Most divers are aware of the relationship between clownfish and anemones. The colourful fish borrows the protection of the stinging tentacles, to which it is immune, and in return keeps the anemone clean and fends off potential enemies like butterflyfish by emitting a high-pitched sound. This type of long-term symbiotic partnership is known as mutualism, [...]
1. THE ISLANDS OF JOHOR The southern state of Johor is blessed with beautiful islands located far from the mainland. Pulau Aur boasts pristine deep waters teeming with pelagic fish, while Pulau Lang offers sightings of green turtles, bumphead parrotfish and blue-spotted stingrays, a common inhabitant of the Malaysian coast. The corals in this area [...]
A little-known piece of heaven lies between Redang and the Perhentians. This quiet, sleepy island is ringed by pristine, fish-filled water. Head out to dive the wrecks, and meet the whale sharks, and fill your surface interval with historical architecture and verdant topside ecosystems. Time to get Lang Tenggah on your radar! 1. TAMAN NEGARA RAINFOREST [...]
Conservationist, researcher, freediver, filmmaker: Madison Stewart is possibly one of the most tireless and inspiring young women in the water today, but, as she explains, there is no other option. (Text by Madison Stewart. Images by Juan Medina) I was 14 when the world turned its back on me. I grew up around sharks – [...]
With over 18,000 islands to choose from, which ones should you visit for the best diversity in marine life? Discover the beauty of Indonesia with Cat McCann as she takes you on an insider’s journey into the waters of Komodo Island and Pulau Derawan If you asked a muck-diving enthusiast for their “must-do” list of [...]
For divers and snorkellers, the benefits of Wakatobi’s ongoing commitment to conservation are plain to see. Delve into the waters of the private marine preserve that surrounds the resort and you will find pristine coral formations and thriving fish life. But perhaps even more impressive are the things the big picture doesn’t reveal. Take a [...]
IT WAS A BLAZING hot morning and the water was as clear as glass. Cameras in hand, we descended slowly towards the coral reef below, inviting in its soft glow under the constant play of sunlight. Only minutes into our cruise, we were joined by a large school of neon fusiliers that was also exploring [...]
Diving injuries involving the nervous system, including decompression sickness (DCS), arterial gas embolism (AGE) and ear barotrauma (EBT), are blessedly rare, but when they do happen, these conditions require prompt diagnosis and treatment to prevent serious and lasting injury. 1.Cerebral DCS vs. 3. Spinal DCS  Common symptoms: Distinguishing between spinal and cerebral manifestation of DCS [...]
By Brittany Trout and Lana Sorrell, EMT, DMT When it comes to fitness for diving, the recommendations for male and female divers are largely the same: good exercise tolerance, a healthy weight and awareness of possible concerns related to medical conditions and medications. Regardless of sex, all divers should use appropriate thermal protection, remain hydrated, [...]
Famous for its rich biodiversity, Raja Ampat is located on the northwest tip of the island of West Papua, in the heart of the Coral Triangle. The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International have claimed that 75 percent of the world’s marine species live in the waters off Raja Ampat, making it one of the most [...]
Discovering more about the whale sharks that visit the Maldives is vital in the fight to protect these beautiful animals. Interview with Richard Rees of the Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme (MWSRP) 1. Can you give us a little background on the history of the project? The MWSRP actually started out as a standalone research [...]
Text by Chetana Purushotham Images by  Scott “Gutsy” Tuason Evolution is often driven by the basic elements of survival. In this case, the need to eat. From the massive to the microscopic, the number and kinds of Technicolor beings we encounter on a coral reef is simply breath-taking. Divers and snorkellers the world over will [...]

In October this year, the Malaysian government announced a ban on plastic waste imports into the country following a public outcry when it emerged that more than 19 developed countries such as Australia, USA, UK and Japan had been sending their trash to Malaysia in the wake of China’s decision to ban waste imports in […]

PALAWAN, commonly known as the Philippines’ “Last Frontier”, is famed for its rich biodiversity and complex ecosystems. The striking karst limestone formations of the northeastern zone trace back to the Permian age, about 300 million years ago. There are thousands of these breathtaking island landscapes, but so far only one has revealed a hidden spectacle [...]
We have much more mercury in our environment than ever before. Although mercury is a naturally occurring heavy metal it is also highly toxic. Conservation organisation WWF estimates that around 3,400 tonnes of mercury, two-thirds of the total amount entering the oceans, is emitted each year by human activities. Mercury And Seafood: 5 Facts 1. [...]
Many marine animals undertake migrations over thousands of kilometres every year, often returning to the place of their birth to breed, or known food sources. Humpback whales have been recorded only altering their trajectory from previous migrations by a staggering 0.4 degrees. The question is: How do they know where they are going? The answer [...]
Text by Cecile Brosolo Images by Giancarlo Brosolo, Jurgen Freund and various contributors It’s winter in mid-July on the Great Barrier Reef, north of Cairns, and the sea is rough and cold. I’ve been floating in the ocean, hanging to this snorkel line for 15 minutes now, and I can’t help but question: “What on [...]
Another mass stranding of whales occurred in southeast Australia when 28 whales were found dead on the beach on November 28. A pilot in a private aircraft had spotted a humpback whale and 27 pilot whales stranded on the beach after having flown over the Croajingolong National Park in Victoria state on Tuesday afternoon.   [...]
THE pearls and chanks (large spiral shells) obtained from the Gulf of Mannar along the Indian and Sri Lankan coasts were some of the region’s premium exports. Accounts of their popularity feature in the journals of travellers like Megasthenes (third century BC), the anonymous author of The Periplus of Erythraean Sea (60 AD), Sangam-era literature [...]
WHEN I was 11 years old, I played hooky from school, borrowed my brother’s 10-speed bike and went about 30 miles over the hills from Mountain View to Half Moon Bay on a dangerous twisty highway road to go snorkelling in the murky tide pools of Central California. These are some of the best memories [...]
Text by Jae-Yeon Kim, translated by Christine Lee of Y.Zin Company. Images by Y.Zin Kim and courtesy of the Jeju Self-Governing Province THERE IS A WRITTEN RECORD from the 6th century that tells of women who would make their living by diving, naked, into the ocean to collect seaweed and shellfish with a small sickle. [...]
As we finished one of the best wreck dives I have ever done, our boat released its mooring and sailed for about 10 minutes while we chatted enthusiastically about what we had just seen. Before we could even get it all out, we arrived at the next wreck. Which was just as good. This was [...]
OUR OCEANS ARE changing at an alarming rate – alongside localised pollution, reefs worldwide are becoming warmer and more acidic – which together threaten the survival of coral reefs. 2016 has seen the world’s third mass coral bleaching event. (Not sure what “coral bleaching” is? See the box below.) We have all seen images and [...]
THOUSANDS OF TOURISTS come from all over the world to blow bubbles in Raja Ampat. But there are people who have lived here since long before all this, people who have made their lives from Raja’s rich waters and continue to do so. These people have seen huge changes, some of which may have affected [...]
WHAT IS MUCK? The term “muck” originates from diving in muddy and murky conditions in an environment where the seafloor consists predominantly of sediment, sand (often black volcanic sand), fine silt, rocks and dead corals or coral rubble. At some muck diving sites you’ll also find small, sporadic clusters of coral or patches of anemones [...]
The first hurdle of night diving is to actually do it. Getting a beer at the bar and calling it a day is often more tempting than jumping into the water again. But once in, there is almost always one encounter or one shot that makes forgoing that beer worth it. For the best results, [...]
Unsure about what to do when shooting sharks underwater? Daniel Norwood provides valuable tips on how to get the perfect shark shot in a responsible way Sharks are some of the most amazing and successful predators in the animal kingdom, and despite years of rampant overfishing, which has decimated populations globally, it is still possible [...]
Threats Climate change A warming world means that sea ice is melting earlier and forming later every year. Polar bears thus have less time to hunt for food, and female polar bears have less time to build up the fat reserves essential for when they hibernate and give birth. This also leads to lower reproductive [...]
In the deep blue sea off Okinawa’s Yonaguni Island lies a stone structure of epic proportions. But is it natural or manmade? Mystery, history, mythology and geology all come together at this enigmatic underwater structure off Japan – the Yonaguni Monument – that raises more questions than it answers. Does this underwater structure provide evidence [...]
Around the INDO-PACIFIC, as part of an international effort called the Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project, people and organisations are being mobilised to help protect dugongs and their habitats. SDAA talked to Christina Shaw of the Vanuatu Environmental Science Society (VESS), one of the smallest of these initiatives, about what it means to be working [...]

IN A TIME of such hyperconnectivity, a population of seven and a half billion souls, and space probes that relay information from beyond our solar system, you might expect that we’d have a pretty fair idea about the number of species in our oceans.

THERE ARE FEW TIMES SS Turkia’s sinking in the Gulf of Suez is still not clear even after 76 years. Some sources say that a fire in the third cargo deck was the reason why the 91-metre ship sank; others say that a German warplane bombed the wreck, similar to the famous SS Thistlegorm. What [...]
Underwater cameraman Jason Isley, co-founder of the underwater filming and photography company Scubazoo, takes us back to a storm on the sea where he feared for the worst. Back in 2001, we heard stories of an island in the Philippines where it was said you could encounter thresher sharks on a daily basis. Of course [...]
In recent years, debate on the subject of baiting the water to attract sharks has been on the rise. Many people feel that this practice may be harmful for both humans and sharks while others insist that it is necessary to help preserve the shark population.  A study published in July 2013 in Marine Policy [...]
Nausea is nasty – there is no doubt about it. This debilitating symptom can strike for a number of reasons: dehydration, motion sickness, morning sickness, food poisoning, too much sun – the list goes on. But fear not, there are a number of things you can try before you lose the will to live! Obviously, [...]
I close my eyes – something not recommended for underwater photography. But the visibility, floating at the surface of Canada’s Hudson Bay, is less than an arm’s distance, so all I can do is wait patiently. And then the symphony starts: A crescendo of squeaks and clicks build until I feel my chest reverberating. It’s [...]
The Underwater360 Expedition to the Banda Sea discovers a community flourishing on the slopes of an active volcano, guardians of a reef that attracts one of the world’s most impressive hammerhead aggregations. IT SEEMS LIKE it would be tough living on a storm-swept island, days from civilisation, with no fresh water and limited electricity. You [...]
I vividly remember the first time I was told that my son, Richard, has autism. He had just turned four, and after his doctor said that he probably had a speech delay, further testing was done. When the diagnosis finally came back as autism, I was heartbroken, thinking that there would be so many things [...]
Warming Waters As the oceans warm, some fish species are migrating away from equatorial waters towards cooler areas closer to the poles These changes in distribution will: Impact delicately balanced ecosystems in which each species plays a vital role   Have consequences for coastal communities in equatorial regions who rely on fish for livelihoods What [...]
Plastic polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles are one of the most pervasive plastic rubbish items being dumped in rivers and oceans around the world with annual consumption of plastic bottles set to reach more than half a trillion by the year 2021. In a revolutionary breakthrough, research scientists from National University of Singapore (NUS) have created [...]
For over 150 years, the Salon des Beaux Arts exhibition, a major artistic and cultural event organised by the National Society of Fine Arts (SNBA) of France, has exhibited the greatest names in painting, sculpture, engraving and has been at the forefront of art development, keeping a watchful eye for new reflections on the art [...]
Vaquita Basics 1 The vaquita, Phocoena sinus, is the world’s smallest cetacean, weighing around 55 kilos. 2 Females grow to be around 1.5 metres long. They are longer than the males, whose length tops out at about 1.4 metres. 3 They eat small fish and squid. 4 They have unique facial markings with a black [...]
Natural history filmmaking is more than just a job. It defines your goals, characterises your ambitions, becomes your way of life. I’m often asked how I got into this business. It’s a career no one (especially me!) would have imagined, much less predicted, for my future. I grew up a city girl, born to city [...]
In the middle of September this year, French authorities hired specially equipped boats with lifting gear to haul to the surface thousands of old tyres from artificial reefs. Researchers had discovered that the tyres were leaking toxic chemicals, including heavy metals, into the sea. This tyre reef sanctuary, located 500 metres from the Mediterranean coastline [...]
Gender-related topics almost invariably come up when I talk about my work as a scientist. Conversations that start about my work with manta rays always seem to circle around to probing questions about the challenges of being a female researcher. I find people’s interest in this subject perplexing. Sure, being a field researcher is hard… [...]
For 60 years, the blue whales of the Antarctic-Indian Ocean were massacred by commercial whalers. They are now one of the most endangered of the whales, but scientists are only just discovering their integral importance to the ocean. In 1964, the guns fell silent. A massacre lay before them, a familiar sight from the relentless [...]
MANTA VISTA Manta rays are the biggest rays in the ocean. Despite their size, these majestic beauties pose little threat to humans, making them very popular among divers. They are generally found in warm waters across the planet, and are declared as “vulnerable” by the Internation 1.KONA & THE BIG ISLAND, HAWAII (Kona Coast) Manta [...]
Though they rarely get any recognition, dive guides are more often than not the ones responsible for the beautiful images captured by underwater photographers Underwater photographers do more than create pretty pictures. By documenting undersea landscapes and marine life, they become ambassadors for the ocean. It’s often been said that humans only value and protect [...]
Diving into the Blue Abyss need not be an outdoor activity anymore. Next year, Blue Abyss, the biggest, deepest indoor pool in the world will open in Colchester, near London. Reaching as deep as 50 metres, the Blue Abyss is ten metres deeper than the Y-40 in Italy and is set to be the most [...]
As the liveaboard diving industry grows, new boats are introduced every year and existing boats are renovated with updated amenities. These wonders of modernity have everything you could ever need on a floating scuba diving vacation – from air conditioning to onboard Jacuzzis. The new liveaboards for 2018 traverse waters around the world, including routes [...]
Largely closed off to tourists, the volcanic islands of Narcondam and Barren offer some of India’s most pristine and exotic dive sites. But these islands are facing a grim reality, and it’s time for divers to step in and intervene. The first islands in the Andaman chain to witness a new day dawning are India’s [...]
Holtuis' anemone shrimp (Ancylomenes holthuis) (Text and Images by Alex Tyrell) Known by many as “student central”, this famous destination has some incredible muck diving on offer for divers willing to put their prejudices on hold “MUCK” AND “CRITTERS” are two words not normally associated with the popular dive destination of Koh Tao, located in [...]
Immerse yourself in the mysterious and enchanting world of Uluna. Trapped in the middle of Tondano, North Sulawesi, Uluna reveals that there is so much more to this iconic destination For years, Uluna has been a secret known only to the locals; this is their magical, private swimming pool. Children from the village would come [...]
Air molecules also absorb the reds and reflect blue light, and so the same process is responsible for the sky being blue! Even though small amounts of water appear to be totally clear and colourless, larger bodies of water look blue. What’s going on? All colours are the result of matter absorbing some parts of [...]
1 Mangroves are some of the most important ecosystems on Earth   2 Mangrove forests grow in intertidal zones and estuary mouths between land and sea. They anchor and protect coastal ecosystems, and make up a transitional zone between land and ocean, connecting and supporting both   3 Most mangroves live on muddy soils, but [...]
After a proposal was tabled in May by the European Commission to ban the top 10 single-use plastic products that pollute oceans and beaches, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have voted 571-33 to approve measures that would ban commonly used plastic items like plastic bags, plastic straws, cotton swabs, disposable plastic plates, cups and [...]
Sharks are a group of fish that first appeared around 420 million years ago and have since diversified into over 470 different species that inhabit every ocean on our planet. Their size ranges from the tiny dogfish measuring only 17 centimetres to the incredible whale shark, the biggest fish in the ocean, which can reach [...]

In the unassuming province of Negros Oriental in the Philippines, Roni Ben-Aharon walks you down the timeline of how Apo Island, the oldest continuous marine protected area in the Philippines which is home to 650 documented species of fish and over 400 documented species of corals, became a Marine Protected Area

When Viktor and I I travelled to Georgia for a holiday, we thought it would be exciting to find somewhere to dive. The Black Sea, which washes Georgia’s western shore, did not attract us; it is dull and lifeless, the same as the waters of the Russian coast. We couldn’t find anything else on the [...]
The Indo-Pacific encompasses the richest marine ecosystems on the planet, and houses some of the most incredible marine life. Here, the staff of Scubazoo picks our personal favourites, to showcase some of the wonderful creatures that would be on most divers’ wish lists, ranging from the tiniest critters to the biggest animal that has ever [...]
Unusually, the wow moment comes right at the start. When diving in the crystal clear waters of the Silfra canyon, it is the process of dipping your mask beneath the surface that really blows your mind. Silfra is Iceland’s most famous dive site – it even has a celebrity fan club. Movie stars Tom Cruise [...]
1300 BC: A merchant ship, laden with treasures from seven different cultures and commodities of Cypriot origin, was traveling on a 1,700-mile trade route when it sank for unknown reasons at Cape Uluburun (near Kas on the south coast of the Antalya region of Turkey). Much knowledge about prehistoric trade and nautical navigation during the [...]
Diving, when done properly, should be a Zen-like amble through Poseidon’s realms. But to maximise your safety and keep any stress at bay, it’s still important to ensure that your bod is dive ready. Full body A certain degree of flexibility is important in diving.  We’re not suggesting you need to be able to tie [...]
Have you ever wondered why you need to pee as soon as you hit fifteen metres? Or why diving gives you a mouth that’s dry as the Sahara? Does effective equalising elude you? Or are you yet to get your head around the freaky phenomenon that is narcosis? Ponder no longer. We have the answers. [...]
Paul Gardner Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, who invested his wealth in philanthropy and was an avid diver who fought for conservation and the health of the ocean, has passed away from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in Seattle on 15 October 2018. He was 65. Allen’s death was announced by his company, Vulcan Inc. Allen was a [...]
CORAL TRIANGLE The distribution of marine species is not the same between different areas of the ocean. Richness differs dramatically between regions due to the many pressures that have moulded each community over millions of years. The world’s highest marine biodiversity is found in a relatively small area known as the “Coral Triangle”. The Coral [...]
How Do Corals Fluorescence? Corals get their colours in two ways. They have photosynthetic marine algae living inside their cells which convert sunlight into energy. The brownish green colour you see in corals under normal daylight is from these algae, called zooxanthellae. When corals are bleached, they turn white because they expel the zooxanthellae. But [...]
The third iteration of the Singapore Blue Plan was presented to Second Minister for National Development and Minister for Social and Family Development, Desmond Lee, at the National University of Singapore (NUS) on 13 October 2018. Building on the second Singapore Blue Plan submitted in 2009 (the first Singapore Blue Plan was submitted in 2001), [...]
Beautiful but deadly, the Glaucus atlanticus, commonly known as “the blue dragon”, is not what one would expect of a mere slug. Not only is it visually stunning, it possesses abilities unlike any other creature on Earth.   Appearance: The blue dragon has three pairs of arms, each one shorter than the last as they [...]
What happens when plastics end up in the marine environment? In a study funded under the Marine Science Research and Development Programme of the National Research Foundation Singapore (first published online in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering in March 2018), a team of scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS) found that [...]
Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, California TYPES OF MPAS IUCN CATEGORY IA Strict Nature Reserve: A marine reserve where the ecosystem is particularly fragile and important. Human activity here is strictly controlled, consisting of environmental monitoring, scientific surveys, and indigenous practices such as aboriginal subsistence fishing. Indigenous practices have to meet conservation objectives and may be [...]
In today’s world, where tonnes of plastic flow into oceans every year, a mere mention of travelling on yachts might bring to mind opulence and wastage but the truth is far kinder and greener with Aggressor’s “Green the Fleet” sustainability initiative. Long known as the ultimate in liveaboard travel, Aggressor Liveaboards has expanded their partnership [...]