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Updated February 16, 2024

See the World Shootout's 2023 Underwater Photography Winning Shots
100 Percent PADI or Not At All
Remarkably Bright Creatures
Banning Shark Finning Does Not Save Sharks
Fiji Medical Treatment? Confused?
Three Divers Hit by Maldives' Sharks
Rinsing Your Gear?
Paul Humann Passes
Conflicting Reports
Other Subscribers Find Your Reports Invaluable

See the World Shootout's 2023 Underwater Photography Winning Shots.   February 16, 2024

In a truly international competition, 28 nights at four PNG resorts worth $18,900 awaits Luc Rooman of Belgium for winning first prize in the "Five Best Images' category. There were 828 other winners of prizes worth $272,000. Eduardo Acevedo of Spain won 2000 in cash for Best Photo overall. To see all the results, go to:

World Shootout's 2023 Underwater Photography Winning Shot

100 Percent PADI or Not At All.   February 16, 2024

PADI now requires all dive centers working under the PADI banner to train divers exclusively with PADI. It will not permit them to offer certifications by other organizations, such as SSI, SDI, CMAS, or the British Sub Aqua Club alongside its own. Many dive centers operators are outraged, and some, such as Werner Lau Diving Centers, have protested on social media. The fish don't care what diving certification you carry.

Remarkably Bright Creatures:  February 16, 2024

If you have yet to discover this fascinating novel of a woman who befriends an octopus in an aquarium tank -- much of the story told by the octopus --you're in for an enjoyable read. Shelby Van Pelt's novel has sold more than half a million copies in less than two years. She got her idea from Sy Montgomery's The Soul of an Octopus, an absorbing nonfiction book that every diver will love.

Banning Shark Finning Does Not Save Sharks.   February 16, 2024

A study published in the journal Science has found that the number of sharks caught by commercial fishing boats is increasing, despite government efforts to ban shark finning. Between 2012 and 2019, the number increased from at least 76 million a year to 80 million. The U.S. banned the sale of shark fins in 2022, but when it comes to reducing overall shark mortality, it's not enough. Entire bans on shark fishing, not just finning, over large swaths of the ocean were the best regulations, reducing mortality by nearly 40 percent compared to areas without shark fishing prohibitions.

Fiji Medical Treatment? Confused?  February 16, 2024

We were! In the Flotsam & Jetsam of the February issue of Undercurrent, we told you about the trauma of third-world medical treatment but posted the wrong link. This month's Cozumel trip writer described his humorous but harrowing tale of going down with appendicitis in Fiji 35 years ago. We posted his story on our website; you can read it here.

Three Divers Hit by Maldives' Sharks.  February 16, 2024

Divers on the MY Myna II were hit by spinner sharks at the same place where in January a 63-year-old American woman lost her leg to the propeller of a dive boat (Undercurrent February). A video made during a staged shark-feed with bait in a basket shows a shark becoming entangled in the weighted downline and going into flight or fight mode. Other sharks were spooked. Several divers were in the water, three were hit and one sustained non-life-threatening injuries when fleeing sharks collided with him. The dive site is hazardous because it's right outside Hulhumale harbor, a stretch of water busy with dhonis taking passengers between the airport, Male, and resort islands. Strong currents, boat traffic, and aggressive sharks make this the most hazardous dive spot in the Maldives. There are moves afoot to ban shark baiting.

Rinsing Your Gear?   February 16, 2024

After a long dive trip, you put your dive gear away until you travel again, which might be a long time. To avoid disappointment later, before you stow it, soak it all in clean, fresh water first (add a little vinegar to leach out any salt deposits). Don't forget to ensure the rubber cap is firmly in place and watertight on your first stage (or screwed on if it has a DIN connection), and never press the purge button on the second stage while it is immersed since that will allow water in. Hang it all to dry in a well-ventilated spot before packing it away.

Paul Humann Passes.  February 16, 2024

Known to divers as the author of iconic fish identification books, Humann was both a publisher and reef advocate. He was 86. Formerly a lawyer, his hobby became a way of life when he became captain of the Caribbean's first liveaboard, Cayman Diver. In 1988, Humann joined with Ned DeLoach, founder of New World Publications, as co-editor of Ocean Realm magazine to produce his famed ID books. More about Paul in the March edition of Undercurrent.

Paul Humann

Conflicting Reports.  February 16, 2024

Last month, a 63-year-old American woman lost a leg to the propeller of the diving dhoni operated in conjunction with the Maldives Aggressor II liveaboard. The operating company reports her surface marker had become entangled while a Canadian diver, Eric Alo, who witnessed the accident, reports she was already at the stern ladder when the vessel took off, despite shouts of warning to the crew. Traditional Maldivian dhonis have the dive ladder at the front, whereas the dhoni in question is similar to dive boats elsewhere in that it has diver access at the stern. (divernet)

Other Subscribers Find Your Reports Invaluable.  February 16, 2024

They are your opportunity to tell everyone about your dive trip. Unedited and unmoderated, your reports will brief other subscribers about dive resorts you've visited and liveaboards you have taken. Don't hold back. You can tell both the good and the bad and everything in between. Over 11,000 entries have become essential reading for traveling divers. You can post photos. It's easy to post a report of your last dive trip. And your fellow divers will be thankful. File your report at, and we will also include it in this year's Chapbook, which will be sent to readers in early December.

Ben Davison, editor/publisher


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.


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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