Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving March 2019

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PADI Worldwide
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8 Issues

In this issue

1 min.
scuba, scuba everywhere

MARY FRANCES EMMONS joined Sport Diver in 2009 and Scuba Diving in 2012, serving as features, senior and deputy editor. A diver since 2006, she was named editor-in-chief in 2018. It's an oft-repeated statistic that Earth is more than 70 percent water. Exploring the vast unknown that lies beneath is why many of us got into scuba diving in the first place. But our planet’s watery domains are not the only places scuba can open up new worlds — or long-forgotten ones. Contributor Martin Strmiska’s story this month on the doomed uraninite miners of Podgorze, Poland, takes us deep into a primeval forest and a quarter-mile below ground to explore a time when innocent workers were lured to unknowingly serve dark masters, at a perilous cost to their well-being, and even life…

1 min.

This creature needs no introduction in Cancun, Mexico — whale sharks are a major source of tourism in the region thanks to their nearby seasonal aggregations. Austrian street artist Nychos painted this mural of a translucent whale shark to help bring awareness of conservation issues surrounding the endangered fish to the local community. Read more about Sea Walls on page 12. “We don’t want the murals to be about blood and guts. We want them to be thought-provoking, not grotesque — and we have to give people hope.” OUT OF THE BLUE: DISCOVER THE WORLD BELOW…

1 min.
just keep swimming

Pico the shark has had a busy year. In less than six months, the highly migratory mako swam from the coast of Port Aransas, Texas, where it was tagged in March 2018, to the waters off Long Island, New York — a distance of roughly 2,300 miles — and blazed a trail never before seen by the researchers tracking him. It’s the first time Ocearch has tracked a mako from the Gulf of Mexico into the Atlantic, and scientists are still trying to figure out why he did it. Ocearch and researchers from the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation hope to learn more about the decline of shark populations and its effect on ocean ecosystems by following the migrations of sharks tagged in the Gulf. Ocearch tracks makos and…

3 min.
street smarts

More than 70 nonprofits are fighting right now to save our planet’s oceans, coral reefs and marine wildlife — but there’s one way in which they all come up short. “In many communities where nonprofits are at work, a lot of people are left out and don’t have any connection to it all,” says Tre’ Packard, founder of the PangeaSeed Foundation. Through street art — think 50- to 100-foot murals on buildings downtown — Packard, the PangeaSeed Foundation and a rotating team of volunteer artists hope to change that by involving everyone who witnesses their messages during a commute, walk to the store, or dinner out. They call this branch of the nonprofit Sea Walls; their mission: to “bring the ocean to the streets.” Those streets span the globe. Miami. San Diego. Isla…

1 min.
want to know more about sea walls in action?

ISLA MUJERES, MEXICO Sea Walls launched with a July 2014 project aimed at pressuring the tourism community into protecting local whale sharks. Fifteen artists committed two weeks on the ground, each making a mural. Success came the following year when a daily limit was placed on the number of tourism boats allowed near the whale sharks. Plus, tour operators began using reusable — not plastic — utensils, and encouraging people to bring their own water bottles. CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA Two years of planning went into the April 2018 initiative in Cairns, the jumping-off hub for Great Barrier Reef tourism. Sea Walls won a grant from the Cairns Council, funding 22 artists’ work for two weeks, focusing on ocean acidification and other topics. “This was a community that was traumatized,” says Packard of what occurred…

2 min.
songs from the deep

Jacques Cousteau had it wrong. As anyone who’s dived within several miles of humpbacks can attest, Earth’s oceans are anything but a silent world. And while not much tops an underwater encounter with a whale, just hearing its eerie, mournful song is in itself an unforgettable experience for scuba divers. And also an unexplained one. Despite decades of research, scientists still do not really know for sure why whales sing. However, several new studies on the subject have uncovered interesting findings, including: Male humpbacks — the only gender that sings — might change their complex, repetitive patterns when another male is near, perhaps to size up a potential rival. A study in the journal Royal Society Open Science compared the songs of whales off the east and west coasts of Africa.…