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Updated July 18, 2013
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.

Should Divers Still Go to Egypt?
Shark Baiting and Feeding
What You're Missing This Month
It's Chapter 7 for Diving Concepts
Hawaii Cracks Down on Scuba Spearfishers and Aquarium Fish Collectors
Why Don't You Dive?
The Everest of Dive Adventures
Dive Wreck Turned Art Gallery
Will Florida's New Lionfish Rules Help?
"Trash Fish" Cuisine is Getting Trendy
Coming Up in Undercurrent

Should Divers Still Go to Egypt?:  July 18, 2013

If you have a Red Sea trip scheduled, don't despair -- the U.S. State Department and Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office consider the resort towns of Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, Dahab, Nuweiba and Taba to be safe. The travel agency Thomas Cooke says inbound and outbound flights to Sharm El Sheikh are incident-free, and European travel bookers say their customers aren't cancelling trips. Main thing: don't plan on hanging out in Cairo.

Shark Baiting and Feeding:  July 18, 2013

On one dive, long-time Undercurrent contributor John Bantin took dead fish to bring reef sharks up from the depths. Passengers were overjoyed, but then complained when they realized what he did. Bantin's response: "Did you want to see sharks or not?" Read his take on why shark baiting and feeding shouldn't be verboten. The article is free to view on our homepage.

What You're Missing This Month:  July 18, 2013

See erupting volcanoes, dangerous dragons and colorful diving from this Indonesian liveaboard . . . great dive operators in Hawaii, the Bahamas, the Red Sea and Micronesia . . . the lawsuit over a diver's death at the Yukon wreck near San Diego . . . why DEMA's "Reaching Out" award is not worth winning . . . what's so wrong about shark baiting and feeding? . . . Fiji Airways tells us it's reversing its stance on shark fins as cargo . . . what happens to aging dive guides? . . . and much more.

It's Chapter 7 for Diving Concepts:  July 18, 2013

The drysuit maker in Santa Barbara, CA, had a reputation of service problems with its dealers and customers, so it was not a total surprise that the company filed for bankruptcy in April. After hearing a rising crescendo of complaints about the company not replying to calls or e-mails about drysuits sent in for repairs, the John McKenzie of the dive news website ScubaGadget found court records showing that Diving Concepts filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, meaning it intends to liquidate. Its assets are listed in the range of $100,000 to $500,000, while its liabilities are between $1 million and $10 million. Diving Concepts' court-appointed trustee is Jeremy W. Faith (his phone number is 818- 705-2777). For customers and dealers who have suits in for repair, Faith says that if they contact him and have "ironclad proof of ownership," they should be able to get their drysuit returned. All other creditors should hire a lawyer.

Hawaii Cracks Down on Scuba Spearfishers and Aquarium Fish Collectors:  July 18, 2013

After 10 years of discussions, and after hearing more than six hours of testimony in the latest round, the Hawaii Board of Land and Natural Resources voted 4-2 on June 28 to ban spearfishing while scuba diving. It also approved restrictions limiting aquarium fish collection to just 40 species. More about this in the next issue.

Why Don't You Dive?:  July 18, 2013

Are you diving less and less, maybe considering hanging up your fins, even though you're fit and able? We want to know why that would be. Fewer fish? More airlines hassles? Too expensive? Bored with beaches? Taken all the photos you care to, or maybe tired of diving with camera hogs?" I want to know your reasons for skipping out on dive trips - and what could be changed to entice you back into the water. E-mail me at We'll prepare a story, perhaps including your comments (from your keyboard to dive operators' eyeballs) in an upcoming issue.

The Everest of Dive Adventures:  July 18, 2013

That's what Amos Nachoum, a top underwater photographer calls Big Animal Expeditions, the dive travel outfit he runs. Geared for photo aficionados, Nachoum says his big-buck trips are designed to be small (six divers max), so everyone gets close-up views of the big animals, and the best photo-taking tips from Nachoum. He has a few spots left on upcoming trips - two Great White shark expeditions near Baja California's Isla Guadalupe in October, and a Blue Whale expedition off Costa Rica January 14-27. For more details, go to

Dive Wreck Turned Art Gallery:  July 18, 2013

The USS Mohawk, a WWII warship and artificial reef off Florida's Sanibel Island, has been turned into an underwater art gallery until September 15. This is Austrian-born Andreas Franke's third underwater art project, putting photographic images, measuring roughly 2.5 by 3.5 feet, under Plexiglas, and letting the photos "evolve with accumulation of marine life." See samples of Franke's work on display aboard the Mohawk at

Will Florida's New Lionfish Rules Help?:  July 18, 2013

At last, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) have seen the light and lifted restrictions on how many lionfish people can catch or kill. FWC Spokeswoman Amanda Nalley told news station WZVN in Fort Meyers, "What we did was allow folks to target them without needing a recreational fish license when using any spearing device or net geared toward lionfish." The rules will also allow anglers and divers to take as many of the invasive fish as they can." Prior to the change, anglers and divers had a 100-pound limit. That doesn't mean anything goes for spearfishers. "The rules do not change where you can spearfish currently," says Nalley. "All normal spearfishing rules remain in place [in Florida counties]."After a decade of the lionfish's lethal march down the Atlantic and into the Caribbean, we're wondering why it took the FWC so long to change its tune. The new rules are good news -- but still, it's a Band-Aid on a problem that may be too big for any government agency to ever control.

"Trash Fish" Cuisine is Getting Trendy:  July 18, 2013

When you spot the elusive scorpionfish on a dive, the last thing you probably think about is fileting it. But at Carolina Crossroads Restaurant in Chapel Hill, NC, you'll find it on the menu. It's called "trash fish dining," and it's catching on with chefs around the country searching for fresh ways to fill their menus with sustainable seafood. "The fishermen would be like, 'This is all junk,' but I said, "I'll pay fair price for it if you'll bring it back to the dock,"' says James Clark, the restaurant's executive chef. "Eat some butter-poached scorpion fish and you'll swear it's lobster." Also on the menu at upscale restaurants nationwide are triggerfish (now you know why you are seeing fewer), white grunt, moon snails and sea slugs. Read more of the Daily Mail's story about the latest in dining.

Coming Up in Undercurrent:  July 18, 2013

Our undercover travel writers visit the Philippines and Mexico's Playa del Carmen . . . why Jean-Michel Cousteau's boat was seized . . . which dive-specific company ran afoul of the law in Kentucky . . . which should have control of shark-finning regulation: the states or the Feds? . . . does using decongestants raise your risk of DCS? . . . and much more.

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.

December, 2012

November, 2012

October, 2012

September, 2012

August, 2012

July, 2012

June, 2012

May, 2012

April, 2012

March, 2012

February, 2012

January, 2012

Online Updates* Archive, 2000-2011

* Sometimes referred to as Upwellings

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