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November 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 28, No. 11   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the November, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Want to Buy a Dive Shop? DiveShopsForSale.com touts itself as the the first website dedicated to the sale of them, and says 70 percent of its customers are firsttime buyers, largely out of corporate America. Now there's the old joke about buying a scuba shop (How do you make a million dollars in the dive industry? Start with two million.), but the DiveShopsForSale founders (who don't list their names on the site) say they'll offer prospective owners a training and support program to help get financing, negotiate with vendors and compete with internet retailers. A Central Florida dive shop, "one of the most profitable dive stores," is priced at $275,000; a 70-foot liveaboard in Honduras is going for $395,000. Still interested? Details are at www.diveshopsforsale.com

GoPro's Newest Camera. John Bantin just wrote about the GoPro Hero3 in last month's issue, and lo and behold, GoPro launched a new model a few days after the article came out -- the GoPro Hero3+. There are not many changes to it, but according to DiverWire writer Bobby Johnson, they are welcome ones. It boasts a slimmer frame, a 12-megapixel camera, and video recording at 30 frames-per-second, in addition to new shooting modes and built-in WiFi. That doesn't mean you'll have to buy all new accessories; anything that fits the Hero3 will continue to work with the Hero3+. "The reduction in size and weight makes the camera even better suited for wearing on a helmet or a dive mask," says Johnson. "The buttons on the underwater housing have also increased in size, making it easier to snap a shot even through thick gloves." Pricing starts at $300; details are at www.gopro.com

Why Do You Dive? Joanne Edney, a Ph.D. candidate at Charles Sturt University in Australia is doing research on scuba divers and their motivations, so we're publishing her request here. "Do you dive because you like seeing marine life, exploring shipwrecks, relaxing, photography, or something else? I would like you to tell me a bit about yourself and why you like to go diving by participating in an online survey I have just launched for recreational divers to participate in. Your level of dive experience isn't important, it is your perspective about diving that is. Access the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JTZSYKT . If you would like to know more about what I am doing, check out my website http://wreckexperience. net, which contains details about the study.

The New "Dead Sea." Ivan MacFadyen, a yachtsman who sailed from Melbourne, Australia to Osaka, Japan 10 years ago, was shocked by how little marine wildlife he saw on the journey this year, describing parts of the Pacific Ocean as "dead." "In 2003, I caught a fish every day," he told the Guardian Australia. "Ten years later to the day, sailing almost exactly the same course, I caught nothing. Normally when you are sailing a yacht, there are one or two pods of dolphins playing by the boat, or sharks, turtles or whales. There are usually birds feeding by the boat. But there was none of that." MacFadyen was also shocked by the amount of trash in the water. At times he had to take care that his yacht wasn't damaged by clumps of garbage he said were as large as a house. "We wouldn't motor the boat at night due to fear of something wrapping around the propeller; we'd only do that during the day. When you stood on the deck and looked down, you'd see the rubbish shimmering in the depths below, up to 65 feet under the water."

Philippines Bans Coral-Destroying Nets. Kudos to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, which just banned the "Danish seine" fishing nets after small fishermen and coastal communities complained about big fishing boats using them to trawl the seabed. "The nets have weights attached to them, it drags on the ocean floor, it hits the corals and damages the marine life,' said Bureau head Asis Perez. The ban takes effect in mid-March to give fishing boats time to switch their equipment. Here's hoping it leads to improvement -- and more diver enjoyment -- of the Philippine reefs.

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