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Name That Fish

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It was while running my latest underwater video course at Marsa Shagra in the Red Sea that I spotted a very small fish I had never seen before either in the wild or in any identification book.

At the time I was filming with a GoPro which has a fixed lens and is very wide angle. I was near the sandy bottom next to a reef and gently working my way towards a Hawksbill Turtle resting under a small table coral.  Just at the edge of my vision I caught the motion of a very small fish fleeing away from me towards the cover of another piece of coral. It could only have been about 3-4cms long. I only had time to press the record button and swing the Gopro in its general direction before it completely disappeared. Look as I may, I could not find it again. I was very excited and hoping it was a new species.

Getting back to base I downloaded the video clip. The fish was there, but just a tiny image in the great expanse of the wide angle GoPro frame. Fortunately the great quality from the GoPo let me zoom in and retrieve a half decent image of the fish. At least good enough for identification.

I showed it to several people at the resort and no one had seen it before. This was now very exciting. It was decided to send the image to a marine biologist friend to see if he had any idea. The message came back. “Hi Jeff, Very nice, we have had this already…. an inquiry from 2010, it’s a juvenile Novaculichthys taeniourus, and like most wrasses it can also dig in the sand”. I have to admit to being a bit disappointed, but it was nice to know what it was.

Then I was told about a Facebook group called ‘ID Please (Marine Creatures Identification)’ should I ever need any help in the future.

Jeff ID Please

 

 

 

 

In their introduction they say:

“Dear ID Please members,

 If you took a photo underwater and don’t know what it is, share your photos here or help other members to identify the creatures on their photos. Please try to provide the following info for your underwater photos:

 – country / location

 – depth

 – size

 – and other data that you think might help.

 – no need to specify camera settings and such.

It’s a great group and one which I joined right away. So if you have any photos of marine creatures you can’t identify or can help others out, why not visit their page.

Information on my video courses in the Red Sea can be found at www.jeffgoodman.co.ukRed Sea Diving SafariOonasdivers

Jeff Goodman is the Editor-at-Large for Scubaverse.com with responsibility for conservation and underwater videography. Jeff is an award-winning TV wildlife and underwater cameraman and film maker who lives in Cornwall, UK. With over 10,000 dives to his credit he has dived in many different environments around the world.

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Frontline workers honoured with free dive trip to Yap

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The remote island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia is among the few places in the world that remains free of Covid-19 thanks to its ocean border and a strict travel ban that has kept its residents safe.

Nonetheless, Yap has been affected, too. As one of the world’s premier, award-winning destinations for divers, this paradisiacal location in the western Pacific Ocean has had no outside visitors to its rich shores and reef for nearly a year. But while there may be no virus, the island hasn’t been cut off from the economic impact experienced around the globe.

Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers by A. Tareg

That didn’t stop Bill Acker, CEO and founder of the Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers, from doing something, though.

Last March, soon after the island went into lockdown, Bill began to realize the effect of the virus on daily life beyond the island. “Yes, we are closed, have no divers, had to send our employees home and prepare for difficult times,” he said. “But we’re lucky in that we have, for the most part, avoided the human suffering and death this pandemic has caused.”

Thinking about the problems faced by his family business, they paled when he compared them to those endured by the healthcare workers who have been fighting selflessly around the clock for months on end for the well-being and lives of others.

“One evening, while checking the news online, I saw pictures of frontline workers who were tending to desperately ill and dying people when families and friends could not be with their loved ones. It was heartbreaking,” he added.

The next day, a meeting was held with the resort’s staff and Bill invited suggestions for ways they could do something to honor healthcare workers. The result was the idea to award twenty divers who are working on the frontline to save other’s lives during this pandemic while risking their own, with a free week at the resort.

Manta ray, Manta birostris, gliding over a cleaning station in M’il Channel, Yap, Micronesia by David Fleetham

Divers around the world who had been guests at Manta Ray Bay in the past were invited to submit the names of candidates for the award by December 31, 2020. “We received nominations for 126 individuals from as far away as Germany, the U.S., Australia and Canada,” he said. “It was not easy choosing the winners but our committee of staff members took on the job and selected the 20 finalists.”

“While trying to choose the people to reward for their hard work during this Covid-19 crisis,” Bill added, “by reading the nominations we saw that every one of the nominees was doing things above and beyond the call of duty. Sadly, we don’t have the finances to offer over 100 free weeks in Yap, but we do want to recognize the contributions all of them are making to our world. So, we are offering the rest of the nominees a free week of diving in Yap which includes room, hotel tax, airport transfers, breakfast, diving and Wi-Fi.  The only requirement is that they travel with at least three other people and stay in two rooms or more.”

“We do not yet know when Yap will open its borders,” said Bill, “but when it does, we will welcome these important guests to Yap to relax and dive with the manta rays and the other beautiful denizens of the ocean surrounding our island home. They are the true heroes of this devastating, historic time and we look forward to honoring them with a well-deserved dive vacation.”

Watch out for our exclusive trip report from a healthcare worker from the UK who is one of the 20 to have been awarded this amazing dive trip!

For more information on Manta Ray Bay and Yap Divers visit their website by clicking here.

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Dive Training Blogs

Dream Dive Locker Build Out. Part I: Demolition (Watch Video)

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It’s finally here! Time to start building the greatest dive locker the world has ever seen! Part I: Demolition! #dreamdivelocker

This is the first of a series of videos showing the evolution of building out my dream dive locker. My dream dive locker needs to be dive gear drying and storage, dry storage, workshop, office, editing suite, You Tube studio and classroom. That’s a lot of functions for a small space!

The first step is planning out the space and demolishing the laminate flooring. Then I taped up the walls to get a feel for the space. We have a lot of work to do!

But finally we will have a purpose built space to house all of our dive equipment! Subscribe to our channel to follow our progress! 

Thanks for watching, Team!

James


Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/DiversReady

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This is the perfect start to your 2021 diving season… and at an incredible lead-in price of just £885 per person.

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. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk to book your spot!

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