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SCUBA News 283
(ISSN 1476-8011)

Welcome to SCUBA News. Hope you're having a good month and planning some great diving trips. Any questions, reviews or comments to

What's new at SCUBA Travel?
Clever Cuttlefish is Creature of the Month
8 Great Liveaboard Deals for 2024: Save 40%
Diving news from around the World

You can download this SCUBA News issue as a pdf.

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What's New at SCUBA Travel?

Lemon sharks in the Bahamas

Bahamas - Where the Sharks Live

Fabulous for sharks, wrecks, caverns and walls. Discover where which sharks like to hang out and when.

Mediterranean gorgonia and giant mussel

Scuba Sardinia

There is diving all round this Italian island to suit every taste: caves, wrecks, corals and sea life.

Sealion approaching sardine bait ball in Mexico

Why Mexico's sardine run should be on every diver's bucket list

Few divers know about Mexico's sardine run yet it rivals its equivalent in South Africa and is an awe-inspiring display.

8 Great Liveaboard Deals for 2024 - Save 40%

We bring you news of some fantastic dive boat deals in 2024, specially selected for us by, the liveaboard specialists. Including 5, 7, 9 and 10 night trips in the Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Caribbean and Red Sea.

  1. Ghani, St. John's Reef, Red Sea, 30 March - 6 April 2024, SAVE 40%, Price from EUR 1,200 720 per trip per person
  2. Tambora, Tranquil Sulawesi, 24 May - 3 June 2024 (10 nights), SAVE 30%, Price from USD 5,500 3,850 per trip per person
  3. Okeanos Aggressor II, Cocos Island, 27 March - 06 April 2024 (10 nights), SAVE 25%, Price from USD 6,299 4,724 per trip per person
  4. 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
    Save 40% on diving liveaboard
  5. Bahamas Master, 10 - 15 September 2024 (5 nights),SAVE 20%,Price from USD 2,675 2,140 per trip per person
  6. Tiaré, Raja Ampat Central and South, 22 - 31 March 2024 (9 nights), SAVE 20%, Price from USD 5,580 4,464 per trip per person
  7. Alia, The Mixed South Red Sea SAVE 40%. Price from EUR 1,600 960 per trip per person
    Save 40% on diving liveaboard
    Visit the famous Daedalus Reef, Rocky Island, Zabargad and St. Johns Caves
  8. Theia, Maldives Central Route, 2 06 - 13 April 2024 (7 nights), SAVE UP TO 30%, Price from USD 2,495 1,996 per trip per person

Clever Cuttlefish is Creature of the Month

Diver and cuttlefish in Malta
Diver and cuttlefish in Malta. Slepenkov Igo/DepositPhotos

Master of Camouflage even though Colour-Blind

The cuttlefish is a fascinating creature. This intelligent mollusc has almost incredible powers of mimicry. It can control the colour, patterning and texture of its skin to perfectly match its surroundings. And not just from above, the camouflage works from whichever angle it is observed. From birth, cuttlefish can display at least 13 type of body pattern, made up from over 30 different components. And all this whilst being colour-blind.

Cuttlefish camouflage
Cuttlefish camouflage. Tim Nicholson

Cuttlefish Courtship

In addition to avoiding predators, pattern control is also used in courtship by male cuttlefish. This impresses females and warns off competitors. After mating the male will often defend the female while she lays clumps of eggs. These hatch in two to three months to reveal miniature cuttlefish. Females only breed once and die soon after laying.

Cuttlefish mating
Mating cuttlefish in Daymaniyat, Oman. A. Nikolaev/DepositPhotos

Jet Propulsion

With its flattened body skirted each side with fins, the cuttlefish moves with a pretty rippling motion. Like the closely related octopus, it can also escape by powerful jet propulsion whilst simultaneously ejecting a cloud of black ink to distract its foe. This ink is called sepia and was once used by artists.

10 Arms and 3 Hearts

The cuttlefish's mouth is surrounded by eight arms. It also has two long extendable tentacles and is thus classified as a decapod (10 feet). Carnivorous, cuttlefish catch fast-moving prey like crustaceans and fish with their long tentacles. Two of their three hearts send blood to the gills, the other pumps blood around the body.

cuttlefish is raising its tentacles in an aggressive posture
In this photo the cuttlefish is raising its tentacles in an aggressive posture. Captain Victor Organ

Bouyancy control in their bones

The Cuttlefish bone is filled with small chambers. They fill or release air from these chambers to control their buoyancy.

Of course, being an invertebrate the cuttlefish bone is not really a bone, more of an internal shell.

Cuttlefish at Agincourt reef, Australia
Cuttlefish at Agincourt Reef, Australia. Tim Nicholson

Clever Cuttlefish

A recent study showed that like some vertebrates, cuttlefish can exert self-control for over two minutes at a time.

Cuttlefish will wait for a better but delayed reward of their favourite food. In the tests, all cuttlefish liked live grass shrimps best, pieces of raw king prawn came next and Asian shore crab was the least preferred.

The cleverest cuttlefish, that learnt the most quickly, could wait for longer. Chimpanzees, dogs and grey parrots have been shown to employ strategies such as looking away, closing their eyes or distracting themselves with other objects while waiting for a better reward. Interestingly, cuttlefish were observed turning their body away from the immediately available prey item as well, as if to distract themselves when they needed to delay immediate gratification.

Animalia (Kingdom) > Mollusca (Phylum) > Cephalopoda (Class) > Coleoidea (Subclass) > Decapodiformes (Superorder) > Sepiida (Order)

References and sources list is here:

Diving news from around the World

Diver with whale skeleton

Underwater Photographer of the Year announced
The winner was Alex Dawson from Sweden, for his arresting image: "Whale Bones". A breath-hold diver descends below the Greenland ice sheet to bear witness to slaughtered whales.

Icon of the Seas cruise ship

Colossal Cruise Ships - even more reasons to worry
The "Icon of the Seas" cruise ship holds over 10,000 people. Cruise ships dump millions of litres of treated sewage and wastewater on each voyage and engine noise interferes with the ability of killer whales and other cetaceans to echolocate.


Divers Recover Lost 'Temple of Zeus' Sculpture From Sea Bed
The divers found the stone relief, which depicts a prancing horse, off the coast of Sicily

Bonaire dive reef

Dive sites reopen in Bonaire
Some sites in the north and Klein Bonaire were temporarily closed for a period. However, all dive sites are now open, with the exception of Washington Slagbaai Park, which remains closed for diving.


Cold-water coral traps itself on mountains in the deep sea
Corals searching for food in the cold and dark waters of the deep sea are building higher and higher mountains. But in doing so, they may find themselves trapped when the climate changes.


Unacceptable greenwashing: Call to remove organic labelling from farmed salmon
The labelling of farmed Scottish salmon as "organic" is "unacceptable greenwashing", according to a group of charities.

Sharks on sale

DNA probe uncovers threatened shark species in Thailand's markets
Products derived from 15 shark species, more than a third of which have never been recorded in Thai waters, highlighting the scale of the international shark trade.

Silky sharks

Global shark deaths increasing despite finning bans
A new study finds that shark mortality increased by 4% in coastal fisheries between 2012 and 2019, despite legislation to ban shark finning increasing tenfold over this period.


Manatees discovered in pristine but threatened underwater cave habitat
In a flooded cave system in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo on the Yucatan peninsula, cave diver Klaus Thymann met a manatee mother. Unfortunately, this manatee's near-pristine home is already at risk.

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: John A. Anderson, A. Nikolaev, Andrea Izzotti/DepositPhotos, Captain Victor Organ, Tim Nicholson, Jill Studholme

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SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)

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