Book Review: Thailand’s Underwater World

December 16, 2011

Just in time for Christmas comes this beautiful coffee-table book highlighting the wonders of Thailand’s oceans and reefs. With photos by Jez Tryner and text by Chris Mitchell, Thailand’s Underwater World is educational as well as beautiful. As a matter of full disclosure, I should point out that I’ve known Chris for a few years, and have dived with him.

The eye-popping photographs in this book are what will get you hooked. Jez Tryner seems to have an uncanny ability to get up close and personal with the often skittish denizens of the deep.

Chris Mitchell’s text is readable while conveying a lot of useful information about each of the species covered. The handy information boxes at the end of each section will probably mean this book will become a fixture in most school libraries, but if you’ve dived or snorkeled around Thailand, you’ll almost certainly want this memento of what you’ve seen in your own home.


Filed under: News — Michael @ 9:41 am

SELECTED Thai Dive Sites Closed

January 22, 2011

You may have read already that Thailand was closing some dive sites, but there has been a fair amount of misleading reports on the nature of the closure. Some reports would lead you to believe that all dive sites in destinations like the Similans have been closed but this is incorrect. Only a few selected sites in each destination have been made off limits, for a total of 18 in all. In the Similans, for example, only East of Eden and Ao Fai Wab have been closed. Other closed sites include six sites in the Surin islands and Koh Maprao in Chumphon.

The sites are being closed due to coral bleaching, which of course has almost nothing to do with divers and everything to do with global warming, but with a coral loss estimated at around 90%, it was felt that something had to be done to reduce the stress on the coral. The sites will be closed for the remainder of this season, which in the Andaman runs to the end of April, when most dive operations cease anyway for the monsoon. The sites will be re-evaluated before the beginning of the next season in October.

For full details, the Bangkok Post has a good map of all the closed sites.

Filed under: News — Michael @ 9:58 pm

Indonesia Declares Protected Zone Around Mola Mola Grounds

November 23, 2010

Here’s a bit of [hopefully] good news from Indonesia: the AFP reports that the Indonesian government has declared a large area around Nusa Penida, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan a special protected zone where destructive fishing practices like cyanide and dynamite will be prohibited, as will be the dumping of raw sewage and other damaging practices.

The Nusa Penida area is a popular dive destination for people hoping to spot the elusive Mola Mola – the world’s largest bony fish.

The project will be supported by donations from The Nature Conservancy and USAID, as well as the local government.

Filed under: News — Michael @ 9:21 am
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