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Current Upwellings
The Latest Dive News

Last updated June 6, 2001

More Tourists Kidnapped
Want to See Your Shark Footage on the Telly?
You Can Call Me Ray, ...
Navy Blasts Whales
Air Bargains
Take a Picture, Win a Prize
Bones of Coral

More Tourists Kidnapped June 6, 2001

Diving in waters where Muslim extremists roam is still a dice roll, as we learn from events in the Philippines in early May. A year ago, Philippine extremists stormed the Malaysian divers' island of Sipadan, taking 20 hostages back to the Philippines for ransom. Now they've hit another resort, this one in the Philippines, where one day at dawn they stormed Dos Palmas Island Resort at Honda Bay in Palawan Province, 375 miles southwest of Manila. Three of the hostages were American, one was a scuba diver.

Want to See Your Shark Footage on the Telly? June 6, 2001

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is looking for video footage capturing unique or exciting shark behavior from amateur photographers. They'll pay for it if you make the cut. Contact Justin Anderson: Telephone: +44 (0) 117 9746629 / Fax: +44 (0) 117 9238867 / e-mail: justin.anderson@bbc.co.uk or send your vhs tapes to: Justin Anderson, Researcher, Wild Battlefields, Shark City, Room 33 7-9 TPR, BBC Broadcasting House, Whiteladies Road, Bristol, UK BS8 2LR. He says, "We will endeavor to return any tapes sent, provided you pass on your full address details." They're especially interested in grey reef sharks, tigers , black tips, whale sharks, wobbegongs, hammerheads, silvertips, whitetips, bronze whalers, epaulette sharks ... and even green and loggerhead turtles

You Can Call Me Ray, You Can Call Me Jay, But Don't Call Me a Jewfish June 6, 2001

No sir, scientists have formally changed the name to Goliath Grouper, for reasons that ought to be obvious to you. If you want to know the full story, go to: www.edmontonjournal.com/stories1/010526/5059122.html.

Navy Blasts Whales June 6, 2001

Undercurrent subscriber Bob Platt tells us that "The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is considering granting a permit to the Navy to 'take' (a legal term or art meaning kill, maim, etc.)protected marine mammals using its Low Frequency Active Sonar (LFAS) -- a very loud sonar. Here in Kona (where testing occurred) we feel the Environmental Impact Study does not reflect the change in whale behavior that people here saw. As a result, we have a letter writing campaign to Congress and NMFS in progress. In addition, there are several reports worldwide of whale strandings related to LFAS. The Navy for its part, considers LFAS critical for detecting super quiet submarines and wants to deploy LFAS on four ships this year. The National Marine Fisheries Service permit is the last step required by law. The UK I understand, also plans to deploy in 2004." A web search will lead you to lots of references, for example: www.nrdc.org/wildlife/marine/nlfa.asp
or send a letter to NMFS at www.nrdcaction.org/index.asp?step=2&item=377
or write directly to:

Donna Wieting, ChiefMarine Mammal Conservation Division
National Marine Fisheries Service
1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3226.

Air Bargains June 6, 2001

Undercurrent correspondent Jose Kirchner tells of good air deals to Australia through the end of September. The flights can be booked directly through QANTAS. But, QANTAS only gives 70 percent of miles in economy for discount fares. One can also book the same flight as American, British or USAir and get 100 percent miles.

Take a Picture, Win a Prize June 6, 2001

The 39th Annual International Underwater Photographic Competition, sponsored by the LA Underwater Photographic Society, is accepting entries in 14 print, slide and video categories. The deadline is October 20, 2001. Last year's event received 1,244 entries from 19 countries and 26 states. While the prizes are not yet firm, Best of Show and First Place Awards have included freebies on Fiji's Naia, Bilikiki in the Solomon Islands, Sipidan Water Village Resort, Peter Hughes and Aggressor Crafts, and PNG's MV Chertan. Additional prizes have come from Cochran, Harvey's, DAN, SubAquatic Camera Repair, Submersible Systems, and Pelican. Entry forms and information are available at www.laups.org or write to LAUPS: P.O. Box 2401, Culver City, CA 90231.

Bones of Coral June 6, 2001

Here's a new way to rip off reefs, which came to us in an e-mail: "Disease cannot live in an alkaline body so raise your pH with coral calcium. We cannot claim what coral can help the body cure. For more information, do a search on coral calcium. It is coral added to your drinking water. The pH of the water increases, the water becomes anti-oxidized and your naturally needed minerals are restored to the water." The offer comes from the "Christian Brothers" in New York, which is selling 200gm containers for $98. "Christian Brothers also has coral powder to help the body heal from bone density loss." Just as phony as shark cartilage to cure cancer, no doubt, so the Christian Brothers aren't behaving very Christian-like.

-- Ben Davison, publisher

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