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July 2004 Vol. 19, No. 7   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the July, 2004 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Yap Recovery: In early April, a cyclone slammed Yap hard. Diver hotels like the Manta Ray Bay and Pathways sustained a great deal of damage, but all are now up and running. But Bill Acker, owner of Manta Ray Bay and Yap Divers told Undercurrent that just a few weeks ago "the island looked like it had been in a war, but now the jungle is back, and it is beautiful and green again. Some heavy damage to shallow hard coral reefs on the Northeast exposure, but little to no damage at the Southern Tip (Yap Caverns, Lion Fish Wall, Gilman Wall, etc.) and all along the Western Walls, as well as Mil Channel and the mantas. Not everything is completely back to normal but we are getting there day after day."

The Conscientious Marine Aquarist: This useful book, says Undercurrent subscriber Foster Bam (Greenwich, CT), explains how an amateur aquarist can reduce damage when collecting and make informed purchases from reliable suppliers who do not use destructive collecting techniques. Written by Robert Fenner and Christopher Turk, it's available through the Undercurrent website at Undercurrent.

Turtle Tumors: Many divers have noticed unsightly and fatal tumors on green turtles in Hawaiian waters and elsewhere (the subject of a book, "Fire In the Turtle House," by Osa Gray Davison) that have worried scientists for a decade. Many suspected a link to environmental problems. Now it seems that it may be caused by a virus spread by marine ozobranchus leeches, which also affect the saddleback wrasse. The disease cannot be spread to humans. (Honolulu Advertiser, June 1).

Cozumel Floods: Two people died and 20,000 others were evacuated as a result of torrential rains and mid-June flooding. A damaged oil storage facility spilled crude into the ocean. 7,000 homes, 10 schools, and many roads need rebuilding.

Underwater Walking Race: Divers faced off in May at Malaysia's Redang Beach Resort, in what was billed as the "First Underwater Walking Race," which required 20 times more energy and time than walking on land, say race organizers. Rules require that divers place their hands behind their backs, bodies must arch forward, leaping or swimming is prohibited, and a weight belt and ankle weights must be worn (5 lbs per side). Try it.

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