SCUBA News 282
(ISSN 1476-8011)

SCUBA News - January 2024

Welcome to the first issue of 2024. A hope you had a Happy New Year.

What's New at SCUBA Travel?

Whaleshark in Thailand

Best Diving in Thailand - Top 5 in 2024

Thailand has very clear waters and some world class diving. The Thai people are friendly and welcoming, and the food is fantastic. What's not to like?

Yellowbar Angelfish in the Red Sea

Red Sea Life

Our guide to identifying the marine life you'll see in the Red Sea

Cold water diving

Into the Nordic Depths: 10 Fantastic Dives in Scandinavia

Freedive with orcas, explore awe-inspiring shipwrecks or even go ice diving.

9 Great Liveaboard Deals for 2024 - Save up to Euro 891

We bring you news of some fantastic dive boat deals in 2024, specially selected for us by, the liveaboard specialists. Including 7, 10 and 14` night trips.

  1. Nautilus Under Sea, Socorro Expedition, 9 - 19 March 2024 (10 nights), SAVE $400
  2. Scubaspa Zen, Komodo Expedition, Indonesia, 4 - 11 June, 02 - 09 July and 19 - 26 Aug 2024 (7 nights), SAVE 10%, Price from USD 4,550 4,095 per trip per person
    Save 10%
  3. Scubaspa Yin, Best of Maldives, 2-9 March 2024 and 23-30 March (7 nights), SAVE 20%, Price from USD 3,550 2,840 per trip per person
  4. Seven Seas (Egypt), South and St. Johns, 5 April - 2 May 2024 (7 nights), SAVE 15%, Price from EUR 1,700 1,445 per trip per person
    Save 15% on marvellous Red Sea liveaboard
    Beautiful corals at St Johns, Red Sea
  5. Emperor Harmoni, Best of Raja Ampat, 21 - 30 May and 5 - 14 September 2024 (9 nights), Price from EUR 4,455 3,564 per trip per person, SAVE Euro 891,
  6. Sea Serpent Grand, Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone, 21 - 28 March 2024 (7 nights), SAVE 12%, Price from EUR 1,599 1,400 per trip per person
  7. Bahamas Master, 7, 10 or 14 nights, SAVE 20%, between January and May
  8. Tiburon Explorer Liveaboard, The Galapagos, SAVE $800 between January and April 2024
  9. Royal Evolution, Egypt/Sudan Border SAVE 10% throughout 2024. Price from GBP 1129 per trip per person.
    Save on all 2024 trips
    Escape the crowds with this liveaboard to the little dived Elba reef plus Elphinstone and St Johns. Or choose the Northern wrecks trip.

Swimming monkey shot wins world's largest underwater photo contest

Aquatic primate

A rare and fascinating portrait of a Crab-Eating Macaque resolutely swimming through the ocean, captured by Suliman Alatiqi, tops this year's Ocean Art underwater photography contest. The photo is a result of weeks of planning and documentation, and it represents the zeal and commitment needed to capture the world's best underwater image.

green frog lunch time
Lunch Time
1st Place Cold Water Category by Alessandro Giannaccini
An Italian green frog devours a Scolopendra insect in Porta Lake, Tuscany. In an instant, the frog skillfully captured and consumed the bug.

Although the AI revolution has quickly changed the global photographic landscape, this year's winners are a testament to humanity's creative perseverance over machine.

Alice in Wonderland underwater
Tea Party
Winner of the Underwater Fashion Category Lucie Drlikova
Shot in Prague,Czech Republic.  All the scenes are real, including the food and cakes, which were made from concrete and covered with special coloured foam, photographed underwater

In order to address generative AI concerns, the competition organisers -the Underwater Photography Guide " this year added two new categories: Underwater Fashion and Underwater Digital Art. These allowed for free reign in editing.

Ice cream nudibranchs
2nd Place Underwater Digital Art by Francisco Sedano Vera
“Ice Cream Nudies”
 Goniobranchus kuniei rocking vanilla and blueberry vibes, Reticulidia fungia playing the smooth cream card, and Goniobranchus sp. as a strawberry sensation. "Blurring the lines between nudibranchs and ice cream using generative prompts, I created a mashup where sea slugs morph into frozen delights."

Both professional and amateur photographers were catered for, with three compact camera categories: compact wide angle, compact macro and compact behaviour.

Underwater fireworks
Underwater Fireworks
1st Place " Imogen Manins in Underwater Compact macro category

Ocean Art 2023 judges included famous underwater photographers Tony Wu, Mark Strickland and Marty Snyderman. After judging the competition, they all advised future competing photographers not to over-process their shots. Marty Snyderman commented “Some very well composed and otherwise technically solid captures had to be eliminated as the post-processing appeared to be too heavy-handed. Colours in those images were "punched up" with vibrance or saturation to the point that subjects or scenes suffered in our view. The same sort of heavy-handedness was evident with the use of sharpening, contrast and clarity tools.“

No such problems with this striking image of Whitetip reef sharks at Roca Partida, Mexico. Again taken by Suliman Alatiqi.

Whitetip reef sharks
Whitetip reef sharks by Suliman Alatiqi. Winner of the wide-angle category

Ocean Art 2023 awarded $120,000 worth of prizes! From liveaboard trips to dive resort stays to underwater camera equipment and gift vouchers. Each photographer got to choose their own prize. The judges evaluated thousands of entries from over 90 countries before selecting the final winning set of images.

"After the Wedding" 1st Place in Nudibranch Category - Peter Pogany
Shot in Anilao, Batangas, Philippines

The photos are truly inspiring, especially those that show what can be done with a compact camera. Why don't you give it a go next year? Or perhaps you entered this year? Let us know.

See all the stunning winning photographs at

Diving news from around the World


Mastering Meal Timing for Enhanced Diving Comfort
The timing of your pre-dive meal plays a pivotal role in ensuring an energised and comfortable experience on your underwater adventure.


Turkey sees 90% decline in shark population in past half century
The decline is due primarily to fishing activities, the inadvertent capture of these species as bycatch or non-targeted species, is leading to their demise.

Arctic Norway

Really a sad day as Norway votes to allow deep-sea mining in Arctic waters
Norway's parliament has officially voted to allow deep-sea mining to go forward in the Norwegian Sea, despite warnings from scientists and conservationists that it could damage the marine environment.


Protecting coral nurseries as important as safeguarding established coral reefs
Identifying and protecting marine ecosystems, both down-current and up-current of coral reefs, specifically areas where coral larvae are more likely to survive and thrive, is crucial to future coral conservation and restoration efforts


Can foreign coral save a dying reef? Radical idea sparks debate
Devastation brought on by climate change and other threats prompts a last-resort proposal to rescue Caribbean corals.

Plastic pollution

As the world swims in plastic, some offer an answer: Ban the toxic two
Some activists say that two of the most toxic types of plastic, polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) should be completely banned.

Grey seal

Grey seal boom in UK thanks to hunting ban, volunteers and fish
Teams of seal counters carefully log every seal, section by section on the beach, forensically scanning the shoreline through binoculars, counting each one with a clicker.

Sperm whale

Sperm whales live in clans like early humans
Females belong to clans which are distinguished by their distinctive vocalizations and behaviour. The clans are large, containing thousands of members and spanning thousands of kilometres.

Diver in Bermuda

SSI Launches Underwater Explorers Worldwide Facebook Group to Unite Divers Worldwide
This new community is designed to bring together divers from around the world to share their knowledge and passion for underwater adventures.

Truk lagoon tank

50% off diving Truk Lagoon in Jan and Feb
Nowhere else in the world can you find so many wrecks in such clear water. And now with 50% off!

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. Most photos though, are copyright the photographer. Please get in touch for details.

Photo credits: Bill45, Johny Goerend/DepositPhotos, Ocean Art, Tim Nicholson, Jill Studholme, ASU Global Airborne Observatory

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Please send your letters or press releases to:
Jill Studholme
The Cliff


SCUBA Travel, 5 Loxford Court, Hulme, Manchester, M15 6AF, UK

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