Author Archive

The Legacy of Jaws and America’s Fascination with Sharks

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

The movie Jaws led many viewers to stay away from beaches when it was released in 1975, and has been widely criticized for promoting negative stereotypes about sharks and their behavior. Peter Benchley eventually regretted writing the book, and in 1995 said: “The extensive new knowledge of sharks would make it impossible for me to create, in good conscience, a villain of the magnitude and malignity of the original. … If I have one hope, it is that we will come to appreciate and protect these wonderful animals before we manage, through ignorance, stupidity and greed, to wipe them out altogether.”

Conservationists hate that the film has made it difficult to convince the public that sharks need protection from humans, not the other way around. But Jaws launched the summer-blockbuster genre, and Roy Scheider’s line “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” is 35th on a list of top 100 movie quotes, and composer John Williams’ musical theme is instantly recognizable (dun-dunh, dun-dunh).

Hooked on Sharks for better or for worse, the media’s love affair with sharks has kept us entertained for decades.

Looking for more Sharks in pop-culture? Check out Top 5 Worst Shark Movies of All Time.

Scuba Diving Magazine’s 11th Annual Photo Contest Winners

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

It’s been 11 years, yet somehow we never tire of the photo contest here at Scuba Diving magazine. But every now and then, there comes a time for change. Ansel Adams once said, “There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs.” In that spirit, we tweaked our submission categories to recognize photographers adept at conceptual and compact-camera photography. And although the structure might have changed, the heart of our contest has remained the same: viewing the underwater world “Through Your Lens.” We hope you enjoy the show.

To view all photo submissions, click right here.

ONE (1) GRAND PRIZE:

Live-aboard trip to Pulau Weh, Indonesia, aboard the Thailand Aggressor and $1000 cash prize

FOUR (4) FIRST-PLACE PRIZES:

1st Prize Macro: Live-aboard trip on the Turks & Caicos Aggressor
1st Prize Wide-Angle: Live-aboard trip on the Red Sea Aggressor
1st Prize Conceptual: Live-aboard trip on the Carib Dancer
1st Prize Compact Camera: SeaLife Micro HD+ Camera

FOUR (4) SECOND-PLACE PRIZES:

2nd Prize Macro: Scubapro Chromis DC dive computer and Travel Bag
2nd Prize Wide-Angle: Scubapro MK 25 EVO / G260 and Synergy 2 mask
2nd Prize Conceptual: Mares Instinct 12S reg, X-Vu LiquidSkin mask and Ergo Dry snorkel
2nd Prize Compact Camera: SeaLife Sea Dragon 1200 Lumen Light

FOUR (4) THIRD-PLACE PRIZES:

3rd Prize Macro: $250 Backscatter Certificate
3rd Prize Wide-Angle: $250 Backscatter Certificate
3rd Prize Conceptual: $250 Backscatter Certificate
3rd Prize Compact Camera: SeaLife Aquapod Mini and Sea Dragon Mini Lumen Light

The Sea Turtle Conservancy: Helping Endangered Turtles since 1959

Sunday, August 30th, 2015
A young sea turtle near the surface.

David Doubilet / National Geographic Creative

Troubled Turtles
Of the seven species of sea turtle, four are endangered and two are listed as vulnerable.

Mission: Ensuring the survival of sea turtles in the Caribbean, Atlantic and Pacific through research, education, training, advocacy and protection of their natural habitats.
HQ: Gainesville, Florida
Year Started: 1959
Contact: stc@conserveturtles.org
Project: The Sea Turtle Conservancy is the world’s oldest conservation group of its kind; it works to protect these ancient reptiles through local initiatives and global expeditions in the areas of the world where turtles are most in need.

1. ADOPT A TURTLE
Not to worry, you won’t need to find space in your house for this kind of adoption. But for $30 or more, you can symbolically adopt a sea turtle for yourself or a friend to help ensure that turtle’s survival. Once you’ve adopted your turtle, you’ll receive a host of gifts, including a personalized adoption certificate, a guide to sea turtle conservation, a window cling and other turtle-related memorabilia.

2. GET TRASHY
The abundance of plastic garbage in the ocean is detrimental to all marine species, but this waste plagues turtles in particular. Reduce, reuse and recycle plastic materials topside — especially balloons, which sea turtles often eat by mistake — and encourage your community to do the same. Divers have the opportunity to take this a step further by removing trash and plastic waste found below the surface.

3. BE ADVENTUROUS
Need an excuse to travel? Reserve a spot on an Eco-Volunteer Adventure to Costa Rica! By participating in one of the Sea Turtle Conservancy’s volunteer programs, you’ll have the unique opportunity to locate, tag and record data on leatherback or green sea turtles during a session that lasts between one and three weeks. Prices for these all-inclusive trips range between $1,439 and $2,549 per person.

For more information, visit http://conserveturtles.org/

Help Save the World’s Shark Populations with WildAid

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015
Slaughtered sharks on the shore.

Dan Holz / Tandemstock

S.O.S. = Save Our Sharks
Due to threats like shark finning, shark culls and accidental bycatch, sharks need our help now, more than ever. WildAid informs the public and helps promote sensible action.

Mission: Saving the world’s shark populations by building awareness, education and action
HQ: San Francisco
Year Founded: 2007; merged with WildAid in 2014
Contact: wildaid.org
Project: Shark Savers works to reduce the demand for shark fins and to increase the scope and regulation of shark sanctuaries worldwide. “Sharks play a critical role in marine ecosystems as the top predators that keep populations of other species in balance,” says Marcel Bigue, WildAid’s marine program director. “The health of our oceans depends on them.”

In search of a worthy cause? Here’s how you can help.

1. SAY NO TO FINS
Shark finning kills roughly 73 million sharks each year and is rapidly driving many species toward extinction, but you can help stop that. Join Shark Savers’ movement, I’m FINished with FINs, by signing an online pledge to not consume shark fin under any circumstances. But don’t let your involvement end with a signature: Talk to legislators about banning the practice, and locate restaurants in your community that have shark on the menu. Sparking conversation is the first step in fighting the problem.

2. DIVE FOR SCIENCE
Even if biology wasn’t exactly your best subject in school — we’re not judging — Shark Savers wants you to join the front lines with its SharksCount program. Divers of all skill levels are given tools to count and identify the sharks they see underwater. The data collected is added to an online database to help provide essential information about local shark population trends, and your dives help promote sustainable shark eco-tourism. Email sharkscount@sharksavers.org and specify where you dive most often.

3. HELP SANCTUARIES
The Shark Sanctuary Program supports local initiatives to protect sharks around the globe. “Marine protection areas, particularly those in the developing world, are dependent upon the support and expertise of groups like WildAid to safeguard their natural treasures,” says Bigue. Donate at wildaid.org, and contribute to expanding and safeguarding these areas. You can also increase awareness of the importance of marine sanctuaries in your community by using educational resources available on Shark Saver’s site.

Looking for more ways to help? Here are 30 Things You Can Do For The Marine Environment

Diving World Record Attempt Ends in Tragedy for Dr. Guy Garman

Monday, August 17th, 2015
Dr. Guy Garman Prepares For World Record Deep Scuba Dive

MJSVisionsVI

Dr. Guy Garman Prepares For World Record Deep Scuba Dive

Early reports from the St. Croix Source indicate that Dr. Guy Garman, known as “Doc Deep” to the technical diving community, died on Saturday while attempting to break the world record for deepest scuba dive.

Garman’s plan was to descend to a depth of 1,200 feet off the coast of St. Croix on Saturday, August 15th, exceeding the current record of 1,090-feet set by Ahmed Gabr in 2014.

A social media post reported that everything was going to plan as he and his support team (along with his son) reached the 200-foot mark, where he continued descending solo. Thirty eight minutes later, he was expected to have reached the bottom of his dive and ascend to the 360-foot mark, where a separate support team was waiting for him, but he never arrived.

Garman was attached to a 1,300-foot weighted line, and plans are being made to retrieve his body within the week to help explain the cause of the accident.

Garman had been preparing for this dive over the past two years with the help of a 28-person support crew, medical professionals and three boats.

Scuba Diving magazine recognizes this historic attempt for the technical diving community, and sends condolences to his family and friends.

See the Video interview released a few weeks before this historic attempt: “Doc Deep” Prepares To Break The World Record For Deepest Scuba Dive