Text and photos Markus Roth When looking for a destination that offers everything, from endless drop offs to a shallow house reef, from the smallest shrimps to a dugong, where the paradise-like landscape above the water is mainly jagged limestone islands, white sandy beaches and a mix of rainforest giants and palm trees that immediately [...]
Text and photos Richard Smith Well into the 21st century, we imagine the age of species discovery to be over. The great expeditions, which filled museums with new specimens, are at an end. Remarkably, northern Papua’s Cenderawasih Bay has kept its secrets for millions of years. Here, numerous indigenous fishes evolved in its out-of-the-way waters, [...]
Text and photos by Chris Simanjuntak The trees surrounding the cave mouth resembled the Ents from The Lord of the Rings. Massive branches reaching skyward, they looked as if they were guarding the place. The constant breeze tickled the leaves, as if whispering, “This ground is sacred!” Their oversized roots crept down the contoured overhang [...]
Text and photos Justin Gilligan The maritime disaster on Christmas Island represents a timely reminder that we must not sacrifice our marine environment for the sake of a quick buck. In the dawn light, endemic Christmas Island frigate birds watch from the amphitheatre of cliffs that surround Flying Fish Cove, like silent sentinels in the [...]
Text Karin Van Beeck | Photos Dray Van Beeck At the foot of the Pulaki Mountains in the northwest of Bali, lies the beautiful bay of Pemuteran. Here, you can find spectacular reefs and a huge variety of marine life only a five-minute boat ride from the coast. It is a real divers’ paradise with [...]
By Dharshana Jayawardena At 53 metres and beyond recreational depth limits, the world of the HMS Hermes is surreal. It is also a favourite site to explore for veteran tek diver and Asian Diver Field Journalist for Sri Lanka, Dharshana Jayawardena. We sink into the darkness of the Hermes and discover how it’s stuff dreams [...]
Text Bogdana Vashchenko Photos Marek Zajączkowski During their annual expedition, the Spitsbergen Polish Academy of Sciences explores the ocean bottom. From year to year, sediments change the depth. The scientists wanted to know how quick it sediments affect changes at different depths, how it looks like and what plants and sea creatures live at a [...]
Text Guy Stevens, Photos Carlos Villoch When diving amongst a mass feeding aggregation of about 100 manta rays, I noticed an individual trailing a mass of fishing line. My mind immediately began to race. Before I could react, the manta peeled away from the other feeding mantas in the water column and swam over to [...]
Text & Photos Roberto Fabbri This story of the birth of the manta ray goes back to 1967. I was 26, young, strong and experienced as a scuba diver, looking for an adventure. I discovered scuba in 1959. It happened on the small island of Panarea, in the Aeolian archipelago, just north of Sicily. Each [...]
Text Scott Cassell | Photos Kerry Franciscovich Sharks are the basis for many fears in Man, including myself. My fear, however, is not of being attacked or eaten by a giant shark, rather, of a sea without them. Over the past 40 years, I have come to love sharks the way most people love beautiful dogs. [...]
Text Bogdana Vashchenko | Photo Viktor Lyagushkin The Blue Lake is a beautiful karst spring, which is located in Kabardino-Balkaria in the Caucasus mountains in the South of Russia. At 235 metres in length, 130 metres wide and 258 metres deep, the Blue Lake is currently considered to be the second largest karst source in [...]
Text Nick Coburn Phillips, Photos Imran Ahmad Wrecks have a profound effect upon marine wildlife. Built in all shapes and sizes and different materials, their contours and often-varied superstructure give rise to a myriad of “micro-habitats” upon which life can thrive! Besides the substrate, which many of these “historic wonders” of man-made architecture sit upon, [...]
Text and Photos David Hall My very first dive was in icy water at an abandoned quarry in New York State in early spring. The underwater visibility was less than a foot and I could barely make out the dive instructor’s hand signals as he watched me demonstrate my skills. I came away with basic [...]
Although the world’s plastic consumption problem seems herculean to tackle (try coming to terms with the mind-boggling amount of plastic we use and dump), these visionary companies believe that their sustainability solutions work and are set to change the face of plastic waste. Miniwiz Miniwiz was founded in 2005 by architect and structural engineers Arthur [...]
Spearheading Environmental Change These individuals with their penchant for making a difference, are pushing themselves to do their bit for the environment. Arthur HuangMa JunMelati & Isabel WijsenArthur Huang Photo Credit: Miniwiz     Taiwan Arthur Huang Structural engineer & entrepreneur Convinced that there was much more that can be achieved with the heaps of [...]
Spearheading Environmental Change These individuals with their penchant for making a difference, are pushing themselves to do their bit for the environment. Jadav PayengAfroz ShahNaderev “Yeb” SañoJadav Payeng (Photo Credit: Shutterstock)       India Jadav Payeng Farmer Also known as the “Forest Man of India”, Jadev Payeng created the man-made Molai forest on Majuli [...]
As the oceans warm, some fish species are migrating away from equatorial waters towards cooler areas closer to the poles. The optimum temperature range for coral is between 18 and 29 degrees Celsius. Corals can withstand short periods of warmer or cooler water. Corals in some areas have been shown to be much more tolerant [...]
The plastic pollution that spills out from the waters in Asia is rooted in the consumption of plastic from rapidly growing cities that are directly  contributing to the growth of some of the fastest growing economies in the world. The impact of this pollution on biodiversity across land and sea is a far reaching problem [...]
Text and Photos Nathaniel Soon Murky waters, barren reefs and trash-strewn beaches – these are likely the first images that come to mind when one envisions Singapore’s marine environments. Truth is, we also often stop short of exploring for ourselves what truly lies beneath the surface surrounding this tiny, island state – habitats teeming with [...]
It is a well-known fact that microplastics swimming in our oceans are a huge problem but have they already found their way into our stomachs? (Text Rachel Kwek and Terence Koh) Ocean plastic pollution is a major and growing global problem. Scientists estimate that the Earth’s oceans may already contain more than 150 million metric [...]
Volunteer groups in Singapore are cleaning up the island nation’s beaches and waterways and helping scientists assess the scale of local marine plastic pollution. (Text and Photos Nathaniel Soon) We have all likely come across the common narrative of the boy who aspired to rid his beach of sea stars washed up and stranded at [...]
Green Island is located southeast of Taiwan, a small primitive island 33 kilometres from Taitung City. The climate here is sub-tropical – warm, humid and windy conditions throughout the year. The average temperature is about 27°C during summer (July and August) and around 20°C during winter (January and February). Nonetheless, dive season lasts for a [...]
The word “exploration” often sounds like too much work for the average recreational diver. However, there are strong links that explorers and exploration have with everyday diving and conservation. If we look at the world’s marine parks and sanctuaries, we might wonder how they all started. The fact is, all parks, sanctuaries and destination resorts [...]
Mention Sabah, and Sipadan Island comes to mind. What many don’t know is that Sabah has a secret. One hour north of Semporna lies a cluster of relatively undiscovered islands that are Sabah’s hidden diving gems. These islands boast healthy reefs with impressive biodiversity and interesting macro life. One particular island that stands out from [...]
The light of my torch’s beam illuminated a small circle of fine black silt, outside of which the darkness was absolute. My buddy and I had wandered deeper than planned, but one amazing critter after another had drawn us onwards until we found ourselves exploring a barren expanse at 25 metres. A puff of black [...]
When one thinks of manta and mobula ray research and conservation you might picture diving in crystal clear tropical waters while counting elegant rays flying overhead. In reality though it’s often much less of a dream job than one would think. On a typical morning in the life of Daniel Fernando from the Manta Trust, [...]
A calm mirror-like surface, crystal-clear waters, and hot sunny days; that was what I assumed my virgin trip to Tonga would be like. On the contrary, we saw nothing but gloomy skies, rainy days, choppy waters, and plankton-rich waters – not the best conditions for us underwater photographers. Yet, it proved to be one of [...]
I hover above the ancient marble column about 45 metres below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea. Holding my underwater camera housing in one hand, I use the other to direct my dive model through the azure water. The photograph I have visualised in my mind’s eye, and meticulously planned, comes together. I lift the [...]
The classic coastal run along the pacific highway down the eastern coast of Australia is a well-worn path for avid travellers. For some, the trip can only take a few days; for others it can take an entire lifetime. Each year a similar path is forged by grey nurse sharks beneath the sea surface beyond [...]
Along a small stretch of uninhabitable coastline off the coast of Djibouti lies one of Nature’s treasures which, up until now, few have been privileged to witness. During the months of October to February, large aggregations of young whale sharks visit the Gulf of Tadjoura to feed on the plankton-rich waters within the Gulf of [...]
As enigmatic as they are charismatic; Dr Richard Smith’s research exposes the private lives of pygmy seahorses. Text & images by Dr Richard Smith MINIATURE MYSTERIES I could never have foreseen what fascinating subjects these diminutive fish would make. Setting out to discover the private lives of pygmy seahorses, I embarked on my doctoral research, [...]
Thailand begins with its people, who, like the food and the lifestyle, are often described as hot and spicy. Thailand’s beauty and hidden gems need no introduction, both above and underwater. But recently I was lucky enough to have been introduced to one of her most exceptional national treasures. Entering the dining area on the [...]
Exploding in a riot of life, the waters around these islands in the Indian Ocean are every diver’s wet dream. Text and Images by Imran Ahmad Where are all the fish?” An increasingly common question asked by divers and underwater photographers. However, if you dive in the Seychelles, this would be very last question on [...]
For man to act upon a call to save the ocean, and for the ocean to accept man’s offering – morphing it into a habitable home for its creatures – is a beautiful act of harmony between man and sea. Text by Tasneem Khan, Image by Tasneem Khan & Umeed Mistry The ship is undoubtedly [...]
A Shared Passion and Vision Between Two Friends Renowned as the world’s largest scuba diving training organisation, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) was dreamt up by two friends concerned about the state of the scuba diving industry some 53 years ago in the state of Illinois, USA. Some 13 years after the invention [...]
I was 14 when the world turned its back on me.  I grew up around sharks – diving, sailing, I was part of an ocean-obsessed family, and I made my home amongst the reefs. I began to gravitate towards sharks before I can remember; I related to them, I fitted in with them, the fact [...]
WHILE SOME HARD-HEADED politicians still believe climate change is a hoax, the vast majority of scientists are in agreement – our oceans and atmosphere are heating up. To make things worse, the world’s seas are polluted and under pressure from overfishing and natural disasters. To prove how climate change is having a direct impact on [...]
Ironically, our journeys to visit the reefs we love so much are directly contributing to their demise. What to do? As we know, aeroplanes are not, as yet, solar powered, and jet fuel is not exactly eco-friendly. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that for every kilogram of jet fuel used on a [...]
IT MAY SEEM as if climate change presents an overwhelming problem. While the magnitude of the issues we have created cannot be understated, there is cause for hope! The good news is that WE have created the problem, and so WE can also create solutions. Each and every one of us has the capacity to [...]
CLIMATE CHANGE IS AN insidious entity, creeping up on the world and largely occurring so gradually that naysayers claim it to be an elaborate hoax by the world's scientists. Whilst many effects of climate change happen so slowly they're almost imperceptible, its impacts can be more concentrated in certain parts of the world. The most [...]
(Text by Jon Aars. Photos courtesy of Norwegian Polar Institute) A warm north pole poses complex issues for polar bears. Jon Aars from the Norwegian Polar Institute reveals all about the threats faced by polar bears. POLAR BEAR PREY Ringed seals are the polar bears' most common prey. Ringed seals are highly dependent on sea [...]
Immortalised for all time as the tragically sympathetic devourer of a family of oysters in Lewis Carroll's famous poem, 'The Walrus and the Carpenter", from Alice Through the Looking Glass, these majestic creatures were given a reputation as gentle, lumbering giants, soft-hearted victims of their own unavoidable appetite. And, as the world's second-largest pinniped [narrowly losing out [...]
After collecting microplastic debris from Singapore’s coastline in the period from April to July 2018, marine scientists from the National University of Singapore have discovered more than 400 types of toxic bacteria on these microplastics that can cause coral bleaching and infections on wounds in humans. The scientists from the NUS Tropical Marine Science Institute, [...]
LOCATED AT a staggering altitude of 5,100 metres, Lake Puma Yumco (普莫雍错) would most certainly deter the amateur and the faint-hearted – but not a group of exploratory divers set out to conduct wildlife investigations in one of Earth’s most challenging freshwater environments. According to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), any time you [...]
A large dark brown silhouette slowly emerges from edge of visibility in the cold water of the North Atlantic. Contrasting the cobalt green, the fuzzy bulk of brown increases to the massive form of a large shark – and it’s headed our way. We are off Chatham, Cape Cod, where only a few miles away [...]
NEXT time you’re in Bali for a few days of diving, you might also want to consider adding dolphin watching to your agenda. But wait, are there dolphins in Bali? Absolutely! Bali does indeed have dolphins roaming about its waters. The island has whales as well, although the sightings are not as frequent as that [...]
AS THE WORK WEEK ends in Shanghai, a group of divers prepares to journey 400 kilometres southwest to Qiandao Lake (千岛湖), meaning “Lake of 1,000 islands”, in Zhejiang Province, China – for an adventure like no other. The mysterious lake was formed 60 years ago, in September 1959, when the Xin’an River was dammed to [...]
THE ISLAND OF Lombok is located in the West Nusa Tenggara Province of Indonesia, and is Bali’s neighbour to the east. Geographically, Lombok is similar in size and density to Bali and is surrounded by 13 small, largely uninhabited islands locally called Gilis. Lombok offers the simple pleasures of sunshine and white sandy beaches in [...]
CAPE KHOBOY We arrive by Jeep from Irkutsk and drive over the frozen Lake Baikal. We have to be careful; gas bubbles can make the ice very thin in winter. We see locals trying to save their sunken truck. We overnight on the ice at Olkhon Island, 300 kilometres from Irkutsk. To get under the [...]
Why it's always a good idea to man up, pile on that neoprene, and get back in the water for another go, even if cold water diving is not your thing. It’s a personal life goal of mine to sneakily try to get myself to do things I don’t want to do. Sometimes this means [...]
The massive Lake Malawi is no ordinary body of water. Five hundred metres above sea level and around 800 metres deep, it is home to more fish species than any other lake on the planet. (Text and photos by Scott Bennett) Created by immense geological forces that are gradually tearing the continent apart, known as [...]
ASIA HAS THE LARGEST and best coral reefs in the world, but its coral reef ecosystems are in rapid decline, an occurence which is part of a global phenomenon. More than 100 countries are seeing their marine biodiversity, fisheries, tourism and shore protection services collapse. Only the oldest divers can tell you what we have [...]
DAN AP Member Peter Wilson has endured huge challenges over the past decade, having nearly lost his life and being told by doctors he would be unlikely to walk again. Then he discovered scuba diving and felt extremely free in the water. Inspired, Peter is working to share a scuba diving experience with other people [...]
WHATEVER KIND OF diver you are, you’ll know that your next great dive depends on healthy coral reefs. Coral reefs are the world’s bustling underwater cities. Home to at least one quarter of all marine life in the ocean they generate USD 300–400 billion each year from tourism, fisheries and coastal protection. If you’re a seasoned [...]
IN RECENT YEARS, it has become increasingly clear that small island communities and nations are amongst the first global communities to be affected by the current changing climate. Small coastal communities across the Indo-Pacific have, for generations, relied heavily upon natural resources and the traditional management of those resources as a successful means of survival on [...]
FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, standing at the bow of a wooden schooner, scanning the 360-degree horizon, and seeing nothing but ocean, gives you that feeling of belonging to another time – a time when all the possibilities of the unknown were too great and wondrous to imagine. But few may realise that, in Indonesia at least, [...]
Diving the best destinations in the world often requires adventure-seekers to embark upon long journeys to remote and distant locations. Their reward for travelling off the beaten track? Rare underwater encounters and unspoiled dive sites. In this regard, nowhere can compare to the Galápagos. The nearest land mass to this famous archipelago of volcanic islands [...]
Blue sharks are nomadic animals, have an extremely widespread distribution and can be found in both temperate and tropical waters. Perfectly designed to cover great distances, their long pectoral and tail fins and slender body help them to make lengthy migrations to reach areas of dense food resources and find potential mates. Tagging studies have [...]
Port St. Johns, South Africa. There’s a reason why it’s called “The Wild Coast”. This year Shark Guardian and a team of diving enthusiasts, explorers and photographers travelled from around the world to be in this place, at this particular time in June. Each year from June to July a large migration of sardines make [...]
Land and seascapes that put the “wild” in wilderness; diving in eastern Papua New Guinea is about being immersed in mystique, and surrounded by all creatures great and small. As you approach from the air, clouds drape over the spine of the Owen Stanley Mountain Range, obscuring bits and pieces of the lush forests. Green [...]
When the 16th-century Portuguese sailors sailed past Taiwan, they exclaimed, “Ilha Formosa!” or, “Beautiful island!” Little did they know that the most alluring part of Taiwan actually lay underwater, right beneath their ships. In the summer of 2014, Ben Sarinda and I were invited to Taiwan by Fun-in Underwater Photographic Equipment Co. Ltd. on a [...]
WHEN YOU TALK to divers from all over the world about dive sites in Australia, they will most likely start a conversation about the Great Barrier Reef, and in very rare circumstances, if you’re lucky, they might mention Tasmania’s east coast. And talk to a local Tasmanian diver about their favourite dive sites, and you [...]
Manta and mobula rays are fascinating and captivating creatures. Giants of their kind, they range throughout the tropical and subtropical oceans of the world. Born into a life of perpetual motion they must keep swimming to survive. Driven forward by powerful beats of their wing-like pectoral fins they travel the oceans in search of food [...]
The first time I visited Tenerife, I was captivated by the idea of shooting the resident pilot whales – a protected species requiring the permission of the Spanish government to swim with. It was a dream that seemed impossible. Back home, I could not abandon the thought, so I busied myself researching how to gain [...]
BEYOND the 2,300 islands of untouched Palau, lies the famous Black Hole. The journey begins at Rock Islands. Divers who have done Palau may recollect days where sky and sea merged and dive sites were immersed in cobalt blue. Past the thousands of islands of untouched Palau, lies the famous Blue Hole. It is considered [...]
IT IS NOT AN EASY FEAT to achieve the dubious title of “Sex God”, and certainly not the “Sex God of Brooklyn, NY”. So how did this come about for a forever-young CUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Brooklyn College? It was earned – the old fashion way! I have served as a university professor and [...]
It was the summer of 2012, when I went looking for new and unexplored photo opportunities. It was then that I decided to venture into the open ocean and see what surprises this cerulean temptation may have prepared for me. First, I discovered that if I went far enough from the coast (about eight to [...]
I’ve always been intrigued by images that are different from the norm. To me, the world looks better sliding of the planet; using colours, composition, subjects, focus and occasionally techniques to change the way we see things. Back in the day, I used to spend hours in the library reading about experimental photographic techniques. As [...]
Compressed air has been the standard and most widely used breathing mix in recreational diving for decades. Breathing gas mixtures with a lower nitrogen content and higher oxygen content (enriched air nitrox) have gained popularity among divers looking to increase their bottom times or reduce the decompression stress of typicalduration dives. Today, after some 25 [...]
If you like large, charismatic vertebrates, then you should be a fan of the gargantuan Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus). With a “family” history that stretches back to the dinosaurs, survival is in its genes. However, whilst possessing a unique genetic make-up contributes to its huge stature, it also brings unwelcomed attention, contributing to a [...]
That day is forever etched on my soul, and though the memory has since faded and the horror diminished, it is still there like an old scar – a constant reminder that there is important work still to do, and that every one of us can make a difference. The question is, how? SANCTUARY FOR [...]
Their elusiveness makes them a diver’s dream encounter, but for scientists studying tiger sharks, it is like finding a needle in a haystack. Since 2015, researchers from the Large Marine Vertebrates Research institute Philippines (LAMAVE) and Tubbataha Management Office (TMO) have been studying these top predators in the heart of the Coral Triangle. Tiger sharks [...]
At ADEX Singapore 2017, I was handed some drone footage that showed a trans-shipment of sharks from 15 industrial fishing boats just 200 metres offshore in East Timor. At the same time, I was also given a message that the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Dr Jose Ramos Horta, the former Prime Minister/President of East Timor, [...]
Once these little gems capture your attention, it’s very hard to break their magic spell. A gateway critter if ever there was one, nudibranchs combine the beauty of our ocean and natural history in a photogenic and scientific symphony like no other. Often referred to as “slugs” due to their evolutionary path, the grand designs [...]
Crowds of metre-long sharks lie motionless on the seafloor within gutters etched into the rocky reef. Some are piled up under overhangs, others are lying isolated and out in the open. Beneath a waving frond of kelp, one of them raises its head and pivots upward on a pair of pectoral fins. With a few [...]
Only an hour and a half by fast boat from Bali, Indonesia, Lombok’s northern islands, or Gilis, are still just off the beaten track, despite their increasing popularity with backpackers, honeymooners and travellers looking to get away from it all. No more than seven kilometres wide, Gili Trawangan is a place where Lombok’s traditions merge [...]
If you’re up for field-based science, Indiana Jones style, one of the world’s wildest, most remote, and most radical research stations is the place for you. Meet the Andaman and Nicobar Environmental Team, who are ready to host you in their living laboratory – India’s Andaman Islands, where the waters are bursting with life, and [...]
A calm mirror-like surface, crystal-clear waters, and hot sunny days; that was what I assumed my virgin trip to Tonga would be like. On the contrary, we saw nothing but gloomy skies, rainy days, choppy waters, and plankton-rich waters – not the best conditions for us underwater photographers. Yet, it proved to be one of [...]
Descending through the clear blue water towards a huge rocky boulder, my guide leads me towards a photogenic pygmy seahorse. Clinging to a branch of coral and swaying to and fro in the gentle current, it’s a shy and elusive creature that turns its back to me before deciding otherwise. Doubt and disbelief turn to [...]
One of the busiest dive destinations on the planet is setting an example. The small island of Koh Tao, located in the Gulf of Thailand, has been a mecca for divers for over 15 years. Offering some of the cheapest scuba diving courses available anywhere in the world, this tropical dive destination has become a [...]
Do you want to dive like a boss? Alex Griffin reveals how you can fine-tune your diving technique and attitude, and why it matters (Text by Alex Griffin. Illustration by John Grainger) Most of us have probably made contact with the coral reef at some point in our diving career. Usually it’s accidental, and how [...]
    When you started diving you may have begun in a swimming pool somewhere, wearing a wetsuit that had spent most of its long and overworked existence doubling up as an adult nappy. Weight would have been generously supplied with the overall effect of gluing you to the pool floor like an electromagnet. During [...]
RASDHOO MADIVARU is one of the Maldives’ most famous dive sites. Why? For its hammerheads, and for many divers, seeing these extraordinary sharks is their number one priority. I have guided countless divers at Rasdhoo Madivaru, and sometimes we have been lucky, but many times we weren’t, and not seeing them is always hugely disappointing. [...]
Wakatobi Dive Resort is considered by many to be a model of sustainable dive tourism. One explorer heads there to discover if this Indonesian operator in the heart of the Coral Triangle really does live up to the hype. (Text by Wade Hughes FRGS Images by Dr Richard Smith, Wade & Robyn Hughes) IT DID [...]
Held on November 28 to December 2, 2018 in Mabini, Batangas, in the Philippines, the 6th Anilao Underwater Shootout photo competition organised by the Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT)’s Office of Product and Market Development Dive Group is an annual photo competition that has been dubbed the “World Cup of Photo Competitions”. Home to some of [...]
Judi Lowe is about to release the results of her groundbreaking new PhD research, which will change the way we think about dive tourism and the conservation of coral reefs, forever. Soon to be internationally recognised as the expert on sustainable dive tourism, with a revolutionary new approach that could be the key to safeguarding [...]
Spearfishing is an activity that generates passion, controversy and debate. Is it the most ecologically sustainable method of catching a fish or is it an activity that damages the environment? Is it preferable to catch your own wild local seafood or to buy it? Dr Adam Smith finds out. THE GOOD Proponents argue that spearfishing [...]
(Text by Brandon Sing/Shark Guardian. Illustrations by Julius Csotonyi. Images by various contributors) The history and evolution of sharks goes back a long time, but let’s define “a long time”, because that phrase alone really does not do it justice. Put it this way: Dinosaurs lived during the Mesozoic era, which began about 245 million [...]
Held on November 28 to December 2, 2018 in Mabini, Batangas, in the Philippines, read on as Andrew Lim tells all about his experience taking part in the 6th Anilao Underwater Shootout photo competition organised by the Philippine Department of Tourism (PDOT)'s Office of Product and Market Development Dive Group. The 6th Anilao Underwater Shootout [...]
You must have heard stories about diving in Manado, Indonesia, and if so, you will certainly have been inspired to dive there after seeing pictures of its exotic inhabitants and beautiful coral covered walls. Yes – it’s a beautiful place. However, I recently had the opportunity to discover some of Sulawesi’s secret spots, dive sites [...]
Coral reefs are places of enormous natural diversity. They accommodate some of the highest densities of animals on Earth and have more species than any other marine habitat. Coral reefs aren’t the only marine ecosystems that accommodate extraordinary creatures. Animals everywhere change over time to reflect the environmental conditions they find themselves in. Water temperature, [...]
In 2007, my partner JJ and I packed our backpacks and jumped on a flight for Southeast Asia. As UK-based marine biologists, we had little experience of tropical marine biology, and the lure of the Coral Triangle – the most biodiverse area of coral reefs in the world – was too great to resist. As [...]
Descending into the abyss on one breath to enter a state of awareness and unity with the ocean (Photo by Pepe Arcos) YOU MIGHT THINK that diving on a single breath sounds unnatural and weird but, in practice, the experience is actually the opposite. Freedivers will tell you that it is the most natural way [...]
NOWADAYS IT’S HARD to find something truly new and unexplored; it seems that every part of our planet has already had its details revealed, from the northern pole to the southern one. Yet we still seek the unknown, the remote and untouched, and experiences that push the boundaries of the norm. Can these experiences still [...]
The Kuroshio Current A north-flowing ocean current on the west side of the North Pacific Ocean. Similar to the Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic and part of the North Pacific Ocean gyre. Begins off the east coast of Luzon, Philippines, passing Taiwan and flowing northeastward past Japan, where it merges with the easterly drift [...]
(Text and Images by Rosie Leaney) Let your imagination take you back 300 years, to a small sheltered bay on the east coast of Australia. The bay is tucked in behind a headland which protects it from the ocean swell, it is fringed by palm trees and its golden sands lead into inviting turquoise water. [...]
1 Pack Light! You will be spending most of your time in your swimsuit or your wetsuit. A couple of pairs of shorts, T-shirts, sarong, and something a bit warmer for the evenings is ideal. No need to rival Jackie O in the wardrobe stakes! 2 Location, Location, Location! Check your arrival and departure locations. [...]
With its rich, diverse culture, extraordinary natural history and exceptionally dramatic landscapes, Taiwan really is an underappreciated destination. It also happens to offer a variety of fantastic diving, all year round 1 YEH LIU GEO PARK An alien landscape of incredible rock formations, weathered over the years to form a veritable geological Disneyland 2 YANGMINGSHAN [...]
David’s day of diving became marked by frustration after he had trouble equalising during his first dive. He was patient though, eventually reaching a maximum depth of about 27 metres (90 feet). The bottom phase of the dive continued without complications, but while ascending at a normal rate he experienced an onset of acute vertigo [...]
Diver extraordinaire Dharshana Jayawardena has certainly racked up enough adventures to last a lifetime. Here, he takes on the massive waves and surge of the renowned Great Basses, where the waves can throw you forward and backward – and even slam you onto the reef if you’re not alert. And all this even before you [...]
Benefitting from the nutrient-rich currents that rupture the sometimes-calm Erythraean waters, the Brothers Islands offer some of the Red Sea’s most spectacular diving. Take shelter from the tide in some of the most intriguing wrecks and get ready to drift within this blue abundance. AFTER six years of almost only diving from RIBs and spreading [...]
What is the connection between diving, medical problems and acupuncture needles? uw360 delves into the ancient art of acupuncture with Dutch physiotherapist and acupuncturist, Janneke Vermeulen, as she reveals the remarkable impact of acupuncture on diving maladies in her new book Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and acupuncture originated in ancient China and has evolved over [...]
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 [...]
Founded in 1994, Atlantis Dive Resorts and Liveaboards celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year. With a vision of outstanding value and first class service on top of some of the most bio-diverse dives in the world, it did not take long for Atlantis to become synonymous with first class Philippines dive vacations. From the beginning, with first their resort [...]