Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner oceans, streets and communities. Have a plastic free July and help save the ocean while seeking adventure across the Mediterranean this summer and play a role in protecting vulnerable marine life like sharks.
PADI®, the world’s largest ocean exploration and diver organisation, is committed to reducing the use of single-use plastics and has a range of sustainable, ocean conscious options for those of us who love water, travel and the planet.
So far, PADI has helped remove 58,576lbs of plastic through a range of PADI Gear products made from recycled ocean plastic. Additionally, over $32,000 USD has been donated to the PADI AWARE Foundation™ through PADI Gear sales to further support the removal of plastic from the ocean.
With the month of July having a focus on both reducing the amount of plastic used and awareness on the importance of protecting sharks—such as Discovery Channel’s annual Shark Week— PADI has put together a plastic free July guide that will enable anyone, who cares deeply about healing the planet, above and below the surface to bring about meaningful change in further protecting and saving the ocean.
“This (header image + tote bag below) great white shark was photographed off the coast of the world’s premiere white shark locale- Guadalupe Island, Mexico. I was absolutely blown away by the abundance of sharks and the water visibility is breathtakingly clear. I love the evening colors and flare, justifies how gorgeous these beauties are in real life.” – Mike Coots, PADI AmbassaDiver, award winning photographer, surfer, shark attach survivor and shark advocate.
Here is a gallery of gear from PADI that features plastic-free solutions for your sharktastic July!
Find out more at PADI.com
Fourth Element X Sea Shepherd
This year on Black Friday, fourth element announced their new partnership with Sea Shepherd, encouraging people to move away from mindless purchasing and to opt-in to supporting something powerful.
For 40 years Sea Shepherd, a leading non-profit organisation, has been patrolling the high seas with the sole mission to protect and conserve the world’s oceans and marine wildlife. They work to defend all marine wildlife, from whales and dolphins, to sharks and rays, to fish and krill, without exception.
Inspired by Sea Shepherd’s mission, fourth element have created a collection of fourth element X Sea Shepherd limited edition products for ocean lovers and protectors, with 15% of every sale going to the Sea Shepherd fund to help continue to drive conservation efforts globally.
“Working with Sea Shepherd gives fourth element the opportunity to join forces with one of the largest active conservation organisations in the world to try to catalyse change in people’s attitudes and behaviour. Fourth Element’s products are designed, developed and packaged with the intention of minimising our impact on the ocean environment, and with this partnership, we will be supporting the work of Sea Shepherd, in particular in their work on dealing with the twin threats of Ghost fishing nets and plastic pollution.”
Jim Standing fourth element co-founder
Read fourth element’s Sea Shepherd Opinion Piece HERE
Nurse Shark with rare skin pigmentation recorded in Honduras
One of the defining features of nurse sharks is a brown coloration that is present over their entire body. However, earlier this year, recreational divers in Utila, Honduras stumbled upon a unique individual with a rare condition that completely alters the typical pigmentation pattern in the skin.
The finding was recently published in a new study, “Observations of hypomelanosis in the nurse shark Ginglymostoma cirratum,” in the Journal of Fish Biology, led by researchers at Beneath The Waves (BTW). Working with members of the Caribbean Shark Coalition, the team at BTW saw this reported finding as an opportunity to emphasize the value of citizen science for shark and ray conservation. The diverse, non-traditional author list of this publication demonstrates that science can and should be made accessible to those beyond the scientific community in order to add to the scientific database of sharks, marine life, and marine habitats.
This sighting became the first documented account of a nurse shark with piebaldism, a rare skin condition that results in a partial loss of body pigmentation, with eyes remaining as their regular coloration. The unique coloring made this nurse shark easily identifiable, and the divers saw it on two different dives in two different locations.
Piebaldism is part of a larger suite of pigmentation deficiencies called hypomelanosis. This includes albinism, which results in a complete loss of pigmentation in the skin and iris, and leucism which causes total or partial loss of body pigment and a blue coloration to the iris and body.
Hypomelanosis is incredibly rare in the animal kingdom, particularly in sharks, skates, and rays. Only about 5% of these species have been documented with these conditions, one being a tawny nurse shark with albinism, and another being a nurse shark with leucism.
In nature, if an animal relies on camouflage to hunt or avoid predation, unusual skin conditions could affect its ability to do this successfully, ultimately impacting its chance of survival. With the rarity of these conditions in sharks, little is known about their effects.
This particular individual was about an average size for the species, at approximately 6 feet in length. Because of this size, we can assume that it has been able to hunt and avoid predators successfully to reach maturity. Since nurse sharks have a generalist lifestyle where they eat a wide range of foods and can survive in a variety of conditions, this was somewhat expected. Even so, this rare observation calls for more research on the potential consequences of hypomelanosis on the survivability of sharks, skates, and rays. This is only the second time this species has been scientifically documented to have a skin condition that can affect their pigmentation.
Photos: Ellie Hopgood.
WIN a c-monsta Wetsuit Hanger!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with c-monsta to give away one of their wetsuit hangers as a prize!...
WIN a Sharkskin Performance 40L Duffle Bag!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Liquid Sports to give away a Sharkskin Performance 40L Duffle Bag as...
Win a Vasili Lights Fish Lantern!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with Vasili Lights to give away one of their beautiful Fish Lanterns! Inspired...
WIN a Beuchat Maxlux S Mask and Spy Snorkel!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Beuchat to give away Maxlux S Mask and Spy Snorkel!...
News2 months ago
Marine Life & Conservation2 weeks ago
Book Review: The Sea Lions of Los Islotes
News3 months ago
New Photo Project: Dive to be Alive!
News2 weeks ago
Into the Blue
News2 months ago
Deptherapy charity to close in August 2023
Gear Reviews3 months ago
Gear Review: Gemini Switch Box from Lungfish (Watch Video)
Winners - Underwater Photography Contests2 months ago
September 2022 Photo Contest Winner and Review
Gear News3 months ago
Introducing Apple Watch Ultra – including new Depth app for Scuba Diving