Thursday, February 22, 2007


Diving Several Times a Day Damages the Ear

Diving several times a day during a week's diving causes damage to the structures of the ear, Brazilian research suggests.

Due to the condition known as middle ear squeeze, scuba diving has become one of the main causes of barotrauma. Barotrauma typically occurs to air spaces within a body when that body moves to or from a higher pressure environment.

The Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease study by the Universidade de Sao Paulo used 19 experienced divers. These divers undertook four dives per day on five consecutive days. Their eardrums were examined by creating variations of air pressure in the ear canal. The researchers found repeated dives caused damage to the eardrum and within the middle ear. However, when there was a surface interval of 11 hours between dives the damage did not occur

The scientists suggest that extending surface intervals may offer protection against middle ear barotrauma in recreational scuba diving.

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Friday, February 02, 2007


USA gets a "C minus" for protecting oceans

The USA made modest progress in 2006 on ocean policy reform, but the progress that has been made is jeopardized by a lack of funding at all levels of government.

The US's overall grade rose very modestly to a C-, up from a D+ average in 2005, according a report from the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative. They were judged very poor in international leadership, research, science, education and new funding for ocean policy and programs.

"Addressing climate change is a high priority for most Americans, and although the climate and oceans are inexorably intertwined, the critical role oceans play in climate change is seldom addressed," said Admiral James D. Watkins, co‐chair of the Joint Initiative. "Our failure to increase ocean science investments to learn more about this link and how to manage its impacts means we are trying to fight climate change with one arm tied behind our back."

Incremental improvements in Research, Science, and Education resulted in a slight grade increase to a D+, up from a D for 2005. Although sophisticated monitoring systems have been in place for decades to measure changes in the atmosphere, no such systems exist for our oceans. The report card, echoing the administration’s research plan, calls for the implementation of an Integrated Ocean Observing System to learn more about the ocean’s role in climate change.

The United States remains the only industrialized nation that has failed to accede to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, earning a grade of D‐ for International Leadership. Environmental groups and major U.S. industries such as offshore energy, shipbuilding, and maritime commerce agree that signing onto the convention will help to protect U.S. economic interests as well as the health of our oceans.

State leadership and fisheries management earned grades of A‐ and B+, respectively. States emerged as important champions for oceans in 2006, establishing new statewide initiatives in New York and Washington as well as regional agreements to coordinate ocean management efforts on the West Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative is a collaborative effort of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission to catalyse ocean policy reform. The Initiative is guided by a ten-member Task Force, five from each Commission, led by Admiral James D. Watkins (U.S. Navy, Ret.) and the Honorable Leon E. Panetta, chairs of the U.S. Commission and Pew Commission, respectively. A primary goal of the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative is to accelerate the pace of change that results in meaningful ocean policy reform.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007


SCUBA Bestsellers 2006

For several years we've been compiling our bestseller list of diving books and DVDs. For third year in a row the Dive Atlas of the Word retains its top spot. The highest new entry is also on diving around the world: Dive in Style by Tim Simmond. Figures in brackets show last year's position.

  1. Dive Atlas of the World: An Illustrated Reference to the Best Sites by Jack Jackson
    300 pages detailing some of the world's best dive sites. (1)

  2. Dive: The Ultimate Guide To 60 Of The Worlds Top Dive Locations by Monty Halls,
    Describes 60 of the world's best diving areas, and highlights specific dives not to be missed whilst you are there (3)

  3. Collins Pocket Guide: Coral Reef Fishes by Ewald Lieske, Robert Myers
    A compact, guide to over 2000 species of fish you might see whilst diving on coral reefs. (2)

  4. Dive in Style
    by Tim Simond,
    An illustrated book combining the best of travel, lifestyle and nature photography (--)

  5. Lonely Planet: Diving and Snorkelling the Red Sea by Jean-Bernard Carillet, Gavin Anderson, Peter Harrison
    Guide to the dive sites of the Red Sea. (--)

  6. Reef Fishes and Corals of the Red Sea by Pete Harrison and Alex Misiewicz
    A guide to 270 reef fishes and corals found throughout the Red Sea. (9)

  7. Neutral Buoyancy: Adventures in a Liquid World, by Tim Ecott
    Tales of the characters and episodes in the history of diving: the sponge divers, the second world war saboteurs, the free divers, etc. (--)

  8. Scuba Diver's Travel Companion by Jeremy Agnew
    Tells you for what level of diver a dive destination is suitable. (10)

  9. The Blue Planet DVD
    The BBC television series on DVD - action shots of the intriguing behaviour of the underwater world with commentary by David Attenborough. (5)

  10. Sardinia Diving Guide by Egidio Trainito
    A diving guide to Sardinia. (--)

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