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November is Manatee Awareness Month

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Help Make a Safer Place for Manatees

November is an annual celebration and a dedication to manatee conservation in Florida. As manatees seek warm water sites during the cooler winter season, residents, visitors, and the boating community are reminded to watch for manatees and help safeguard them as they freely move about Florida’s shallow, slow-moving rivers, bays, estuaries, and coastal water ecosystems.

Record watercraft mortality this year along with more than 180 manatees lost to red tide remain two of the greatest threats to the manatee population. Red tide acts as a neurotoxin in manatees, giving them seizures that can result in drowning without human intervention. Manatees may exhibit muscle twitches, lack of coordination, labored breathing, and an inability to maintain body orientation. If rescued in time, most manatees can recover, so report a sick manatee immediately to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Hotline at 1-888-404-3922, or send a text message or email to Tip@MyFWC.com. Use VHF Channel 16 on a marine radio.

In total, 703 manatees have died so far this year from January 1st through October 12th from all causes. Cold stress during the winter months takes a toll on the manatees as they are a subtropical species and cannot tolerate prolonged exposure to water temperatures below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Other causes of human-related mortalities includes ingestion of litter, fish hooks, and monofilament line; entanglement in crab trap lines, and being crushed and/or drowned in canal locks and flood control structures.

Many seasonal manatee zones in Florida come into effect in November, and boaters are urged to pay close attention to posted signage indicating slow or idle speeds. Waterway users should also keep their distance from migrating manatees or manatees congregated at warm-water sites during the winter to avoid possible harassment. Never separate a mother from her calf as calves depend on their mothers for up to two years. Check out the videos, tips, and resources for boaters at savethemanatee.org/boatertips.

The public can be actively engaged in manatee and habitat protection by obtaining the Club’s free waterway signage, boating banners and decals, waterway cards, and educational posters. The shoreline property signs warn boaters to slow down for manatees and feature the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission’s hotline number (1-888-404-3922) to report sick, injured, orphaned, or harassed manatees. The Club also produces family-friendly outdoor signs for state, municipal, and county parks, marinas, and other sites where human/manatee interactions are a problem. View the free public awareness resources at savethemanatee.org/freematerials. To obtain any of these materials, email education@savethemanatee.org or call 1-800-432-JOIN (5646) and request these resources.

The public is also encouraged to visit Save the Manatee Club’s Blue Spring webcams at ManaTV.org to see manatees in real time once manatee season is underway or on archived video. The webcams have become popular with viewers across the globe and have allowed the Club to monitor manatee behavior for research and health-related conditions. The site also features researcher Wayne Hartley’s daily blog on manatees visiting the spring. Hartley is the Club’s Manatee Specialist and a former park ranger at Blue Spring State Park. He has been researching the Blue Spring manatees since 1978.

Another way to help is by joining the Club’s Adopt-A-Manatee® program. Each “adoptive parent” learns about the species by following the real, living manatee they’ve chosen through adoption materials and follow-up newsletters the Club provides. To learn more, visit the adoption page of the web site at savethemanatee.org/adopt.

Save the Manatee Club is an award-winning 501(c)(3) international nonprofit organization established in 1981 by singer/songwriter Jimmy Buffett and former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham. The Club’s mission is to protect manatees and their aquatic habitat for future generations. To accomplish its mission, the Club works closely with federal, state, and local governments, the media, and the public, and supports policies that are based on the best scientific data available. The Club raises public awareness; educates; sponsors research, rescue, rehabilitation, and release efforts; supports land acquisition and aquatic habitat protection; advocates for improved on-the-water protection measures, and also supports education and conservation efforts in other countries.

Check out Save the Manatee Club’s website at savethemanatee.org for more information and other ways to get involved.

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 supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

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Book Release: Diving the Thistlegorm – The Ultimate Guide to a World War II Shipwreck

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Diving the Thistlegorm is a unique in-depth look at one of the world’s best-loved shipwrecks. In this highly visual guide, cutting edge photographic methods enable views of the wreck and its fascinating cargo which were previously impossible.

This book is the culmination of decades of experience, archaeological and photographic expertise, many hours underwater, months of computer processing time, and days spent researching and verifying the history of the ship and its cargo. For the first time, Diving the Thistlegorm brings the rich and complex contents of the wreck together, identifying individual items and illustrating where they can be found. As the expert team behind the underwater photography, reconstructions and explanations take you through the wreck in incredible detail, you will discover not only what has been learned but also what mysteries are still to be solved.

Find out more about:

  • One of the world’s greatest dives.
  • Incredible ‘photogrammetry’ shows the wreck and cargo in a whole new light.
  • Meticulous detail presented in a readable style by experts in their respective fields.

About the authors:

Simon Brown is an underwater photographer and photogrammetry/3D expert who has documented underwater subjects for a wide range of clients including Historic England, Wessex Archaeology and television companies such as National Geographic Channel and Discovery Canada. Jon Henderson is Reader in Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh where he is the Director of the Underwater Archaeology Research Centre. With specific research interests in submerged prehistoric settlements and developing underwater survey techniques, he has directed underwater projects in the UK, Poland, Greece, Italy, Egypt, Jamaica and Malaysia. Alex Mustard is a former marine biologist and award-winning underwater photographer. In 2018 he was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for “Services to underwater photography”. Mike Postons pioneered the use of digital 3D modelling to visualise shipwrecks, as well as the processes of reconstructing original ships from historic plans. He has worked with a number of organisations including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Historic England and the Nautical Archaeological Society.


About the book:

  • Release date 25 November 2020
  • Limited run of Hardbacks
  • RRP £35
  • ISBN 978-1-909455-37-5
  • 240 photo-packed pages
  • 240 x 160 mm

Available to pre-order now from Divedup.com, Amazon, online, and from retailers.

Check back on Scubaverse.com for a review of the book coming soon!

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Deptherapy’s Dr Richard Cullen becomes a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society

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Dr Richard Cullen, Chairman of Scuba Diving Rehabilitation Charity Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education, has been recognised as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society is a prestigious Fellowship that is open to those who demonstrate a sufficient involvement in geography or an allied subject through publications, research or professional experience.

Paul Rose, Deptherapy’s Vice Chair, and a world renowned explorer, author, broadcaster, who is a former Vice Chair of the RGS said: 

“This is a huge achievement by Richard. His Fellowship is richly deserved, and a direct result of his steadfast commitment to preserving our oceans through Deptherapy’s very powerful ‘Protecting Our Oceans’ Programme.  I know the top team at the RGS are looking forward to welcoming Richard into the Society.”

The RGS was founded in 1830 to advance geographical research, education, fieldwork and expeditions, as well as by advocating on behalf of the discipline and promoting geography to public audiences.

Paul Toomer, President of RAID, said:

“I have been close friends with Richard for many years and his passion for our seas, even at 70 years of age, is undiminished.  Deptherapy are the world leaders in adaptive scuba diving teaching and are our much valued partners.  Taking UK Armed Forces Veterans who have suffered life changing mental and/or physical challenges and engaging them in major marine biology expeditions, is to most of us beyond the realms of possibility.  The skills these guys have to develop is just awesome.  This is a great honour for Richard, a great honour for Deptherapy, and also for us as their partners.  The diving world must come together to celebrate and acknowledge Richard’s achievement.”

Richard joins some distinguished Fellows of the RGS.  Former Fellows include Ernest Shackleton and many other notable explorers and geographers.

Richard said:

“I am both honoured and humbled to become a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. When I was invited to apply for a Fellowship, I was, which is very unusual for me, lost for words.  I hope it will allow me to take our message of Protecting Our Oceans to a larger audience and to further develop our programmes.  The Fellowship is a recognition of the charity’s work to raise awareness of the plight of our oceans.  The credit belongs to a group of individuals who have overcome massive challenges to let alone qualify as divers but now to progress to marine biology expedition diving”.

For more information about the work of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education visit www.deptherapy.co.uk.

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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