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Updated March 16, 2024

Sea Cucumbers Save Coral
You Found What?
Divers Lose Their Boat
Art Versus Illegal Trawling
More Than 100 New Marine Species Discovered
Heroic Rescue by Liveaboard
NOAA is Offering a $20,000 Reward
Top Ocean Predator Predated Upon
Snakes Alive!
A Territorial Seal
Apple Watch Warning
Whopping Diving Fees
Unpleasant Experiences
Your Independent Reader's Reports Are Invaluable
The 2024 Travelin' Diver's Chapbook is in Print!

Sea Cucumbers Save Coral.   March 16, 2024

About 25 percent of coral reefs' health depends on sea cucumbers keeping them clean, according to a study published in Nature Communications. Sea cucumbers are disappearing because people collect them for food, gathering thousands of tons annually worldwide. Researchers found that the coral patches without sea cucumbers had a white band developing at the base of the coral, which would eventually work its way up and kill the entire coral colony. Sea cucumbers appeared to suppress the spread of coral disease. Is the absence of sea cucumbers related to SCTLD?

You Found What?   March 16, 2024

Sara Vanderkaden and two other Halifax divers were taking part in an underwater clean up in Terence Bay, Halifax, when they came across the remains of a juvenile great white shark in 35 feet of water. It's a rare find, not only because not many great whites get that far north, but most big animals sink to the deep upon death. (Canadian Geographic)

remains of a juvenile great white shark

Divers Lose Their Boat.   March 16, 2024

On March 2, Maldives Police found 10 Russian divers and three Maldivian dive guides drifting without any boat near GDh Atoll. The dhoni from the liveaboard, MY Alice, from which they were diving, was recovered and returned to its owner, presumably because it had been left unmanned.

Art Versus Illegal Trawling.   March 16, 2024

Beam trawling -- dragging vast nets along the sea floor -- seriously damages everything in its path. It's prohibited in some zones throughout the world, but enforcement is difficult or non-existent. An Italian ex-fisherman, 62-year-old Paulo il Pescatore, has devised a novel solution. He drops obstructions to the seabed off the coast of Talamone, Tuscany, that snags the nets of illegal trawlers. But it's all art. After an Italian quarry donated 100 massive marble blocks, he enlisted artists worldwide to carve them into beautiful sculptures, turning art into barriers against illegal bottom trawling. So far, he's placed 39 sculptures, with more to follow.

More Than 100 New Marine Species Discovered.  March 16, 2024

The recent Schmidt Ocean Institute expedition has discovered them on a seamount off Chile's coast. The 1800-mile-long Salas y Gómez Ridge underwater mountain chain features more than 200 seamounts stretching from Chile to Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Scientists used a deep-water robot that navigated to depths of 15,000 feet. See some of them here.

Heroic Rescue by Liveaboard.  March 16, 2024

On February 12, a small aircraft crashed into the sea near San Cristobal airport, and thanks to the prompt action and bravery of the crew of liveaboard Galapagos Master, every one of the nine passengers and crew were rescued.

NOAA is Offering a $20,000 Reward   March 16, 2024

NOAA is offering a $20,000 reward for information about who injured and killed an endangered sawfish, a fish few divers ever see, in the Florida Keys. The sawfish was missing its rostrum (the saw), which somebody cut off the night of January 30. While the agency says you must include your name and contact information to qualify for the reward, tips can also be left anonymously if you don’t need the money.

Sawfish

Top Ocean Predator Predated Upon.  March 16, 2024

While orcas have been regularly attacking great white sharks off South Africa, whale watchers were stunned last year when they witnessed a lone orca attack and eviscerate a great white. Within two minutes, the orca made off with the shark's enormous liver. Previously observed orca attacks on great whites involved two to six animals and took up to two hours. The livers of great whites are huge organs, up to a third of their body mass, and rich in lipids. The orcas ignore the rest of the carcass.

Snakes Alive!  March 16, 2024

A giant anaconda captured recently in the Amazon's Orinoco Basin (Ecuador) by a team of scientists is the largest ever found and a newly discovered species. The scientists from The University of Queensland uncovered the nearly 21-foot-long snake while filming Pole to Pole, a National Geographic series that will stream on Disney+.

A Territorial Seal.  March 16, 2024

A group of eight mainly foreign tourists preparing to dive off the Oudekraal Beach in South Africa on March 2 were attacked by a seal that bit a number of them. Four crew members from the dive boat they arrived in recovered them before alerting emergency services. Two women were treated for wounds, and one woman was hospitalized. Four others received minor injuries, and all were advised to get a course of antibiotics.

Apple Watch Warning.  March 16, 2024

A Port Barrington (IL) diver who has recovered more than 200 Apple watches from Indiana's Chain O' Lakes warns Apple watch owners to stay out of the water if their watches have the original band. Derick Langos says that those with sports bands do not stay on in the water. Langos also frequently finds smartphones, rings, jewelry and prescription glasses underwater.

Whopping Diving Fees.  March 16, 2024

The Mexican government has raised the Socorro (Revillagigedo Islands) Marine Park fee to the equivalent of US$120 per day.

Unpleasant Experiences.  March 16, 2024

In Undercurrent (March) we wrote about a new diver’s unfortunate time with a dive guide. Have you experienced a dive guide who was unsympathetic to your needs or abilities or those of other divers? How did you or they handle it? Write to BenDDavison@undercurrent.org, telling us about it, but not forgetting to add your town and state.

Your Independent Reader's Reports Are Invaluable.  March 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 www.undercurrent.org/SubRR, and we will also include it in this year's Chapbook, which will be sent to readers in early December.

The 2024 Travelin' Diver's Chapbook is in Print!   March 16, 2024

You don't have to read it online. Get the book!

The 864-page 2024 edition of The Travelin' Diver's Chapbook -- containing 546 reader reports by Undercurrent subscribers detailing last year's trips -- has been printed, and you can order it to read, thumb through, refer to it, and next year use it as a doorstop -- it's that large. It's great for researching new destinations or seeing whether the places you've been and the dives you've made are still holding up.

Order it here, directly from the printer, and it will be delivered to your doorstep for $39.95 (plus tax and shipping). It's chock-full of information. Go for it.

Ben Davison, editor/publisher
BenDDavison@undercurrent.org

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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.

 

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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