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Indo-Pacific Diving Reviews  - 
 
Diving Thailand - The Andaman Sea
There is some superb diving in Thailand, especially in the Andaman Sea. You can book the diving before you go, or just turn up and book a day or two before.

The best time to go to the Andaman Sea side of Thailand, on the west coast, is between November and April when the weather is calm and the visibility good. From May to October is the rainy season. You can fly to Bangkok then take a train or a bus south. Or fly to Phuket. The public transport in Thailand is very good - better and cheaper than the tourist buses.

The best dive sites are away from the main islands, especially Koh Similan, Koh Surin, Hin Daeng and Hin Moung.
http://www.scubatravel.co.uk/thailand/thailand-dive-centres.html
#Thailand   #scubatravel   #scuba  
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Diving Indonesia - which dive centre to choose?
Read divers' reviews at 
http://www.scubatravel.co.uk/indonesia/diving-indonesia.html

Indonesia comprises over 17000 islands lying between the Indian and Pacific Oceans: it is the world's largest archipelago. Six thousand of these islands are inhabited. In area, Indonesia is the fifteenth biggest country in the world.

Indonesia is in the coral triangle, so called for the many different species of hard coral found here. Indeed the coral triangle holds 75% of all the world's species of coral.1 Here nutrient-rich currents from the Pacific and Indian oceans collide, providing planktonic food for corals, fish larvae and giant filter feeders like manta rays.

There are eight major islands and island groups in Indonesia. These are Sumatra and the Greater Sunda Islands, Java, Kalimantan (Borneo), Sulawesi (Celebes), West Papua (which features Raja Ampat), the Molluccas, the Lesser Sundas (Nusa Tengarra) and Bali. Wherever you choose to go, find the best rated diving operators at 
http://www.scubatravel.co.uk/indonesia/diving-indonesia.html
#scubatravel   #indonesia   #diving  
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Scuba News  - 
 
Divers cause coral disease and damage - it's official
SCUBA diving and snorkelling are amongst the fastest growing tourism sectors. The increasing numbers mean many more people are aware of the beauty and importance of the marine environment, but also puts a great strain on the coral. Not only is it damaged by inexperienced divers kicking it and pollution from boats and hotels, research also shows that coral is much more likely to become diseased in highly dived areas.

Australian and Thai researchers Joleah Lamb, James Trued, Srisakul Piromvaragornc and Bette Willis compared levels of coral diseases at high and low use dive sites around the area of Koh Tao in Thailand. The scientists surveyed 10,499 corals at ten dive sites around the island. They found twice as many healthy corals at little-dived sites (79%) as they did at the more popular dive areas (45%).

They also found a three-fold increase in coral disease at high-use sites, as well as significant increases in sponge overgrowth, physical injury, tissue death from sediment and abnormally pigmented coral tissues.

Injured corals were more susceptible to “skeletal eroding band disease” only at high use sites, suggesting that the extra stress placed on corals by lots of divers increases the development of disease.

Perhaps even more worrying, divers kicking up sediment was “suffocating” coral tissue leading to its death. And this was was strongly associated with the prevalence of a devastating group of coral diseases – the so-called white syndromes – across all the sites studied.
http://news.scubatravel.co.uk/divers-cause-coral-disease-damage.html
#thailand   #scubanews   #environment  
photo credit: Tim Nicholson
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+DiverTrek Very good points. 
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Fish farms which shoot seals can be named, commissioner has ruled
The Scottish Government has lost a long-running battle to keep secret the names of fish farms that shoot seals.

In two rulings, the Scottish Information Commissioner, Rosemary Agnew, ordered ministers to identify the individual farms responsible for killing 185 seals in 2013 and 2014. She dismissed the Government’s argument that this could put staff and their families at risk from protesters.

Agnew’s decision was welcomed as a “landmark victory” by environmental campaigners, who are urging the public to boycott salmon from seal-shooting farms. The salmon farming industry stressed, however, that shooting was “always a last resort”.

Salmon farmers, river fisheries and salmon netters are licensed to shoot seals to prevent them eating fish. Over the four years to 2014, they shot a total of 1,371 grey and harbour seals, according to figures from the Scottish Government.
http://www.thenational.scot/news/fish-farms-which-shoot-seals-can-be-named-commissioner-has-ruled.4945
#seals   #scubanews  
Photo credit: Tim Nicholson - Grey Seal
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Omg please do not shoot seals###!!!!
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Americas Diving Reviews  - 
 
Mexico Diving
The diving is extremely varied in Mexico, from the reefs of Cozumel to the teeming-with-life sites of Baja California and the extraordinary cavern diving of the Cenotes. 

Baja California borders the Sea of Cortez, which is one of the most fertile seas in the world. Cold water upwellings - when cold, deep-water, currents collide with underwater peaks and are forced upward - bring with them nutrients from the depths to mix with the oxygen-rich surface water. Also known as the Gulf of California, the sea is home to an immense variety of species, from tropical creatures in the south to cold water ones in the north.

The Cenotes of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula feature fresh water above salt water: a fresh and salt-water dive in one. The cenotes (or sinkholes) along the Caribbean coast connect with flooded cave systems like Sistema dos Ojos. The visibility can be fabulous with the sunlight shining down through the water.

Cozumel is famous for its drift diving. Currents are usually gentle (1-2 knots). Temperatures are high throughout the year, between 25 and 32 oC. Summer water temperatures are around 29 oC and winter water temperatures around 25 oC. Hurricanes may arrive in September and October. From November to February winds lasting 2-3 days may blow in causing large waves on the West of the island.

http://www.scubatravel.co.uk/americas/mexico-diving.html
#scubadiving   #cenotes   #mexico  
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Scuba News  - 
 
SCUBA News 181 (ISSN 1476-8011) now up at  http://www.scubatravel.co.uk/scuba-news181.html, or download the pdf version at http://www.scubatravel.co.uk/news/scuba-news181.pdf
#scubanews   #scubadiving  
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Does anyone have any information on Chikarma Diving, Gozo? One of our readers is having increasing issues in getting hold of them to obtain final details of her diving trip, " they don't answer emails, telephone calls and the recorded delivery letter I sent has not been delivered. Is anyone is aware of whether they do or do not exist?

Comment below if you've any info.

Thanks
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Appeal for basking shark sightings after slowest ever shark season in the Isle of Man
Researchers have appealed to the public for any sightings of basking sharks around the Isle of Man's coastline as the creatures prove elusive for the second year running.

Manx Basking Shark Watch co-ordinator Jackie Hall said that 2015 is shaping up to be the worst year for shark sightings since they began their studies 11 years ago. 

She added: ‘If you remove the repetition and look at the number of individuals, I reckon there were no more than five or six sharks here in May, and after that we’ve hardly had any at all.’

Only two sightings were recorded for the whole of June and there have been just two reported so far in July.

Report any sightings at www.manxbaskingsharkwatch.org

http://www.iomtoday.co.im/what-s-on/manx-entertainment-news/appeal-for-sightings-after-slowest-ever-shark-season-1-7376592
Photo: Basking shark in Isle of Man by Tim Nicholson
#shark   #scubanews   #marinelife  
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Btml. Nmmmgnxm lg
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Female elephant seals are monitoring dissolved oxygen in the ocean

The current decline in dissolved oxygen concentration within the oceans indicates the effect of climate change on the sea. However the impact of its declining on marine life and ecosystems’ health is still quite unclear because of the difficulty in obtaining data, especially in remote areas like the Southern Ocean. French scientists are therefore using Southern elephant seals to monitor oxygen, temperature and salinity.

http://news.scubatravel.co.uk/elephant-seals-measure-oxygen-content-of-ocean.html
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Elephant Seals Measure Dissolved Oxygen Concentration of Southern Ocean
Diving almost continuously at great depth during most of the year, and covering large distance through remote areas of the Southern Ocean, Kerguelen elephant seals have proved to be a great alternative to other instruments for monitoring the oceans. The seal-derived measurements of oceanic dissolved oxygen give better results than other methods, according to new research. 

Ranging from sub-Antarctic to Antarctic waters through the Southern Ocean, elephant seals look to be efficient assistants for delivering information. They revealed as expected the higher solubility of cold Antarctic waters to oxygen compared to the warmer waters at lower latitudes. They also provided new additional information on the properties of the different water masses through which they passed. 

Although not directly used by air-breathing predators, such as elephant seals, dissolved oxygen is crucial for life of many other marine organisms, such as potential fish or squid prey of seals, and its direct measurement by predators could provide essential information on the distribution and the habitat of their prey. 

As the ocean waters get warmer, the solubility of oxygen drops.  The warmer ocean waters are more stable, slowing down the ocean circulation system and reducing the vertical mixing processes between water layers. The result is less oxygen transported from the oxygen-rich surface layer (in contact with the air) into the deep ocean, where zones depleted in dissolved oxygen are expanding. In addition, the slowing down of the ocean’s circulation system also results in a reduced supply of nutrients from the deep layers into the ocean surface. The low availability of nutrients in the surface layers causes the decline of phytoplankton biomass and diversity - so less oxygen proucers - and hence, the level of oxygen at surface is bound to decline further. Dissolved oxygen is therefore a very sensitive indicator of changes in properties of the marine environment, but less is known about its affect on marine life. 

Up to few years ago, accurate oxygen measurements were performed from infrequent and geographically-limited research vessel surveys. Recent improvements in sensor technology have nevertheless enabled a number of new bio-geochemical sensor packages to be deployed on new autonomous measurement platforms, such as profiling floats, gliders or moorings.  However, despite these significant advances, some regions remain challenging to investigate using such observing systems. Because of its remoteness, regular harsh weather conditions and seasonal presence of sea ice, the Southern Ocean remains largely under-sampled by the conventional instruments: enter the elephant seals.

Read more at 
http://news.scubatravel.co.uk/elephant-seals-measure-oxygen-content-of-ocean.html
#sealife   #sensors   #antarctic  
Photo credit: David Cook (CC BY-NC 2.0)
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Wow such a site
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Should Krill be Protected from Over-Fishing?
Barely longer than your thumb, weighing less than an ounce and nearly translucent, delicate crustaceans known as krill are vital to ocean ecosystems around the world. In the waters that encircle Antarctica, krill are an essential food source for penguins, baleen and blue whales (which can eat as much as four tons of krill per day), fish, seabirds and other marine creatures. 

But Antarctic krill are also increasingly sought after as a source of food for farmed seafood, livestock and poultry. And although you probably won’t find krill on the menu anytime soon, their omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients have made them popular for human consumption in the form of krill oil. Since 2010 the world catch of Antarctic krill has grown by about 40 percent.

Via +PRI Public Radio International 
http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-07-14/scientists-consider-whether-krill-need-be-protected-human-over-hunting
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+Sandy Wright yes it is 
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Diving Hurghada
From Hurghada you can reach the famous wrecks of the Northern Red Sea - the Thistlegorm, Ghiannis D, Carnatic, Ulysses, Rosalie Moeller and others. It is also close to the protected Giftun Island Marine Park and many reefs.

The area is well looked after thanks to the Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association (HEPCA). They have, for instance, installed a boat mooring system to protect the reefs and wrecks from boat anchors.

Hurghada is located just below the Sinai peninsula. Until the early '80s it was a small fishing village but has grown to become a large resort town. You can fly directly to Hurghada from many European countries. The sea temperature ranges from 21 oC in February to around 28 oC in August. The weather gets very warm between June and August, with temperatures over 35 oC . There are plenty of ATMs in Hurghada so getting money out is no problem. 

Some people are nervous of going to Egypt at the moment because of the risk of terrorism. However, enhanced security measures are in place to protect the Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada resort areas. Security forces are situated at the international airports, at check points around the perimeter of the towns and throughout the Governorates. Routine security checks are being performed on entry into the airport and the police are carrying out vehicle checks in the towns.

Tourists need a visa to visit Egypt. You can get this on arrival by payment in Sterling, US Dollars or Euros. The cost is US$25 at approved bank kiosks within airport arrival halls, before reaching immigration. There's no need to buy a visa from an agent who often charge more than the US$25 for the visa. (Note: if travelling just to Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba or Taba resorts you don't need to buy a visa, but for Hurghada you do.) 
http://www.scubatravel.co.uk/redsea/hurghadadive.html
#scubatravel   #redsea   #diving  
Photo credit: Tim Nicholson
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Diving Sharm El-Sheikh
From Sharm El-Sheikh you can visit some world class diving areas in the Red Sea, like Ras Mohammed, Ras Umm Sid, the Straits of Tiran and wrecks such as the Thistlegorm and Dunraven. Sharm is at the tip of the Sinai peninsula and boasts many, many diving centres - but which to choose? Read divers' ratings and reviews of dive operators at 
http://www.scubatravel.co.uk/redsea/sharm-diving.html
#redsea   #scubatravel   #scuba  
Photos by Tim Nicholson
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Established 2000, SCUBA Travel provides information and reviews on dive sites and dive operators in over 90 countries, from Argentina to West Papua. Browse our list of the best 100 dive sites in the world (how many have you dived?) and read our diving travel articles. We're here to help you plan your next dive trip.

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