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Book Review: Secret Seas

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Secret Seas: Discover Oman’s Unique Underwater World by Paul Flandinette and Michel Claereboudt 

I do not usually agree to review a book without having a physical copy in my hands, as it is impossible to judge what the quality of the final product is going to be. However, in this case I made an exception, as the book is going to be printed and distributed based on pre-orders. What I can say is that if the publishers put as much care into it as the authors clearly have, it is going to be well worth a look. The book will be a 240 page hardback containing 295 beautiful photos of the 160 marine species featured within.

I have never considered diving in Oman. It has just never come up in conversation before. And yet the opening pages of this book have moved it right up my wish list of diving destinations. I was delighted to read that Oman is an important turtle sanctuary, protesting the 4 species of nesting turtles that visit its pristine white beaches. After introducing the readers to the country, a little of its history, and some information on the marine environment, the book dives right into its main trust which is to show you the beauty and diversity of Oman’s underwater world.

The chapters within cover a range of marine life from macro critters to sharks and are packed with excellent underwater images. You can really get a feel for what it is like to dive there. Whether you love looking for tiny crustaceans or you prefer looking out into the blue for pelagics to cruise past, it seems that Oman has something for everyone.

I was delighted to see that the authors have put in a chapter about ocean conservation and the risks these precious habitats are already facing. It was also good to see a chapter on underwater photography and how to take images like the stunning images in the previous pages, without harming the marine life.

All in all this looks to be a well thought out book filled with beautiful photographs of Oman’s underwater world. You can sense the authors passion for this place as you read and peruse the images.

To learn more visit the website by clicking here

It is available for pre-order by emailing the author Paul directly:

Price is GBP36.85
plus shipping –
GBP 6.50
EUROPE – GBP 16.95
REST OF THE WORLD – GBP 31.95

About the Authors

Paul Flandinette is an award-winning film maker, professional underwater photographer, author and artist. His film making career has included productions for some of the world’s leading companies and government organisations as well as a number of broadcast documentaries.

He is passionate about the underwater world and has dived extensively in the in the Far East, Red Sea, Caribbean and the UK. He has been living in Oman since 2013 and has spent the last seven years photographing Oman’s underwater world.

Michel Claereboudt is Professor of Marine Ecology at the Department of Marine Sciences and Fisheries at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat. He is an internationally recognised authority on corals and echinoderms and continues to research the ecology and biology of corals and other reef invertebrates.

Michel has been living in Oman since 1997 where he has made thousands of dives and has an intimate knowledge of Oman’s underwater world that few can equal. He is also an underwater photographer.

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

Marine Life & Conservation

UK Shark Fin ban moves closer to becoming law

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Bite-Back Shark & Marine Conservation’s relentless campaigns to make Britain shark fin-free reached a new milestone last week when a private member’s bill to ban the import and export of shark fins was voted through parliament with unanimous cross-party support.

The bill is now scheduled for three readings in the House of Lords and, if successful, it will then go to King Charles for Royal Ascent and become law.

Campaign director for Bite-Back, Graham Buckingham, said:

“Our goal of ending Britain’s ties with the global shark fin trade is within our reach. This country has a dark history of exporting around 20 tonnes of shark fins every year and it remains legal to bring up to 20kg of dried shark fins through Customs without needing to declare it. This bill could represent a significant blow to the multi-million-pound shark fin industry. It’s now down to the House of Lords to smooth its path to the palace.”

Since July 2022 the charity has been consulting the Labour MP Christina Rees who put forward the private member’s bill after the government failed to bring its Animal Welfare Bill, that promised to ban the import and export of shark fins, into law last year.

To help improve support for the bill, Bite-Back also created a briefing document on the issues for all MPs to reference. During the bill’s final reading in the House of Commons MPs from different parties wholeheartedly endorsed the ban on the import and export of shark fins.

In her closing statement Christina Rees MP said that she hoped this bill would ‘drive up the standards of global shark conservation’.

Bite-Back will now turn its attention to educating and inspiring members of the House of Lords to vote in favour of a ban.

Follow the bill’s progress at www.bite-back.com and learn how you can get involved in supporting shark conservation initiatives in the UK.

Header image: Finned sharks underwater- Copyright – Scubazoo.

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Dive Travel Adventures Winter 2023 out now!

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Join us on some of the most spectacular and exciting Dive Travel Adventures worldwide!

The latest issue of Scubaverse’s printed premium quality, quarterly publication, Dive Travel Adventures, is available now. After an extended hiatus due to world events, we’re delighted to be back bigger and better than ever before as we share with you the Winter 2023 edition.

Packed full of incredible photography and first person travel experiences, Dive Travel Adventures will inspire you to put on your scuba gear and explore more of the underwater world. From amazing marine encounters to edge of your seat expeditions across the planet, Dive Travel Adventures offers you an insight into the hottest and coolest dive travel destinations the world has to offer. Get ready to tick some incredible Dive Travel Adventures off your wish list!

In the new Winter 2023 edition of Dive Travel Adventures:

BAHAMAS
Nick and Caroline’s long-held dreams of epic Tiger Shark encounters come to fruition on their return trip to Grand Bahama.

MEXICO
Black Manta Photography take a trip to Mexico’s Caribbean coast for a twin centre holiday that showcases the incredible underwater diversity of Cozumel and Playacar.

TRAVEL GUIDE: AZORES
Into the Blue: Hovering around the dramatically beautiful mid-Atlantic archipelago with Daniel Brinckmann.

FUERTEVENTURA
Yo-Han Cha takes a short flight to the Canary Island of Fuerteventura for a week of relaxed diving and some winter sun.

LUNDY ISLAND
Lundy Island offers an off the beaten track experience along with fantastic scenery above and below the waterline. Jane Morgan explores.

SNORKELING SCOTLAND
Nick and Caroline take advantage of the international travel hiatus to seek out some underwater highlights a little closer to home.

PALAU
Jay Clue heads to Palau to discover what makes this spectacular Pacific archipelago one of the most diverse dive destinations on our planet.

JORDAN
Sean Chinn returns to Aqaba for the scuttling of a Lockheed L-1011 Tristar Plane.

EGYPT
After many a difficult time with suspended flights and then the COVID pandemic, Sharm el Sheikh is firmly back on the map for UK divers. Nick and Caroline head out to see what’s new.

View or download a digital copy of the WINTER 2023 edition of Dive Travel Adventures HERE.

Want a printed copy? The printed edition of Dive Travel Adventures is available to pick up FREE from dive centres throughout the UK and Ireland now, so make sure you pick up your copy today. See a complete list of stockists HERE.

New outlets where you can pick up Dive Travel Adventures are being added to the list all the time. In addition to being available from dive centres, copies will also be delivered to your door with selected orders from leading manufacturers and retailers. You can also pick up your FREE copy of Dive Travel Adventures at various dive shows and events.

We hope you enjoy reading the latest edition of Dive Travel Adventures! Let us know your thoughts on our new publication in the comments below!

Keep up to date with all things #DTA on our Dive Travel Adventures Facebook page and on Instagram.


Look out for the Spring 2023 edition of Dive Travel Adventures coming soon!

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Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. Great value for money and perfect for small groups of buddies. Price NOW from just £1195 per person based on sharing a twin cabin/room including: Flights from Gatwick to Hurghada with 23kgs baggage 7 nights in shared cabin 3 meals a day, soft drinks, red wine with dinner 6 days’ diving, guide, 12ltr tank & weights, Marine Park fees and port departure fees Free Nitrox Booking deadline: Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price. Alternative departure airports available at a supplement. Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk. More Less

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