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Updated March 19, 2012
These brief news articles below were sent out via email to all divers who signed up for our free email list.
You can sign up here to receive future Undercurrent Online Updates and get news alerts and special offers like these every month.

Dive the Bahamas, Help Iguanas, Save $100
Stan Waterman Subscribes, So Why Not You?
What You're Missing This Month
Download These Fish ID Books
A Threat Worse than the Bends
Got a Hot Tip?
Another Knock against Shark Fin Soup
A Successful Protest against Selling Manta Ray Leather
The Problem with "Discover Scuba Diving" Programs
California Volunteers Needed for Dive the Coast

Dive the Bahamas, Help Iguanas, Save $100:  March 19, 2012

We've long been fans of the Seacology nonprofit and its efforts to save endangered species worldwide. It has created its first Caribbean-focused excursion, a liveaboard trip to the Bahamas on May 5-12, and Undercurrent subscribers can help this nonprofit out, have a good time -- and get a discount. Stay aboard the M/V Turks & Caicos Explorer while diving at Mayaguana, Samana Cays, San Salvador (where you'll also stop to visit a Seacology-funded "nursery" for the island's endangered iguana) and Conception Island. Seacology will give a $100 discount to anyone who mentions Undercurrent when making a reservation. The price is $2,500 per person, double occupancy. For details, go to here.

Stan Waterman Subscribes, So Why Not You?:  March 19, 2012

Here's what the great dive veteran Stan Waterman wrote us: "I have just recently subscribed, and your current issue confirms my satisfaction in doing so. It is most informative and interesting." Follow his lead, and that of other experienced divers, and start or renew your subscription. Besides a new issue in your e-mail every month, you'll get full access to all of our issues online, the new 800-page 2011 Travelin' Divers Chapbook and all past Chapbooks available online, and 10,000 travel reviews by serious divers covering 342 destinations and liveaboards. Benefit from all of our money-saving and life-saving articles by subscribing for a one year membership for $39.95, or try us out with a one-month membership for $4.95. My personal guarantee: all your money back, no questions asked, if you're not satisfied. Subscribe here.

What You're Missing This Month:  March 19, 2012

Solmar V: wild diving at Mexico's Socorros Islands . . . the Final verdict for a diver charged with killing his wife on their honeymoon . . . Discover Scuba Diving" programs: where the deaths are . . . flying after diving: a threat worse than the bends . . . can portable defibrillators reduce heart-related dive deaths? . . a travel-friendly fish ID book for Caribbean-bound divers . . . what to do when crew disrespects your dive gear . . . and much more

Download These Fish ID Books:  March 19, 2012

We mentioned in this month's issue that Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach have issued a travel-sized edition of their must-have Caribbean reef fish identification book. Now two of their other books are going digital. You can take copies of the "Reef Fish: Tropical Pacific" and "Reef Creature: Tropical Pacific" with you on your laptop, phone or iPad. The e-books are available in the Blio format (the Blio program is a free download) for Android, iPad, iTouch, iPhone and Windows PC computers. The 2,000-species content is searchable through a page-specific table of contents and a scrolling tool bar. On the iPad, you can go directly to a subject by typing in a species' name. You can highlight and bookmark items, and even keep notes on photos (like where you have seen the species). Further research can be accessed on Google and Wikipedia searches with a single click. Downloads are $30 each. Get the details here.

A Threat Worse than the Bends:  March 19, 2012

Doc Vikingo revisits the possibly-lethal threat of deep vein thrombosis, and physicians' newly revised recommendations for its prevention. Read his report, free of charge, at Undercurrent by clicking on the "Flying After Diving" link.

Got a Hot Tip?:  March 19, 2012

That's how we write up many of the stories you read in Undercurrent - from informed sources like yourselves. Know of some shady business going down or emerging trends rising in the dive industry? Or you believe a specific matter needs more of a spotlight pointed at it? Go to Undercurrent , click on the "Hot Tips Line" link at the right-hand side of the page, select Hot Tips, and fill in the contact form. We protect your privacy by request but the paranoid can contact me directly by e-mail at

Another Knock against Shark Fin Soup:  March 19, 2012

It's a deadly threat to the human brain. A study in the journal "Marine Drugs" reports high concentrations of the neurotoxin BMAA, linked to Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig's disease, in shark fins. University of Miami researchers tested seven species of shark, including blacktip, bull and hammerhead (they clipped tiny fin samples off their living subjects so not to harm them). Says co-author Deborah Mash, "The BMAA concentrations in the samples are a cause of concern, not only in shark fin soup but also in dietary supplements and other forms ingested by humans."

A Successful Protest against Selling Manta Ray Leather:  March 19, 2012

Like sharks, manta rays are nearing extinction as they are prized for their body parts (their skin is made into leather, and their cartilage is used as a filler in shark fin soup). The nonprofit Oceana discovered that, the world's largest business-to-business commerce website was selling manta ray leather and started a petition to stop the company from doing so. Nearly 40,000 people signed it, and earlier tis month, CEO Jack Ma announced that it would no longer sell manta ray products. It has also taken down its listings for shark fins and other unsustainable animal products.

The Problem with "Discover Scuba Diving" Programs:  March 19, 2012

Recently, there has been a furor within certain segments of the diving industry over issues of dive safety and what direction the incident and fatality rate has been moving. Is diving getting safer? Or more dangerous? The answers depend on whom you ask and what stake they have in the industry. Read our free article on the issues surrounding dive training programs - it's at the top of the page at Undercurrent.

California Volunteers Needed for Dive the Coast:  March 19, 2012

Gear up for the largest mass scuba dive in the history of diving, sponsored by the nonprofit Dive the Coast and taking place along the California coast in June 2013. Un til then, test dives will be done to gauge dive distance, depth and air and formulate them for diving longer distances, and California divers are needed to help out with chapters established between San Diego and San Francisco, while coordinators are needed to set up more chapters. Visit for information, or contact to become a coordinator and/or supporter.

Ben Davison, editor/publisher
Contact Ben


Note: Undercurrent is a registered 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization donating funds to help preserve coral reefs. Our travel writers never announce their purpose, are unknown to the destination, and receive no complimentary services or compensation from the dive operators or resort.

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Highlights of Previous Online Updates*

Here are past Online Update emails sent out . You can sign-up for free to receive these in the future here.

November, 2012

October, 2012

September, 2012

August, 2012

July, 2012

June, 2012

May, 2012

April, 2012

March, 2012

February, 2012

January, 2012

December, 2011

November, 2011

October, 2011

September, 2011

August, 2011

July, 2011

June, 2011

April, 2011

March, 2011

February, 2011

January, 2011

Online Updates* Archive, 2000-2010

* Sometimes referred to as Upwellings

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