Lower Your Camera and Enjoy the Moment

The reasons for diving seem to be many, but I think it can be narrowed down to four categories or combinations thereof: Seafood hunting, adventure (challenge), nature enjoyment and photography. Whatever your reason for diving, I want to encourage you to consider a serious thought: Enjoy the moment. Hunters and adventurers can be poor at this, but by far the worst are the photographers and videographers. So many of us always seem to have a camera attached to our faces or looking for the next […]

Your Support is Needed to Stop Shark Finning

It is difficult to get the news these days and not be overwhelmed with information documenting the continual decline of the health of our oceans. Over fishing, pollution, oil spills, climate change all contribute to the problem, and it sometimes seems so vast a problem that it may be unsolvable. Yet, there is hope; and each of you reading this can now do something that will make a big difference for one group of animals–sharks. To help protect sharks, California Assemblymen Paul Fong and Jared […]

MPAs — It’s Been A Long Time Coming…

Over 13 years ago a small group of dedicated conservationists gathered together to begin drafting and lobbying for the passage of the bill which would institute a comprehensive network of marine protected areas in California.  It began in 1997 with a landmark agreement to provide significant protection to the abalone resource which was followed closely by the passage of the Marine Life Management Act which dealt with fisheries regulation. This was followed shortly by the passage of the Marine Life Protection Act and after almost […]

Out Of Air — Simply Unacceptable!

Let’s start with this: Running out of air is the single stupidest thing that a diver can do. It’s eminently preventable and new research indicates that it might drastically increase your chances of becoming a fatality statistic. A recent D.A.N. study looked at 947 fatalities over a 10-year period. In roughly half of those cases, the initial trigger–the problem that started everything on a downward spiral–was identified. In 41% of those instances, out-of-air was the culprit. And let’s debunk a myth right now: These cases […]

Give Nitrogen the One, Two, Three Knock-Out Punch

Dramatically reducing your risk of decompression sickness could be simple as one, two, three.  ONE: If your dive is 80 feet or deeper, take a ONE-minute “deep stop” at half your maximum diving depth. This is now becoming such a heavily accepted diving practice that it is built into some newer model dive computers.  TWO: We are all taught in our basic Openwater dive certification class to take a three-minute stop at 15 feet, but personally, I like to add an extra TWO-minutes to that […]

Dive Boat Etiquette

Fortunately, I have been doing a lot of California Channel Islands boat diving lately and enjoying it immensely. Not only am I involved in my journalistic activities onboard, I have also have been doing a lot of observations of people’s behavior on dive boats. For the most part, California divers are a very skilled and courteous bunch. On a recent three-day trip we had 32 divers aboard a boat with just two heads and everybody got along just fine and we all had a great […]

Safe Lobster Hunting

Release the hounds! You animals out there are frothing at the mouth to get after the lobster. “Bugs,” as they are called by serious aficionados, attract hunters from all up and down the coast and far inland because of their delicate rich flavor in the firm white meat of their tail. A bit of melted butter and eating is like a heavenly drug. Now I am getting psyched-up! This year hunting will start at a frantic pace on 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, October 2nd and […]

Shark Victory in Hawaii Needs to be Copied Worldwide

Something truly miraculous and revolutionary occurred this May, and for the most part it went by unnoticed. It has been crystal clear for some time that over-fishing has precipitated a sharp decline in marine life. While some legislation to manage sustainable fisheries has been enacted locally and internationally, the management of shark fisheries has been conspicuously neglected. Earlier this year Hawaiian State Senator Clayton Hee introduced and championed Senate Bill 2169 that made it illegal to possess, sell, or barter shark fins in Hawaii. The […]

Orange County Ocean Restoration Project Celebrates Its Successes

Giant kelp forests are one of the most productive ecosystems on the planet. Often referred to as the rainforests of the sea, more than 800 species depend on them and we are one of them. We use products everyday that contain algin, a compound extracted from giant kelp. Over the last 30 years, giant kelp bed densities have been in decline. This is thought to be due to the population explosion in Southern California and an unbalanced food web. According to the California Department of […]

How a Dive Site Can Be Taken Away

Here is how a major dive site can be lost to divers and the public. You may believe your right to access the ocean is guaranteed by the state constitution and the Coastal Act but read on. Most common information about Children’s Pool is wrong. There was no beach until a sea wall was built in 1931, to make a safe place for children to encounter the ocean. The city allowed it to fill with sand over 60 years, and the “pool” is now buried […]

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