Tuesday, 14 December 2010

How Does SeaWeb Help Protect the Ocean?

blue crab banner
How Does SeaWeb Help Protect the Ocean?

SeaWeb is the only organization exclusively dedicated to ocean communications. So, we understand the importance of continually nurturing new leading voices for a healthy ocean.

One important focus of our communications is to help make the seafood marketplace more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. We do this by facilitating dialogue between all those in the business--from the fishermen and fish farmers to the seafood suppliers, distributors, marketers and retailers--and those in the greater ocean community, including environmental nonprofits, scientists, governments and journalists.

In Vancouver, Canada, we will be hosting the ninth annual international Seafood Summit, with the theme of "Responsibility without Borders," from January 31 to February 2, 2011.
Each Summit brings together hundreds of delegates from all around the world to explore strategies for addressing the sustainability challenges facing the seafood industry. The program provides opportunities to network, listen to presentations, attend workshops, participate in discussions and take field trips to experience all aspects of the industry.

seafood summit 2010
Click here to view the video.
Check out this video of attendees at last year's Seafood Summit,  "Challenging Assumptions in a Changing World," held in Paris, France, as they talk about how the Summit has helped the industry make progress toward improving the sustainability of the global seafood supply chain.

Why wouldn't you want to help us continue this important work by making a gift to SeaWeb?

Make your tax-deductible gift online at our website at www.seaweb.org or via mail to SeaWeb, 8401 Colesville Road, Suite 500, Silver Spring, MD 20910 before December 31, 2010, to ensure that you receive the important tax benefits of your gift this year!

Thank you again for your continued support.

With warm regards,
Dawn M. Martin signature

Dawn M. Martin

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Friday, 3 December 2010

Recognition for Matava at the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2010 | Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort

MEDIA RELEASE: 29th November 2010

Recognition for Matava at the
Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2010

Matava has won in the Best in the Marine Environment category at this year’s Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2010 organised by responsibletravel.com.

The Judges said “Matava is a beacon for responsible tourism and an example to other dive sites. They maintain a strong commitment to both the conservation of the marine environment and the development of the local Fijian community. All staff and dive guides are from local villages, they have signed an agreement with local villages designating 3 established marine reserves as 100% no-take zones, across large geographic areas, and even succeeded in assisted in getting marine conservation on to the Fijian National Curriculum.”

At a ceremony hosted at World Travel Market (WTM), Docklands, London, on Wednesday 10thresponsibletravel.com, organisers and founders of the Awards, and Amanda Wills, managing director of Virgin Holidays, headline sponsor of the Awards.

November, the Awards were handed out by Justin Francis, managing director of

Justin Francis, founder of The Responsible Tourism Awards and managing director, responsibletravel.com, organisers of the Awards said:

“This year I have been heartened by the depth of commitment and connection our winners have shown to the local communities in their destinations. Their successes and pioneering spirits are remarkable and the very real and authentic experiences they have created, set responsible tourism apart. They also remind us that holidays can be both luxurious for visitor and enhancing for local people – helping build schools, water pumps, clinics and conserving cultural and natural heritage.”

Lorna Young accepting Matava’s Award at WTM 2010

Richard Akhtar, Director of Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort said:

“At Matava, we are of course both happy and proud to receive this prestigious global award. We find it even more important that the industry, by rewarding similar efforts, choose to take a stand for the environment we depend on. We also see it as an important continuing signal to the community which at the same time can serve to inspire the numerous individuals and companies who have been doing so much, and continue to do even more in the field of environmental enlightenment and conservation. This award has highlighted Fiji’s leading role and efforts in this regard especially.”

Amanda Wills, managing director, Virgin Holidays, headline sponsor of the Awards said:

“I’m once again humbled by the commitment, drive and ingenuity of today’s winners. They have shown us all what can be achieved by the people and places seeking to benefit from tourism, even when the economic climate continues to challenge us all. Their’s is truly an example for the rest of the industry to follow, and I’m delighted that Virgin Holidays is again able to be a part of this celebration.”

Launched in 2004, the Awards are run in association with partners World Travel Market, Metro Newspaper and Geographical

Over the years the Awards have celebrated the best in responsible tourism, and attracted some of the best celebrity supporters, including Michael Palin and Paul Theroux!

Simon ReeveIn 2010 Simon Reeve, best-selling author, presenter and broadcaster launched the Awards with an exclusive interview in Metro Newspaper:

“The Responsible Tourism Awards focus attention on travel firms that are providing us all with amazing trips that make a difference to a local community while still protecting the environment and our planet. And they remind us that responsible travel is not only better for our world, it’s also more interesting and memorable. Responsible tourism is the future of travel.”

Liz BonninLiz Bonin, Wild Animal biologist, biochemist and presenter of ‘Bang Goes the Theory’ on BBC1 also lent her support to the Awards with an exclusive interview on wildlife and responsible tourism in Metro Newspaper:

“If we make the effort to respect our holiday destinations and contribute responsibly to the local economy by staying in local farms or homestays and exploring the local wildlife through eco-tourism, we benefit by getting a real sense of local culture and discovering hidden treasures we could never get from a faceless resort holiday, all the while knowing that we have our done our bit to keep this planet happy and healthy. The Responsible Tourism Awards are doing a fantastic job at reminding us of our duty to travel in this responsible way.”

For a full list of finalists, see www.responsibletourismawards.com

- Ends -

Notes to editors

About Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort, is an eco adventure getaway offering you a fun and unique blend of cultural experiences and adventure activities in the environmentally pristine and remote island of Kadavu in the Fiji Islands. Matava – Fiji Premier Eco Adventure Resort is a PADI 5 Star Dive Resort as well as a Project AWARE GoEco Operator. With more than 14 years experience in the Fiji Islands, Matava is recognized as a leading educational dive centre. Matava offers accommodation for up to 22 guests in lush tropical surroundings in traditional thatched Fijian ‘bures’ with hardwood polished floors, louvre windows and private decks offering privacy, comfort and superb ocean views.

For interviews, images or further information please contact Stuart Gow, Stuart@Matava.com, t: 679-997-5416

About The Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards

The Awards are the most prestigious and competitive of their kind in the world and are a collaboration between online travel directory responsibletravel.com; UK media partners Metro Newspaper and Geographical Magazine and World Travel Market who host the ceremony. The central tenet of the Awards is that all types of tourism – from niche to mainstream – can and should be operated in a way that respects and benefits destinations and local people.

About responsibletravel.com:

responsibletravel.com is the world’s leading travel agent for responsible holidays. The site offers over 3,500 richer, deeper and more locally distinctive travel experiences that are better for destinations and local communities.

Whether you’re after an action-packed adventure, a relaxing beach escape or a charming countryside getaway closer to home, there’s something to suit all tastes and budgets.

Co-founder, Justin Francis had the original idea for the website on his travels through Africa having completed his MSc in Responsible Tourism. He launched the site with backing from Dame Anita Roddick in 2001 and since then has been included in Courvoisier’s The Future 500, Thames and Hudson’s 60 Innovators Shaping Our Creative Future and taken his place on the Advisory Board of The International Centre for Responsible Tourism at Leeds Metropolitan University. Based in Brighton, England responsibletravel.com also campaigns for positive change in the travel and tourism industry.


Stuart Gow

+679 603 0685

Alex Lyons
+44 (0)1273 648 519

Recognition for Matava at the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2010 | Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Shark Savers: Racing to Save Sharks - Mustang Driver John "Chip" Scarlet...

John "Chip" Scarlett is racing to save sharks with his Shark Car. This season Chip has been promoting Shark Savers while driving in the Mustang Challenge racing series.

Chip has taken this novel approach to promote awareness about the oceans dire need for sharks. To learn more about the plight of our sharks watch this short feature about Chip and his mission to save them.

To see Chip's underwater photography visit http://www.johnscarlett.com.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Party at Matava for Thanksgiving with ScubaRadio Crew! - Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Scuba Radio Mermaid Special 2010

ScubaRadio at Matava 2010

Come and join us and the Scuba Radio presenters and Mermaids at Thanksgiving for a week of fun and diving and Turkey Gobbling in November 2010.

November 20th to November 27th 2010

A week of diving, chaos and fun for only - USD 1199.00

Click here to

ScubaRadio recording in FijiThe Scuba Radio crew with Greg the Divemaster and the Mermaids are coming back to Fiji, and this time it's going to be mostly for fun!

The week will begin on Saturday 20th, however DO feel free to drop in for half the week, or even just the last few days! Drop us an email or call us on Skype and we'll work it out! Heck, it's going to be chaos anyway!

Greg et al will arrive at Matava in Fiji on Monday 22nd November, fresh from a week in Las Vegas at the DEMA Show. If you are planning on going to this Dive Show, cahnces are that you'll bump into the crew there, and you can fly with them all the way to Fiji.

Greg and the crew were here in May (listen to that show here!), and they loved it SO much that they're coming back. This time they're coming to Matava in Kadavu to dive the Great Astrolabe Reef with the mantas, and they are inviting us all along for the week!

Listen to Scuba Radio now!

ScubaRadio is radio talk show with a diving theme. Pictures are painted of the underwater world as listeners and guests share their diving adventures. Every diver has a story about the perfect dive, destination, or encounter with some amazing sea creature. ScubaRadio provides the forum. It’s like hanging out at a Tiki hut and sharing fish tales with friends.

Never heard of Scuba Radio (where HAVE you been?), find the podcasts/archives of ScubaRadio here, available worldwide online! Just click here or paste the following link into your podcasting software: http://www.scubaradio.com/srpodcast.xml. You’ll find at least a couple years of past shows!

ItunesIf you’re using Itunes, just click here and subscribe!
The latest edition of ScubaRadio will now automatically download to your computer/MP3 listening device!

Scuba Radio Mermaid Special 2010

So here's the deal:

  • • 7 nights at Matava in an Oceanview Bure

  • • All meals and airport transfers included

  • • 5 days of 2 tank diving - 10 dives

  • • Free unlimited shore diving

  • • Free 3rd tank on 1 afternoon

  • • Free use of kayaks, snorkelling around the resort

  • • Traditional Lovo Feast and Kava Ceremony

  • Scuba Radio T-shirt and baseball cap

  • • Free fun times with the Matava / Scuba Radio team and of course the ScubaRadio Mermaids

Chance to star on the Scuba Radio broadcasts recorded throughout the week!

Diver - USD 1199.00
Non Diver - USD 899.00

(only valid for double / twin share, Group 5 pay - 1 FOC)



  • • Upgrade to 5 days of 3 tank dives (15 dives) – USD 199.00
  • • Extra night – USD 125.00(based on 2 sharing)
  • • Extra days diving (2 tanks) – USD 100.00
  • • Single supplement – USD 500.00

Dates:- November 20th to November 27th 2010

Book your ScubaRadio MERMAID Package Now!

Click here to book your ScubaRadio MERMAID to the Fiji Islands today and see all the mantas and pristine tropical reefs on Mad Fish Dive Centre's dive boats on the Great Astrolabe Reef on Kadavu!

Book Now!

Party at Matava for Thanksgiving with ScubaRadio Crew! - Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Project AWARE Foundation: Event Details

Join the children from local Vacalea Primary School to collect all the rubbish between the school and the resort.

Students from Vacalea Primary School
Vacalea Primary School

Last year, over 10 sacks of marine debris were collected including shoes, fishing nets, plastic bags and even a plastic chair!

Afterwards everyone can enjoy a BBQ, lolling around in the sea and plenty of rugby with the kids, and of course staff, at Matava

2010 is the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, an international campaign designed to raise environmental awareness on a global scale.

Underwater environments are under numerous threats including pollution, debirs, climate change, overfishing, and coral bleaching. Dive for Earth Day is an extraordinary opportunity to take action and help address the underwater issues that concern you most.

Over the last 10 years, the Project AWARE Foundation have joined this effort to focus attention on aquatic environments, and named this 'Dive for Earth Day'.


With the oceans covering more than 70% of the Earth's surface and providing habitat for 90% of all life on the planet, one aim is to highlight the issues facing this particular environment, including pollution, debris, climate change, overfishing and coral-bleaching. Human activity is costing the Earth. And despite the oceans' vast expanse, our marine debris is taking its toll on aquatic eco systems.

Project AWARE Foundation: Event Details

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Amphiprion pacificus, a new species of clownfish discovered in Fiji

Underwater photos of Amphiprion pacificus, adult, approximately 60 mm SL, Fiji. Photo by J. Jensen

Amphiprion pacificus is a new species of anemonefish discovered by Gerald R. Allen, Joshua Drew and Douglas Fenner described in the latest issue of the Aqua, the International Journal of Ichthyology. The researchers discovered A. pacificus in the Wallis Island and Tonga in the western Pacific with other underwater photographs revealing its presence on coral reefs of Fiji and Samoa.

The team notes the new taxon is nearly identical in appearance to A. akallopisos from the Indian Ocean. The two share common characteristics — typically pinkish-brown and grading to orange or yellow on the lower portion of the head and side, with a similar white stripe extending from the head along the dorsal midline ending at the caudal fin. Genetic testing does reveal show A. pacificus is more closely related to A. sandaracinos (Orange Skunk Clownfish) hailing from the Western Australia and Indo-Malayan region. The physical differences between the common orange skunk differs from A. pacificus with its more uniform orange coloration and the white forehead stripe extends onto the upper lip. The team also noticed what appears to be differences in the number of soft dorsal and anal rays on each species.

If you’re interesting in reading the entire paper, you can purchase it online in PDF format from Aqua.

Amphiprion pacificus, a new species of clownfish discovered in Fiji

Monday, 26 July 2010

Divers and Dental Professionals Combine Work and Passion for Scuba Diving Through Fiji Project - Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort

During my previous stays in Fiji I was able to visit the village and local primary and secondary schools and received an education about the availability of health care at the village level. What I learned was that while care is readily available in cities, at the village level, care is scarce.

Returning from that trip I decided to pioneer a Dental Mission. I partnered with Coach Ramey Stroud, a Mill City diver, and Stuart Gow, Director of the Matava Eco-Resort on the island of Kadavu. Together we identified dates for our trip, solicited the cooperation of Air Pacific, the national airline of Fiji, the Fiji Islands Hotel and Tourism Association and the Fiji Ministry of Health. Salem Hospital generously shared information about our trip with their staff.

I traveled with Dr. Mike and Mrs. Carrie Litchfield and Dr. Sean Hanson of Salem and Jim and Gina Jepsen from Ione, Oregon. Dave Beard from Tasmania met us at Matava and joined our team.

Read full article here:

Divers and Dental Professionals Combine Work and Passion for Scuba Diving Through Fiji Project - Matava - Fijis Premier Eco Adventure Resort

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

August Special: Pay 4: Stay 6

August Special

Don't miss your chance to extend your stay at Matava - Fiji's Premier Eco Adventure Resort during the whole month of August for NO EXTRA COST!

Pay 4: Stay 6
Pay 6: Stay 8

August Madness has set in at Matava.Use this great deal to do even more of your favorite activities like diving or fishing.

PADI 5 Star DIve Centre

Book your August-Pay-Stay Special Now!

Click here to book your August-Pay-Stay Special to the Fiji Islands today and get your extra free nights on Kadavu!

Book The August-Pay-Stay Special
now using Promtional Code:


FIJI SCUBA DIVING - Dive the best of Fiji Diving with Mad Fish Dive Centre, Kadavu, Fiji Islands

Friday, 16 July 2010

Fiji Diving|Underwater Photography Guide

Fiji is an awesome place with beautiful islands, friendly and fun people, a vibrant native culture and some of the best diving in the world. Jacques Cousteau coined it the Soft Coral Capital of the World (more on that later) and that name has stuck and given Fiji much of its diving identity although it’s not always accurate. Fiji is safe and relatively modern for a developing island nation and the cost structure is moderate so it’s a good value.

Fiji also has over 300 islands and a striking amount of diversity both above and below the water. Oftentimes people talk about Fiji as a homogenous place and that’s not the case. The diving is highly varied depending on where you go and even the cultural background of the local people that you will meet. The main island, Vitu Levu is large – over 90x60 miles and mountainous as is the second largest island, Vanua Levu. The outer islands vary from idyllic sand spits to mangrove fringed. The first time we went to Fiji, we spent over a month and still had plenty left to see.

fiji soft coral

Fiji Diving|Underwater Photography Guide

Underwater Adventure on the Nai'a, Destination: Fiji|Underwater Photography Guide

Fiji, while known for soft corals, has hard coral gardens that are thriving and in my opinion rival world class destinations like Papua New guinea, Indonesia, and Palau. Looking back it would have good to spend more time enjoying the hard corals but at the time I was captivated by the huge clouds of anthias. There is just something about those fish that captures my imagination.

Naia Sea 3

Underwater Adventure on the Nai'a, Destination: Fiji|Underwater Photography Guide

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Drop Zone Fiji: Bull Sharks Are Amazing

Bull sharks are amazing. I’m on my third beer – a new type called Vonu which is much better than the standard Fiji Bitter – and it’s still hard to process the feeling of kneeling on the ocean floor 86ft below the surface while staring down an approaching bull shark. I added quite a few shark varieties to my list the other day which now includes whale, great white, white tip, black tip, grey, lemon, nurse, and bull. We had hoped to also encounter the illusive tiger, but at least I have a reason to return. Even without the tiger shark I was not disappointed.

Bull sharks have that classic shark look. Close your eyes and imagine a fat scary shark and that’s a bull shark. I had several swim right at me, our eyes locked, that came within a couple of feet to my face before turning to make another circle. I wasn’t scared. I did feel a few moments of adrenaline as my body reacted to the sight of a big predator headed straight at me, but it was fleeting. The enjoyment was too great. The only problem was that the dive was too short. Twenty five minutes of bliss then a big Fijian was giving me an aggressive thumbs up sign (probably because I had already ignored the last five “head to the surface” signs he’d given). I just didn’t want to leave.

We had two dives, the second at 60ft. In between dives I told the master that I am obsessed with sharks and had done multiple shark dives. I was hoping it would lead him to pull me closer to the sharks. Once the feeding started I was chosen first to kneel next to the feeder. The sharks made circles, took the tuna head on offer then swam right past me as he chewed and swallowed. It was awesome watching such a powerful creature that is so linked to maneating and fear swim right past me, peacefully.

The sharks got closest to Cheyne. Either they liked the red hair or they could sense his fear and needed to look him over closer to see why he was afraid. After a few incredibly close passes, much closer than to anyone else, he gave the camera the “I’m over it sign” and cruised back to a safe distance.
I could go on and on about how much fun it was and how much I wish we got another chance. I could have stayed down there with the sharks all day…. but my beer is getting warm.

Drop Zone Fiji: Bull Sharks Are Amazing

The Drop Zone Fiji - Sportdiver.com

The Drop Zone is the ultimate dive and surf film which follows professional surfers on the adventure of a lifetime. Alex Gray, Cheyne Magnusson and Holly Beck headed to Tahiti in 2008 for an epic adventure – The Drop Zone Tahiti. Now the three young surfers are back and will be joined by two more - Maria Gonzalez and Bede Durbidge. The five of them will explore Fiji on a unique journey both above and below the surface.

Follow Holly, Alex, Cheyne, Maria and Bede – check out the Drop Zone Fiji blog and photos live from Fiji!

HollyBeck DropZone

Holly Beck Palos Verdes, California, USA
Holly is a former National Scholastic Surfing Association champ and is known for appearances on television shows such as North Shore Boardinghouse and The Best Damn Sports Show. She spends a lot of time down at her house in Nicaragua and is epic on keeping the world up to date on her travels. Holly Beck is not only one of the best female surfers on the planet but she is also a world traveler, actress, and a person who can definitely capture the world in film, photos and in print.
Holly's Drop Zone Fiji Blog

Alex Gray Rancho Palos Verdes, California, USA
Alex Gray is one of the most unique people on the planet. He is a pro surfer, world traveler, comedian, ladies man, yoga god, paddler, and inspiration to many. He grew up in the South Bay of Los Angeles and still loves to come home and spend time with his family after long trips around the world. This is his second appearance in Drop Zone.
Alex's Drop Zone Fiji Blog

AlexGray DropZone
CheyneMagnusson DropZone

Cheyne Magnusson Lahaina, Maui but currently in Oceanside, California, USA
Cheyne is not your typical pro surfer from Maui. He looks a little different and also lives a little different. He may rip like the rest of the upcoming crew that dominate Honolua Bay but he also tears it up on any skate ramp, had a big role in the Lords of Dogtown movie, free dives like a fish, enjoys a good party and was a high profile member of a MTV reality show.
Cheyne's Drop Zone Fiji Blog

Maria Gonzalez Puerto Rico
Body Glove's newest Team Member. More about Maria coming soon.

Maria's Drop Zone Fiji Blog

MariaGonzalez DropZone

Bede Durbidge Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Bede grew up on North Stradbroke Island, a small island off the coast of Queensland, Australia and moved to the Gold Coast when he was 20. He is in his sixth year on the Men's Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour and is currently ranked number three in the world. To date, Bede has won a total of three ASP events and the Vans Triple Crown and he is still striving to achieve his dream of winning a World Title!
Bede's Drop Zone Fiji Blog

Photo credit [top to bottom] (Holly, Alex, Cheyne) Courtesy of PADI Americas and Body Glove; Photographer Justin Lewis, (Maria) Courtesy of Body Glove; Photographer: Mark Kawakami, (Bede) Courtesy of Bede Durbidge; Photographer Adam Weathered.

The Drop Zone Fiji - Sportdiver.com

Sunday, 27 June 2010

DAN schedules new series of FREE webinars

Since the April announcement of Diver Alert Network's new outreach program of offering free interactive webinars to anyone who wanted DAN® to present or lecture to their group, the response has been extremely positive.

The next several webinars have been scheduled, and a few spaces remain for those interested in participating. You do not have to be a member of the organizing dive club; the technology used in the webinars allows for additional participants outside the organizing group.

The upcoming webinars include:

• July 22: “I May Be Bent, Now What?” 7 p.m. EST

• Aug. 3: “I May Be Bent, Now What?” 7 p.m. EST

To take part in a live DAN webinar, the event site (or individual) must have a computer with Internet access and a way to see the screen and hear the presentation. DAN can coordinate webinars for up to 25 attendees. “Attendees” are defined as the number of people or groups actually logged in to the event; it does not pertain to the number of people in the room at a given event site. The webinars are free to event coordinators and individual participants.

For more information, to participate in an upcoming webinar or to invite DAN to your next event, please contact Marty McCafferty via email at mmccafferty@dan.org or by phone at (800) 446-2671 ext.286.

DAN schedules new series of FREE webinars

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Under the Sea: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Jacques Cousteau's Birth

The great Jacques-Yves Cousteau, who shared with the world his passion for the sea and all forms of aquatic life, would have been 100 years old this month. Author, explorer, ecologist, filmmaker, inventor, photographer, poet, researcher and scientist, “Captain Cousteau” was perhaps the world’s best-known and most beloved marine conservationist. Born in Saint-AndrĂ©-de-Cubzac, Gironde, France, Cousteau died in 1997, leaving a legacy of more than 120 television documentaries and 50 books in addition to his innovations in marine science and deep-sea diving, including the development of the aqualung. His television work was particularly significant in that it enlightened worldwide audiences about the treasures of the ocean and the devastating effects of pollution.

The Cousteau birthday itself, June 11, includes a twenty-hour marathon of documentaries in which he participated. All are TCM premieres, including six episodes of The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau dating from 1968 to 1974, and twelve episodes of The Jacques Cousteau Odyssey, an Emmy-nominated 1977 television series featuring the research adventures of the man called “the public conscience of mankind’s stewardship of our oceans.”

Also premiering is an award-winning documentary about Cousteau. Jacques Cousteau: The First 75 Years (1986), directed by John Soh and narrated by Jose Ferrer, documents the explorer's life from birth and childhood to his 75th birthday.

The remainder of the TCM tribute is composed of sea-themed movies from other directors, ranging from Lucien Hubbard’s The Mysterious Island (1929), adapted from a Jules Verne story, to the TCM premiere of Peter Yates’ The Deep (1977), adapted by Peter Benchley from his novel. The latter film, starring Nick Nolte and Jacqueline Bisset as scuba divers who find buried treasure off the Bermuda coast, has gorgeous underwater cinematography by Christopher Challis — worthy of Cousteau himself — that features a variety of exotic aquatic life including moray eels, puffer fish and tiger sharks.

Other deep-sea adventures include Beneath the 12-Mile Reef (1953), filmed in CinemaScope off the coast of Florida by Edward Cronjager, who earned an Oscar® nomination for his beautiful and innovative underwater photography, and two more Verne adventures, Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) and MGM’s Captain Nemo and the Underwater City (1969). Also included is the original Flipper (1963), which brought wide public interest to the dolphin, a marine mammal that Cousteau championed in his writings and photography.

Under the Sea: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Jacques Cousteau's Birth

Sunday, 23 May 2010

The new Alert Diver Magazine is online!

The new Alert Diver Magazine is online!

You will find, as usual, interesting articles on Dive Medicine and important information on Dive Safety.
Alert Diver Magazine, authoritative, reliable, unbiased!

In this issue:
  • Medical Line: Cardiovascular Fitness and Diving Diet and Exercise Go A Long Way,
    But Watch Your Medications, Too
  • Dive Medicine: Body Composition. BMI Values Increase With Mass - Whether It’s Due to Fat or Muscle
  • Events: DAN underwater at Legoland Germany with British scientist Lloyd Godson
  • SPECIAL INSERT of the DAN Legal Network: “The Good Samaritan's Law across Europe”

Thursday, 29 April 2010

A Checklist of the Fishes of Fiji and a Bibliography of Fijian Fish

Johnson Seeto & Wayne J. Baldwin have published the USP offical Checklist of the Fishes of Fiji and a Bibliography of Fijian Fish

A Checklist of the Fishes of Fiji and a Bibliography of Fijian Fish

Johnson Seeto & Wayne J. Baldwin
A Checklist of the Fishes of Fiji and a Bibliography of Fijian 
A Checklist of the Fishes of Fiji and a Bibliography of Fijian Fish
Division of Marine Studies
School of Islands and Oceans
Faculty of Science, Technology & Environment
The University of the South Pacific
Suva Campus
Technical Report
February, 2010

You Can Help Give Sharks a Fighting Chance

Sharks are in the fight of their lives. Critical shark species - including hammerheads, oceanic whitetip and spiny dogfish - failed to receive international protection at the recent Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) meetings.  

Make a gift and help call for immediate protection of sharks worldwide. 
Global shark populations continue to decline - some by more than 90 percent in the last two decades. And they continue to be fished faster than they can reproduce.

Many scientists fear the worst. Losing these top predators has devastating impacts on our underwater ecosystems and local economies. When sharks disappear, entire food webs can shift and valuable economies become devastated. We need your help.  

Become a Project AWARE Patron today for just 25 ($, £, €) or more. With your support, Project AWARE is securing protection for sharks. We're working to close loopholes in shark legislation, support establishment of effective MPA networks and engage divers in underwater research, data collection and awareness projects.  

Your contribution will help continue fighting for sharks and sustainable ecosystem management. Thank you for helping secure a future for our underwater world.

Dr. Drew Richardson
Chairman, Project AWARE Foundation

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

How the Sea Snake Got Its Stripes

A banded sea krait (Laticauda colubrina) is seen here off the shoreline of Wakatobi, Indonesia. (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)
ScienceDaily (Apr. 14, 2010) — We all know that looks matter, and for snakes, a colour which works well on land has dramatically different results under water, according to a recent study by biologists from the University of Sydney.

Professor Rick Shine and Dr Adele Pile from the School of Biological Sciences have discovered a sea snake's colouration can influence its susceptibility to algal fouling which can reduce swimming speed by up to 20 percent.

Their study, reported this month in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, sheds new light on how the transition from terrestrial to aquatic life has shaped the evolution of sea snakes.
Professor Shine said sea snakes evolved from venomous land snakes -- such as the highly toxic tiger snake -- who reinvaded the oceans around five million years ago.

"The fact that sea snakes have made the transition from terrestrial to aquatic life, makes them the perfect model to study evolution because we can compare traits between land snakes and sea snakes and hence identify selective forces unique to those habitats," he said.

"The shift from land to water brought with it a new set of challenges, and sea snakes evolved unique physical traits which enabled them to survive in the aquatic environment -- a paddle-shaped tail for swimming, valves to close their nostrils and large lungs to provide oxygen while under water.

"Another consistent attribute of sea snakes involves coloration: most are banded rather than unicoloured, blotched or striped. Fouling by algae has also been reported in several groups of sea snakes, and we wondered if maybe a snake's colour could influence its susceptibility to this."

To test this hypothesis, the scientists turned to a population of sea snakes in the tropical Pacific, in which members of the same species ranged from jet black to brightly black-and-white banded, and many patterns in between. Over a four-year period, the researchers examined free ranging individuals and found that black snakes supported significantly more algal cover than black-and-white snakes.

"Once we knew there was a relationship between a snake's colour and the amount of algal fouling, the next step was to determine if a snake's dark colour was the actual cause of the higher algal levels," Professor Shine said.
To do this, the researchers suspended plastic snake models -- in black, white and black-and-white -- in mid water and scored the amount of algal colonisation over the subsequent days. The results showed that colour directly affects the amount of algal growth, with black surfaces attracting the most algae, followed by black-and-white, and white the least.

"The spores of some marine algae settle out preferentially onto dark-coloured objects, which probably explains why the darker snakes hosted higher algal cover," he said.

The finding raises the crucial question: if snake colour influences rates of algal accumulation, what are the consequences of such accumulation?

"The most obvious such consequence is increased drag and things became really interesting when we tested to see if algal cover affected a snake's swimming speed. Our locomotor trials revealed a 20 percent reduction in swimming speeds in snakes covered with a heavy coating of algae."

Differences in colour involving black versus banded varieties of land snakes typically have been attributed to differences in heat transfer -- that is darker colours absorb more heat, even at the expense of looking more obvious to predators.

But Professor Shine said temperature based explanations can't be applied to the case in sea snakes.
"Unlike on land, colour does not affect the body temperatures of a snake under water. Our data suggests another potential fitness cost of colour in sea snakes, and potentially that of other aquatic animals: susceptibility to algal fouling," he said.

So why are some sea snakes black at all? Is there some hidden benefit to being black that outweighs the increased algal fouling?

"There is clearly a balance of costs and benefits of algal accumulation, which is why we see a variety of colours in the population. For example, a covering of seaweed may slow down the snake and reduce its ability to obtain oxygen from the water directly through its skin, because the algae form a barrier. But on the flip side, the algae might increase the snake's oxygen availability, because of algal photosynthesis, and hence benefit the snake."

Let Your Voice Be Heard This Earth Day!

Sign the Earth Day 2010 Climate Declaration today and help protect our planet's coral reefs! 
JYonoverInd.jpgDid you know that coral reefs could be gone within a generation if we don't take action? 
Coral reefs have thrived on Earth for over 200 million years, yet climate change is severely threatening their survival. Increases in sea surface temperatures, rising sea levels, and more frequent and severe storms lead to coral bleaching, degradation, and death. 
This Earth Day, help protect our coral reefs by lending your support to the Earth Day 2010 Climate Declaration. You can help motivate Congress to pass a comprehensive climate and clean energy bill to rebuild our economy, secure energy independence, and address the climate crisis threatening the future of the world's coral reefs. 
We've already lost almost 20 percent of the world's coral reefs. Scientists predict that unless we take immediate action, we could lose most of our remaining reefs by 2050! We have a narrow window of time to affect positive change, and the time to act is NOW.
Sign the petition! Show Congress that America is serious about clean energy and a sustainable future.
Working together, we can save the world's remaining coral reefs. Learn more about how you can help by reducing carbon emissions, making responsible environmental choices, and supporting the efforts of the Coral Reef Alliance.   
The oldest biological community on the planet needs our help, and with your support we are building a worldwide community to save it.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

New PADI Pros Site

PADI Asia Pacific
Unit 3, 4 Skyline Place
Frenchs Forest NSW 2086

Tel: +61 2 9454 2906
Fax: +61 2 9454 2999
Web: http://www.padi.com
Email: memdep@padi.com.au
Globally, PADI will soon be launching a completely revised website for PADI professionals.  The PADI Pros web address remains as www.padimembers.com but all PADI Members will need to click on the link to “Create a New Account” after the new site is launched in mid April. 

You’ll immediately see the difference in the format and design as soon as the new PADI Pros is available. Keep your eye out for the new look & feel and remember to “Create a New Account” when the new format appears.

The “Create a New Account” process is extremely easy as you’ll be prompted when trying to enter the new website.  You’re able to choose a new Username and Password after entering your Name, Member Number, Date of Birth and other information as it appears on your PADI Member Card.  Members who attempt to enter the new PADI Pros without “Creating a New Account” will be denied access.

Thank you for taking the time to review this information and please don’t hesitate to contact the Member Services’ team at memdep@padi.com.au if you have any questions relating to the launch of the new PADI Pro site.

Very Best Regards from, 

The PADI Asia Pacific Member Services’ team

Monday, 5 April 2010

Tourism luminary dies - Fiji Times Online

JOAN Moody, co-founder of Moody's Namena Island Resort, a founding member of the Savusavu Tourism Association and a founder of the Namena Marine Reserve, has died in Labasa Hospital after a brief illness.

She was 73.

Mrs Moody and her husband Tom created the resort on remote Namena Island beginning in 1982.

Located 19 nautical miles off the coast of Savusavu, the island, then known as Namenalala to denote emptiness, had never been inhabited due in part to the lack of a water supply.

The Moodys developed the resort themselves including an elaborate water catchment system, solar and wind power generation, and with the steadfast aim of keeping the virgin feel of the 110-acre island intact.

As such, the couple became one the first to practice low-impact and environmentally sustainable development.

Mrs Moody was also instrumental in the creation of the marine reserve in order to protect the stunning barrier reef surrounding Namena Island from being over-fished.

Because of its uniqueness, the resort has been the subject of numerous magazine and newspaper articles around the world and will soon be featured by National Geographic Television.

The Moodys are legendary in the tourism world for remote resort operations.

Prior to coming to Fiji, they operated Pidertupo, a resort in the San Blas islands off the coast of Panama.

After many years of successful operations, their resort was burned to the ground and Mr Moody was seriously wounded in an attacked by alleged operatives of the Noriega regime.

Before this, they were associated with resorts in British Honduras (now known as Belize) and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Mrs Moody's burial will be in America.

The family has established the Joan Moody Memorial Fund for those who may wish to show their respect.

In keeping with Mrs Moody's strong belief in the value of education, the fund will go toward the education of children in the remote Kubulau area of Vanua Levu, where many of the resort employees live.

Some of the fund will also be used in repair efforts in Kubulau after the damage caused by Hurricane Tomas.

The family said deposits could be made direct to: Westpac, account name Namena Limited, account number 1168092700.

Deposits should contain the note "For Joan Moody Memorial Fund". Or donations can be mailed to Moody's Namena Resort, PMG, Savusavu.

Tourism luminary dies - Fiji Times Online

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

CORAL E-Current Photo Contest | Coral Reef Alliance

Enter your favorite coral reef photographs in the CORAL E-Current Photo Contest for a chance to win a copy of Reef—a gorgeous coffee table book featuring beautiful coral reef photographs contributed by Scubazoo photographers.

Each winning photograph will be featured in an edition of E-Current, CORAL's free electronic newsletter. The names of winning photographers will also be posted on the CORAL website with their photographs, which will be available for download as desktop wallpaper. All entrants will receive a subscription to E-Current.

All photos entered will be evaluated by CORAL staff members, who will choose the top three finalists. None of the CORAL staff members are professional photographers nor do they have special knowledge of artistic presentation or composition. Each staff member will select the photos that strike them most for whatever reason. The winning photograph will be chosen from the three finalists by professional underwater photographer and CORAL columnist, Jeff Yonover.

CORAL E-Current Photo Contest | Coral Reef Alliance

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Beyond Blue Issue 6

Beyond Blue Issue 6We kick off the new year with an issue of Beyond Blue dedicated soley to the polar regions of our planet, and the wildlife that call these dangerous places their home.

We also take a look at the recent discussions regarding climate change, and what the future may hold for the evolution of our planet.

To open the deep blue world of Beyond Blue all you have to do is register online at www.beyondbluemag.com and enjoy!

Beyond Blue Issue 6

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Scientists say dolphins should be treated as 'non-human persons' - Times Online


Dolphins have long been recognised as among the most intelligent of animals but many researchers had placed them below chimps

Dolphins have been declared the world’s second most intelligent creatures after humans, with scientists suggesting they are so bright that they should be treated as “non-human persons”.

Studies into dolphin behaviour have highlighted how similar their communications are to those of humans and that they are brighter than chimpanzees. These have been backed up by anatomical research showing that dolphin brains have many key features associated with high intelligence.

The researchers argue that their work shows it is morally unacceptable to keep such intelligent animals in amusement parks or to kill them for food or by accident when fishing. Some 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises die in this way each year.

“Many dolphin brains are larger than our own and second in mass only to the human brain when corrected for body size,” said Lori Marino, a zoologist at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, who has used magnetic resonance imaging scans to map the brains of dolphin species and compare them with those of primates.

“The neuroanatomy suggests psychological continuity between humans and dolphins and has profound implications for the ethics of human-dolphin interactions,” she added.

Dolphins have long been recognised as among the most intelligent of animals but many researchers had placed them below chimps, which some studies have found can reach the intelligence levels of three-year-old children. Recently, however, a series of behavioural studies has suggested that dolphins, especially species such as the bottlenose, could be the brighter of the two. The studies show how dolphins have distinct personalities, a strong sense of self and can think about the future.

It has also become clear that they are “cultural” animals, meaning that new types of behaviour can quickly be picked up by one dolphin from another.

In one study, Diana Reiss, professor of psychology at Hunter College, City University of New York, showed that bottlenose dolphins could recognise themselves in a mirror and use it to inspect various parts of their bodies, an ability that had been thought limited to humans and great apes.

In another, she found that captive animals also had the ability to learn a rudimentary symbol-based language.

Other research has shown dolphins can solve difficult problems, while those living in the wild co-operate in ways that imply complex social structures and a high level of emotional sophistication.

In one recent case, a dolphin rescued from the wild was taught to tail-walk while recuperating for three weeks in a dolphinarium in Australia.

After she was released, scientists were astonished to see the trick spreading among wild dolphins who had learnt it from the former captive.

There are many similar examples, such as the way dolphins living off Western Australia learnt to hold sponges over their snouts to protect themselves when searching for spiny fish on the ocean floor.

Such observations, along with others showing, for example, how dolphins could co-operate with military precision to round up shoals of fish to eat, have prompted questions about the brain structures that must underlie them.

Size is only one factor. Researchers have found that brain size varies hugely from around 7oz for smaller cetacean species such as the Ganges River dolphin to more than 19lb for sperm whales, whose brains are the largest on the planet. Human brains, by contrast, range from 2lb-4lb, while a chimp’s brain is about 12oz.

When it comes to intelligence, however, brain size is less important than its size relative to the body.

What Marino and her colleagues found was that the cerebral cortex and neocortex of bottlenose dolphins were so large that “the anatomical ratios that assess cognitive capacity place it second only to the human brain”. They also found that the brain cortex of dolphins such as the bottlenose had the same convoluted folds that are strongly linked with human intelligence.

Such folds increase the volume of the cortex and the ability of brain cells to interconnect with each other. “Despite evolving along a different neuroanatomical trajectory to humans, cetacean brains have several features that are correlated with complex intelligence,” Marino said.

Marino and Reiss will present their findings at a conference in San Diego, California, next month, concluding that the new evidence about dolphin intelligence makes it morally repugnant to mistreat them.

Thomas White, professor of ethics at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, who has written a series of academic studies suggesting dolphins should have rights, will speak at the same conference.

“The scientific research . . . suggests that dolphins are ‘non-human persons’ who qualify for moral standing as individuals,” he said.

Additional reporting: Helen Brooks

Scientists say dolphins should be treated as 'non-human persons' - Times Online

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Pulau Liveaboard - Fiji Agressor becomes Tropic Dancer in Malaysia | Dive The World

We bid a fond farewell to Fiji Aggressor II as she sails off into the seas around Palau. Many of you will have dived the ’soft coral capital of the world’ from her deck.

The Fiji Aggressor II liveaboard in the Koro Sea, Fiji

Previously based in the Koro Sea, Fiji Aggressor II will now change her name to Tropic Dancer and be cruising the tropical Micronesian waters of Palau as part of the Dancer Fleet.

So here’s wishing Fiji Aggressor II bon voyage and welcoming Tropic Dancer, may you continue to offer up years of diving fun to your guests.

Pulau Liveaboard - Fiji Agressor becomes Tropic Dancer in Malaysia | Dive The World

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

A Coral Success Story | Coral Reef Alliance

As bad news about the environment piles up, it can be heartening to consider a conservation success story.

I recently traveled to Fiji to visit the Namena Marine Reserve, a type of marine protected area (MPA) where conservation organizations and local villages are working together to save both reefs and local cultures from a variety of threats.

For a week, I lived aboard the Nai'a, a 120-foot motorsailer yacht that research groups use as a base for their underwater studies. My journey was spearheaded by the Coral Reef Alliance, a conservation organization that wanted to show its members where their efforts are going.

To read the full text of the article, click here.

A Coral Success Story | Coral Reef Alliance