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The Great Eggcase Hunt goes underwater!

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Since 2003, the Great Eggcase Hunt (GEH) has been encouraging the public to hunt for shark, skate and ray eggcases that have washed up along the UK’s coastline.  Despite these records providing a remarkable amount of information on the distribution of egg-laying (oviparous) elasmobranchs, eggcases that are washed up on the shoreline do not always provide a true indication of where they were laid, as ocean currents can carry them some distance. Eggcases Underwater is a spin off from the GEH project, providing a new approach to eggcase hunting.

There are 13 different shark, skate and ray species that are known to commonly lay their eggs around the British Isles, 10 species of skates/rays and 3 species of sharks.  These species produce a single embryo inside an eggcase capsule (often called a ‘mermaid’s purse’) and deposit this on the seabed or attach it to seaweed. Once deposited, the shark, skate or ray will take up to 12 months to fully develop inside this capsule.

The eggcases from different species are a variety of sizes and shapes. The two more commonly found shark eggcases feature curled tendrils that allow the female to attach the capsule to a macroalgae as it develops. While a feature of skate/ray eggcases includes a distinctive horn extending from each corner of the rectangular case, allowing the skate/ray to lay its egg on the seabed concealed by rocks, sand, and gravel.  When first laid the catshark eggcases in particular are easily distinguishable by their light colour and transparency. Overtime they become camouflaged by fouling species and are often difficult to spot.

The distribution of many shark, skate and ray species is changing and for many species declining. Eggcases Underwater needs your help to improve our knowledge of the distribution of oviparous elasmobranchs, their egglaying grounds, and the types of substrates that different species lay on. If you see an eggcase underwater, please take a note of the approximate location of your sighting and, if possible, take a photograph. You can then record details of your eggcase via the online recording form at www.sharktrust.org/recordyoureggcase or by downloading the app (Android/iOS). Your sightings can help improve the Shark Trust’s understanding of oviparous sharks, skates and rays, which could in turn benefit the conservation, management and protection for these species and their egglaying grounds!

Author: Tegan Consol

For more information, please visit www.sharktrust.org/en/eggcases_underwater.

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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And the 5 winners of our free tickets to this weekend’s Scuba.Digital Show competition are…

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We’d like to say a big thank you to all of you who entered our competition to win a free ticket to this weekend’s Scuba.Digital online dive show!

As usual, lots of you entered… but there can, of course, be only five winners!!

And those winners are…

  • Beth Carr from the USA
  • Steven Turnbull from the UK
  • Wendy Van Oosterwijck from Belgium
  • Eric Lim from Malaysia, and
  • David Polanik from the USA.

Congratulations to you all – your tickets will be on their way to you soon!

Not a winner this time? Don’t worry – there are plenty of other competitions running on Scubaverse.com right now. To see what other awesome prizes you could be in with a chance of winning, click here!

And if you didn’t win, be sure to get yourself a ticket and check out Scuba.Digital from tomorrow, 23rd October until Sunday 26th October 2020. See you there!

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Gear News

Gear Maintenance: Episode 1 Masks – Sponsored by Dive Rite (Watch Video)

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Everything you need to know to make your scuba diving mask last a lifetime! Welcome to Gear Maintenance!

If you want to support Divers Ready! (for free!) support our sponsor for this series of videos: Dive Rite

To enter to win the ES155 Mask from Dive Rite, you need to:

  1. Subscribe to Divers Ready! if you haven’t already: https://www.youtube.com/c/diversready?sub_confirmation=1
  2. Enter the contest here: https://gleam.io/LOgJt/dive-rite-es155-mask-giveaway

A scuba diving mask is a seemingly simple piece of kit, but there are things that can wrong with it. Proper care, cleaning and preventative maintenance will help you keep your scuba mask in the best condition for years and years. We’ve packed this video full of hints and tips covering storage, protection, cleaning, defogging and maintenance to help you protect the investment you’ve made in your dive equipment.

Oh, and here’s the soft case I recommend. (Yes, this is an affiliate link. Purchases made through this link m ay earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you.)

Mask case: https://amzn.to/35b6Avj

Good luck to everyone!

D.S.D.O

James


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

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