Category: Diving News

Search ends for missing shark dive

Tiger Shark photo courtesy of wikipedia.org.

The search for a shark diver who did not surface with his group after a night-diving excursion Sunday in the Bahamas has ended after authorities determined that John E. Petty was attacked by a shark.

U.S Coast Guard crews found only dive gear, but no body after an exhaustive search that also involved Bahamian authorities.

Petty, 63, a chiropractor from Longview, Texas, was part of a multi-day adventure with Florida-based outfitter Jim Abernethy, a famous but controversial figure among the commercial shark-diving fraternity.

Read more here.

From Despair to Repair: Dramatic decline of Caribbean corals can be reversed

With only about one-sixth of the original coral cover left, most Caribbean coral reefs may disappear in the next 20 years, primarily due to the loss of grazers in the region, according to the latest report by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The report, Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012, is the most detailed and comprehensive study of its kind published to date – the result of the work of 90 experts over the course of three years. It contains the analysis of more than 35,000 surveys conducted at 90 Caribbean locations since 1970, including studies of corals, seaweeds, grazing sea urchins and fish.

The results show that the Caribbean corals have declined by more than 50% since the 1970s. But according to the authors, restoring parrotfish populations and improving other management strategies, such as protection from overfishing and excessive coastal pollution, could help the reefs recover and make them more resilient to future climate change impacts.

“The rate at which the Caribbean corals have been declining is truly alarming,” says Carl Gustaf Lundin, Director of IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Programme. “But this study brings some very encouraging news: the fate of Caribbean corals is not beyond our control and there are some very concrete steps that we can take to help them recover.”

Read more here.