicholoson

Populations of the rays have been declining and they are now endangered. Together with their slow reproductive rate, the main reasons for their decline is that their gill plates are prized in Asia

sicklefin devil ray mobula
And more Sicklefin Devil Rays . Photo credit: Tim Nicholson.

The rays range around the world, in temperate to tropical ocean waters. Although the Sicklefin devil ray is highly migratory their migration patterns are still unknown to us but they can travel great distances. The Azores, however, is one of the few places that the endangered sicklefin devil rays are known to congregate. Another is the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago, again way out in the Atlantic.

One of the best places to see sicklefin devil rays is in the Azores, either via day boats from the shore or by Azores liveaboard.


Sibele Alves de Mendonca et al Dancing with the devil: courtship behaviour, mating evidences and population structure of the Mobula tarapacana (Myliobatiformes: Mobulidae) in a remote archipelago in the Equatorial Mid-Atlantic Ocean. 2020.

Sicklefin Devil Ray, IUCN Red List, 2018.

Devil rays and mantas: Interview with marine scientist Ana Filipa Sobral

Diving news from around the World

tanks on back of lorries

Underwater Military Museum launched in Hurghada
HEPCA has launched the first underwater museum in Hurghada with 15 tanks and other military vehicles.


Divers asked to report polluting wrecks
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is asking UK divers to help identify pollution seeping from historic wrecks

Drought and Tree

I'm a climate scientist. Here's how I'm handling climate grief
People must find personal ways to cope with impending losses - one way is by taking small solutions-oriented actions

Grey nurse shark

Census hoping to help save the grey nurse shark in Australia
Celebrated shark diver and conservationist Valerie Taylor and a coalition of divers and Indigenous leaders have united in a collective effort to safeguard the iconic grey nurse shark (Carcharias taurus).

penguins on ice

Australia's Antarctic budget cuts a terrible blow for science
Scientists around the globe have expressed concern at reports the Australian Antarctic Division will have its budget slashed by the government.

Green Ocean

Climate Change Is Shifting the Color of Earth's Oceans
More than half of our oceans have taken on a greener hue in the past 20 years, with climate change as the likely cause.

Aquaculture: oyster farm

Can oyster farming help save the planet?
Shellfish farming efficiently absorbs carbon.

The sea

Microplastics found embedded in tissues of whales and dolphins
Ingested microplastics migrate into whales' fat and organs

The sea

Oceans release microplastics into the atmosphere
Microplastic particles are present in the marine atmosphere even in remote parts of the world. These tiny particles come from land sources but are also re-emitted into the atmosphere from the sea

Female Diver

Female-Led Edges of Earth Expedition promotes Ocean Conservation
Amplifying ocean action and highlighting progress in marine conservation worldwide

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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