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Updated April 26, 2021
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.

More Trash Photography
Sharks Saved for Another Day in the Maldives
Hey, Fellow Divers, Did You by Chance Contract COVID?
Ever Seen the Unexploded Bombs at Lanaiís Cathedrals?
My Octopus Teacher Wins the Academy Award for Best Documentary
If You Really Want to Save Coral Reefs, Pony Up
Great Whites in the Kelp Forests
Lots of Online Films to Watch at the Film Festival
Coral Browsers Maintain a Healthy Reef
Success Renovating a Reef in Bali
Most Wanted Scuba Divers Arrested
Ivory Crackdown Puts Giant Clams in Trouble

Pictures of the Year Asia by Sebnem Coskun

More Trash Photography  April 26, 2021

A Turkish photojournalist, Sebnem Coskun, won first prize in the Nature & Environment category in the Pictures of the Year Asia international photo contest. The photo of a diver surrounded by garbage, including medical facemasks, was taken in Turkeyís Bosporus Strait, in the Mediterranean, to raise awareness about plastic pollution in the sea.

Sharks Saved for Another Day in the Maldives  April 26, 2021

When the Maldivian Fisheries Minister started a discussion about opening the archipelago's coastline to shark fishing, the ocean conservation community was outraged. The Maldives had led the way for many island nations by setting a strong example, protecting national marine life and the health of their fisheries with a shark-fishing ban. The public outcry led to the decision that the 11-year-old shark-fishing ban will continue. Thanks to everyone who participated (including readers of this Undercurrent fortnightly email) who signed the online petition in protest. Save Sea Foundation

Hey, Fellow Divers, Did You by Chance Contract COVID?  April 26, 2021

Divers Alert Network is looking for divers and free-divers who have recovered from COVID-19 -- or are recovering from a suspected COVID-19 infection -- to participate in a 5-year study on its effects on a diverís health and fitness to dive. For more information about the study and how you might participate, go here.

Ever Seen the Unexploded Bombs at Lanaiís Cathedrals?   April 26, 2021

Two potentially live bombs have been found off the coast of the island of Lanai in Hawaii, one of them within 10 feet a rock bench and coral habitat. Discovered by two recreational divers in late March, they are probably unexploded ordinance from U.S. practice bombing, which was big in Hawaii during WWII. The U.S. Army is determining what should be done about them, while divers are kept away from the two cavern-like sites called First Cathedral and Second Cathedral. The News & Observe

My Octopus Teacher Wins the Academy Award for Best Documentary  April 26, 2021

And, if you havenít seen it by now, youíre missing a real treat, a story of a South African snorkeling naturalist and an octopus that is the best buddy film of the century, thatís a bit of an emotional roller coaster, not at all what you might imagine. Itís streaming now on Netflix.

If You Really Want to Save Coral Reefs, Pony Up   April 26, 2021

A lot of groups are working hard to save reefs and fish, but for my money, Seacology is among the best, funding projects local people need, in return for their agreement to protect reefs in many ways, including stopping overfishing and poaching. Undercurrent has supported Seacology, and it is indeed worth your individual financial support. ( And have they gotten creative! In the Dominican Republic, where baseball dominates youth culture -- in fact, the nationís culture -- they want to raise $15K to provide underprivileged kids with bats, balls, gloves, you name it. In return, these kids have to help clean up and plant mangroves, which, as you divers know, are fish hatcheries for the reefs. Given the DRís obsession with baseball, the mangrove program will be national news. Contribute to their crowdfunding campaign at

Great Whites in the Kelp Forests  April 26, 2021

If California divers spot a great white shark, they head to kelp beds, believing that great whites refuse to go in them. Alas, research scientists at Murdoch University in South Africa -- South Africa has plenty of kelp -- strapped cameras to eight of these top predators and discovered they frequently cruise and hunt among the kelp beds, where they are able to make spectacular 180-degree turns. So, divers, you might as well just hang and watch them. Click here to view the video.

Lots of Online Films to Watch at the Film Festival  April 26, 2021

Claiming to be the largest festival in the world for ocean-related films, San Franciscoís 18th International Ocean Film Festival is this year a virtual event available online to those who purchase a festival pass. With more than 80 top-quality films to view, you can browse through their film guide to preview the films that might interest you, and you can purchase a single screening for $12, a six-pack film bundle for $65, or the whole shooting match at $140. Once youíve unlocked a film, youíve got until May 2 to start it and seven days to finish it. There are 10 award-winning productions with their trailers available on the website. This year all films entered are eligible for the Global Audience Choice Award through a direct balloting system where you have the opportunity to rate each film youíve watched.

Coral Browsers Maintain a Healthy Reef  April 26, 2021

Coral-eating fish excrete symbiotic algae by the millions, which helps keep coral reefs healthy. Rice University marine biologist Adrienne Correa discovered coral predator feces are jam-packed with living symbiotic algae that corals depend on for survival. The discovery, during an expedition in French Polynesia, confirms that coral-eating fish feces is an important source of symbiotic dinoflagellate algae on coral reefs. Science Daily

Success Renovating a Reef in Bali

Success Renovating a Reef in Bali  April 26, 2021

Since 2018, Andrew Taylor and his team have been restoring a reef in Nusa Penida, Bali. It appeared to be an ever-growing area of barren rubble, but with the help of volunteers, he has positioned especially built frames onto which several species of coral were planted. They grew above the rubble and formed a habitat for marine organisms. With help from visiting divers who financed some of the 300-plus frames with 15,000 transplanted coral fragments the previously dead reef is now covered with healthy coral. Blue Corner Conservancy

Most Wanted Scuba Divers Arrested  April 26, 2021

In December 2011, Aimee Rhodes died during a scuba diving expedition off Key Largo, FL. She had gone out with four other passengers on Get Wet, a boat operated in conjunction with Scuba Shack and its British owners, Alison Gracey and Christopher Jones. (Undercurrent January 2012). The boat capsized and sank. Gracey and Jones had been repeatedly warned that their vessel was not seaworthy. To escape legal retribution, they closed their business and fled to St Maarten in 2015, where they were first arrested before being released. Last seen in France in 2017, they have now been arrested in Madrid, Spain.

Ivory Crackdown Puts Giant Clams in Trouble  April 26, 2021

Anyone who has dived in the South Pacific will have delighted at the sight of a giant clam on the reef, and the colorful commensal algae that lives on its mantle. Recently, 200 tons of illegally harvested giant clam shells worth nearly $25 million were seized in Palawan, the Philippines. The surging illicit trade in these endangered creatures is a direct result of the global crackdown on the ivory trade, because the shell material is used as a substitute. In March, another 80 tons were also seized. The four suspects arrested have clammed up. The Guardian

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Ben Davison, editor/publisher

Covid 19 prevention protocol


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.

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.


17 July, 2024

23 June, 2024

4 May, 2024

20 May, 2024

23 April, 2024

16 March, 2024

16 February, 2024

15 January, 2024

16 December, 2023

28 November, 2023

25 October, 2023

26 September, 2023

18 August, 2023

20 July, 2023

12 June, 2023

27 May, 2023

22 April, 2023

21 March, 2023

21 February, 2023

22 January, 2023

17 December, 2022

26 November, 2022

19 October, 2022

23 September, 2022

15 August, 2022

21 July, 2022

21 June, 2022

16 May, 2022

29 April, 2022

30 March, 2022

25 February, 2022

24 January, 2022


3 December, 2021

27 October, 2021

21 September, 2021

August 18, 2021

28 July, 2021

12 June, 2021

21 May, 2021

26 April, 2021

11 April, 2021

27 March, 2021

12 March, 2021

28 February, 2021

9 February, 2021

31 January, 2021

20 January, 2021

5 January, 2021

20 December, 2020

1 December, 2020

15 November, 2020

1 November, 2020

13 October, 2020

1 October, 2020

21 September, 2020

9 September, 2020

21 August, 2020

8 August, 2020

18 July, 2020

8 July, 2020

25 June, 2020

9 June, 2020

May, 2020

April, 2020

March, 2020

February, 2020

January, 2020

Online Updates* Archive, 2000-2019

* Sometimes referred to as Upwellings

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