ScotSAC News Archive 2011

22 December Scottish Sharks!
Read about the Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network (SSACN) efforts to try and help protect vulnerable shark, skate and ray species in Scotland the December 2011 issue of the SSACN - Scottish Shark Tagging Programme (SSTP) Newsletter.
15 December With immediate effect the Board have approved ScotSAC additional safety recommendations. Use the link to download and read the PDF document.
25 November ScotSAC O2/Heartstart Courses
25 November NAS Intro Courses for 2012
1st Novemebr Membership Fees 2011/12 - New rates from 1st November 2011
25 October Meet our Board and NDC - updated following the AGM.
24 October Underwater Archaeology - New ScotSAC Diving Endorsement and date for next Course
06 October 1st Nitrox Course - 30 October 2011.
12 September ScotSAC NITROX Courses now available!
12 September BSoUP / DIVER Print Competition 2011 - Deadline: Saturday 1st October 2011
12 September Do you fancy a free dive? Are you sick of seeing you favourite dive sites spoiled by harmful marine litter? Would you like to do your bit for the St. Abbs Voluntary Marine Reserve?
11 September sportscotland invite you to nominate your sporting hero.
24 August Suunto/ScotSAC Awards 2011 - call for nominations for this years award.
28 July St. Abbs Splash-In: Call for Entries by St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve
16 July Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network
Sharkatag 2011 - Tope numbers down - no sign of cuckoo, blonde or spotted rays.
25 May MCS Hydroids and Bryozoans ID course at Eyemouth - 10-12 June
10 May Stirling University Branch members in horrific car crash
7 May New St Abbs and Eyemouth Dive Guide out now
6 May NAS Sound of Mull Fieldschool 13 June - 2 July 2011
28 April Eyemouth VMR Seasearch course and dives
22 March Hyperbaric Medicine Divers Survey Summary 2011 Published
21 March Marine Scotland announce 'A Strategy for Marine Nature Conservation in Scotland's Seas'.
15 March Training help needed.
12 March INTO THE DEEP: Photography competition.
4 March URGENT RECALL: Tabata TUSA RS-670 Regulators
2 March NAS Introduction Course in Foreshore and Underwater Archaeology
Saturday 16th April 2011 at Headland Archaeology, Edinburgh
26 February Into the Deep: underwater photography exhibition in Edinburgh
24 February London Dive Show - LIDS - 26/27 March
21 February Instructor Assessment weekend for 12th and 13th March.
31 January Final date for Enhanced Disclosure applications
09 January Coastguard under threat
News archives 2010   2009   2008   2007     2006    2005    2004    2003

ScotSAC O2/Heartstart Courses

25 November 2012 UP

ScotSAC are pleased to announce that we will be able to run O2/Heartstart Corses again in 2012 thanks to the recovery to full and vigorous health of the Course Director, Bert Smith now back in the saddle.

To express an interest on you or your branches behalf please contact hq@scotsac.com.

Once we have enough interest Bert will set dates and venues.

NAS Intro Courses for 2012

25 November 2011 UP

NAS in the poolTwo Scottish dates for the Nautical Archaeology Society’s (NAS) Introduction to Foreshore and Underwater Archaeology have been announced for 2012. The first is being held in Edinburgh on the 21st January and the second is being held in Aberdeen on the 12th February. 

The one day course introduces divers to the basic principals of underwater archaeology, the relevant legislation, and teaches the practical skills required to enable a diver to carry out a basic two dimensional survey of an underwater site. No pervious experience or knowledge of archaeology is required.

Don’t forget that completing the course entitles you to the new ScotSAC endorsement of ‘Underwater Archaeology’. To gain the endorsement you simply send a photocopy of your course record to ScotSAC HQ. Any qualified ScotSAC diver can gain this award and if you have already completed the NAS Introduction course, the endorsement can be gained retrospectively.

Additionally this endorsement, along with NAS Part 1 Course, can be used towards completing the ScotSAC First Class Diver ‘Underwater Archaeology Module’.

To book yourself on to the course, contact Mary Harvey at mary@nauticalarchaeologysociety.org.
And to find out more about this and other courses run by the NAS, check out the NAS course diary and training pages on www.nauticalarchaeologysociety.org

Membership Fees 2011/12 - New rates from 1st November 2011

1 November 2011 UP
Membership Type
Annual Subscription
Ordinary
£50.00
Joint (cost for pair)
£76.00
Junior (14-17 yrs)
£33.50
Associate (non diving)
£30.00
Student*
£37.00
Family**
£93.00
Junior Snorkeler
£10.00
  • In line with the policy approved at the 2009 AGM and subsequently affirmed the Joining Fee has been abolished.
  • **Family membership covers up to 4 people (children up to the age of 18 years only).
  • *Students should enclose a copy of their matriculation card


Underwater Archaeology - New ScotSAC Diving Endorsement

24 October 2011 UP

A new ScotSAC diving endorsement has been introduced which hopes to promote an awareness of maritime heritage and underwater archaeology. It also aims to rewards those ScotSAC members who are prepared to learn new diving skills and widen their knowledge.

The endorsement is titled ‘Underwater Archaeology’ and to gain the endorsement the candidate has to complete the Nautical Archaeology Society’s (NAS) Introduction to Foreshore and Underwater Archaeology one day course. Any qualified ScotSAC diver can gain this award and if you have already completed the NAS Introduction course, the endorsement can be gained retrospectively.

The one day course introduces divers to the basic principals of underwater archaeology, the relevant legislation, and teaches the practical skills required to enable a diver to carry out a basic two dimensional survey of an underwater site. NAS Introduction Courses are held in Edinburgh, Lochaline and at the Scottish Crannog Centre on Loch Tay.

Additionally this endorsement, along with NAS Part 1 Course, can be used towards completing the ScotSAC First Class Diver ‘Underwater Archaeology Module’.

To gain the endorsement, simply send of photocopy of your NAS qualification card showing that you have completed the Introduction Course along with your name, address, and your ScotSAC membership number to ScotSAC HQ in Edinburgh.

Dates and locations for Introduction Courses can be found on the NAS and ScotSAC website. The first course of 2012 is being run in Edinburgh on Saturday 21st January.  Alternatively clubs can organise their own Introduction Courses with assistance of an NAS tutor. For more information on running your own course or to book your place on the January course, contact Mary Harvey at the at the NAS Office on 023 9281 8419 or e-mail mary@nauticalarchaeologysociety.org

For further information on all the NAS courses and project opportunities see www.nauticalarchaeologysociety.org


1st Nitrox Course

06 October 2011 UP

NITROXThe first Nitrox course has been arranged and is going to be on Sunday the 30th of October at ScotSAC HQ.

A deposit of £30 is required to secure a place and there is a maximum of 20 places available.

Cost of the course is £75.00.

Contact the Course Co-ordinator by e-mail at joecampbell@scotsac.com or telephone 07876496493 to reserve a space.

 

ScotSAC NITROX Courses now available!

12 September 2011 UP

NITROXScotSAC are now able to provide Nitrox courses & qualification for its members in both Basic Nitrox Course and Advanced Nitrox Course.

Cost of each course is £75.00.

Initially we intend to run a couple of Basic Nitrox Courses and anyone wishing to attend one of these courses please contact the Course Director Joe Campbell on the following :-

joecampbell@scotsac.com

telephone 07876496493

BSoUP / DIVER Print Competition 2011
Deadline: Saturday 1st October 2011

12 September 2011 UP

Bsoup imageThe annual BSoUP / DIVER Print Competition is scheduled to take place at the DIVE Show organised by DIVER Magazine at the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham over the weekend of 22-23 October 2011.
All underwater photographers are invited to submit prints.
The best 80 will be mounted and displayed at the Show where the public will be invited to vote for their favourites in each of four categories. The overall will be judged by an independent panel.
There is a total of 4 trophies and 10 individual awards.
Oonasdivers have generously donated a holiday at Marsa Shagra to be taken by 23 October 2012, which includes flights, transfers, 7 nights full board in a tent (upgrades available) and 5 days unlimited shore diving for the overall winner.
The winner of the Overseas Print Category will recieve a voucher for £200 to spend at Cameras Underwater.
The winning Advanced Overseas Print will receive the Mike’s Dive Store Overseas Print Trophy and a and a £250 voucher to spend at Mike’s Dive Store. Further prizes will be announced as and when they are confirmed.

The Competition is now open.

For further details please see
BSoUP / DIVER Prints Competition.
Brian Pitkin, 12 Coningsby Road, South Croydon, Surrey CR2 6QP
Tel: 0208 668 8168
British Society of Underwater Photographers
http://www.bsoup.org

Do you fancy a free dive? Are you sick of seeing you favourite dive sites spoiled by harmful marine litter? Would you like to do your bit for the St. Abbs Voluntary Marine Reserve?

12 Septemebr 2011 UP

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above questions then please come and take part in an underwater clean up dive on Wednesday 14th or Thursday 15th September and help to avoid upsetting scenes like in this photo.

The dive is FREE - all you have to do is agree to pick up any litter you find on your dive!!!

The boat will be departing from Eyemouth – ropes off by 6pm on both days.

Divers need to be minimum Sports diver / Advanced Open Water with 20 UK sea dives. We also need surface support so if you would like to take part but don’t have the required qualifications then still get in touch.

Contact me on the details below to take part. Please feel free to email this to anyone you feel might be interested.

Thanks, Georgia (Marine Ranger).

St. Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve
The Rangers' Office
Northfield, St. Abbs, Berwickshire, TD14 5QF

Tel: 018907 71443

Mobile: 07592 341 724

sportscotland invite you to nominate your sporting hero.

11 September 2011 UP

Recognise your sporting heroes by nominating today!

It’s awards season at sportscotland and we are committed to recognising sporting greats across Scotland from inspirational coaches to schools going the distance to develop sporting opportunities for their young people.

There are a number of ways you can nominate:

sportscotland Coaching Awards

The Coaching Awards are designed to recognise and reward special coaches from across the country in six categories.  The winners will receive a cheque for £300 along with a trophy and certificate to mark their achievement.  To see if a coach you know could fit the bill visit www.sportscotland.org.uk/coachingawards to nominate. You can also read about our inspirational winners from last year!  Nominations close on 14 October.

Sunday Mail and sportscotland Scottish Sports Awards

The Sunday Mail and sportscotland Scottish Sports Awards aim to recognise achievement in sport at all levels – from grassroots participation to elite sport.  We support these awards because they celebrate success across the sporting system and offer us an opportunity to promote the power of sport.  The categories span the whole sporting system, from schools and clubs, to managers and events.  You can visit www.sundaymailsportsawards.co.uk to nominate!   Nominations close 23 October.

If you need further information please contact your sportscotland partnership manager or the communications team at communications@sportscotland.org.uk

Many thanks!

Suunto/ScotSAC Awards 2011

24 August 2011 UP
Suunto D6iSuunto logo

Suunto and ScotSAC have teamed up once again to offer this reward and recognition package to our volunteers.

Nomination forms are available here. 

The Suunto ScotSAC Diver Award 2011 is designed to reward an individual’s exceptional contribution to our sport. This contribution could be effort that has encouraged new people to become divers, encouraged existing divers to complete further development training, the organisation of dive expeditions, or some other activity that has raised the profile of diving in a positive way. It may also be an Instructor who has encouraged and developed new divers and delivered training.

There will be 6 prizes of Suunto D6 watch size dive computers with PC interface, and an embroidered SSAC jacket. A prize package worth over £600 each. Judging will be by a panel consisting of the Chairman, National Diving Officer and General Manager of Suunto Diving UK.

If you know of any individual within ScotSAC who has made a significant contribution to the sport, in any way, then now is your chance to nominate them for recognition. All Nominees must hold current membership of the Scottish Sub Aqua Club and may not be current members of the Board or National Diving Council. The closing date for nominations is 31st September 2011 with the winners being announced and prizes presented at the ScotSAC Dive Conference in November 2011.

Nomination forms are available here. 


St. Abbs Splash-In: Call for Entries by St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve

28 July 2011 UP

St Abbs and Eyemouth Volunary Marine ReserveThe St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve (VMR), Northumberland, UK is holding its annual underwater photography competition on 27 and 28 August. Entrants must register in advance by completing the entry form available on the VMR’s website and returning it no later than 1st August. Alternatively registration will be available on the morning of 27 August at The Old School, St Abbs. In either case, there will be only 45 entries allowed.

The competition categories will be: Marine life portrait; reserve atmospheric and the John Goldie most humorous shot. Full details, competition rules and the advance registration form are available as a pdf download.


Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network
Sharkatag 2011 - Tope numbers down - no sign of cuckoo, blonde or spotted rays.

15 July 2011 UP

Are Scottish tope shark stocks in decline and will we ever see any rays again. ?

These are two of the questions facing sea anglers and Scottish fisheries managers following last weeks Sharkatag, as, for the third year in a row, the numbers of tope caught declined and no rays, other than thornbacks, were caught.

Sharkatag, held annually in South West Scotland, is the premier shark tagging event run by the Scottish Shark Tagging Programme (SSTP - www.tagsharks.com) . Last weekend, it once again received terrific support with anglers coming from all over the UK and  fishing from over 50 boats and over 20 kayaks. As ususal, whilst there were many tagging stalwarts at the Event, a good number of newcomers to the sport and Sharkatag were also welcomed.

Image, right is Stuart Cresswell with a rather fine tope.

According to Willie Kennedy of the Events Organising Team :
"On Friday expectation was high, the weather was reasonable, the tides were right but in terms of the number of fish caught, it was quite disappointing; Saturday was equally difficult with the boats fishing off Ardwell having the most success, sadly the strong southerlies on Sunday made the day a washout - the first blown off day in the history of Sharkatag !

But whatever the conditions, it doesn't seem to dampen the spirits as feedback from one of this year's newcomers, Alasdair Fyfe, shows :

. "We had a fantastic time at Sharkatag 3, it was truly a remarkable time. I have to say a big thank you to everyone for all their help and advice during the 3 day event. Weather was not too brilliant but the atmosphere made up for the conditions. We are all looking forward to getting back out next year. Just cant wait. Thanks to you all."

Following an initial analysis of the data, Ian Burrett, the Scottish Sea Angling Conservation Network's (SSACN - www.ssacn.org) Project Director highlighted a major concern :

"Evidence from this and previous years Sharkatags seems to confirm the anecdotal evidence that tope numbers are continuing to fall on an annual basis. We cannot be sure whether this is down to overfishing on their wintering grounds or a change in their Northern migration route due to some factor or another.

"Equally concerning is the data shows thornback ray stocks seem to be improving slightly, but not one cuckoo, blonde or spotted ray has been caught. Twenty years ago these species were abundant in the region - we need more research to find out why these fish are disappearing, but of course, funding is a major problem."

In a recent press release by Cabinet Secretary Lochhead said :

"Protecting vulnerable marine species is crucially important. Some shark, skate and ray populations are critically endangered and already protected from commercial fishing. However, these species need additional protection and so Scotland intends to introduce a new protection order to help stock recovery."

However, thanks to all the volunteers who have put so much effort into tagging over the last 20 years or so, the findings of the Radford economic study and a substantial educational programme, the SSTP has been able to show that the recreational 'shark' fishery contributes around £60 million/yr to the Scottish economy and that anglers can fish for those species without impacting stocks.

Consequently, recreational sea anglers will be able to continue to fish for the various species on a 'catch and release basis'.

The Scottish Shark Tagging Programme - http://www.tagsharks.com 

The primary objectives of the SSTP are to gather data on the shark, skate and ray species found within Scottish coastal waters; increase public awareness of the stock issues, encourage the use of “codes of best practice” and show that properly managed sea angling stocks can provide huge socio economic benefits as well as directly contribute to shark fisheries management

Tagging is a non-destructive method of gathering much needed data regarding species migrations,growth rates, population, stock make-up and fluctuations.

SSACN and the SSTP work in partnership with government agencies, conservation NGOs and academic institutions to provide a focal point for shark research in Scotland.

Scottish Sharks ::

Elasmobranchs (sharks, skates and rays) differ from other fish in the sea by having a skeletal structure made out of cartilage as opposed to bone.

Elasmobranchs range throughout the oceans and can be found in all oceanic and coastal zones. Scotland has over 30 species of sharks, skates and rays recorded in its waters of which 25 are found in coastal waters.

All elasmobranchs share life history characteristics which make them vulnerable to overfishing and means that once depleted, populations take a long time to recover. Sharks are effectively being driven to the brink of extinction, they are more vulnerable to overfishing because they are slow growing, late to reach maturity and typically have low fecundity, thus the number of individual fish recruited into a population on an annual basis is low.


MCS Hydroids and Bryozoans ID course at Eyemouth - 10-12 June

25 May 2011 UP

www.seasearchne.co.uk

Carrie Pillow – Seasearch NE Regional Coordinator    carrie@seasearchne.org.uk

Hydroids and Bryozoans ID

with Joanne Porter

10-12th June

 

 Fri Eve    - Theory an introduction @ Marine Quest  
We plan to start at 6.30pm – 9.00pm  - Cold buffet included  

 Sat Morn – Theory @ Marine Quest  

 Sat Aft    - 2 Boat Dives to collect samples with Marine Quest

                   This gives the opportunity to have forms signed by a tutor

  Remember to bring a USB PEN

 Sun Morn - Microscope Workshop  

 Sun Aft   - Theory conclusions  

Course Cost including Diving - £85.00

Accommodation Extra

In order to run this course we will be using the Harbour side accommodation. (Group Rooms)

Fri & Sat Nights = B&B accommodation = £32.50 per night

Places Limited to 12 Divers – Places Booking Fast

 

Contact - Carrie Pillow


Stirling University Branch members in horrific car crash

10 May 2011 UP

Three members of Stirling University Branch were involved in a bad car crash last Sunday 8 May, on the way back from a dive at St. Catherines on Loch Fyne. 
Dorothy (Dot) Kisielsewski (the BDO), Hayden Christie and Frazer McFadyen all sustained serious injuries in the head-on smash.  It was so bad that Dot had to be cut free from the car and was helicoptered to hospital in Paisley (she is now, remarkably, recovering at home). 
Some of the injuries were apparently the result of cylinders coming through from the boot of the car, cannoning into the passengers.

We all wish Dot, Hayden and Frazer a speedy recovery from a crash that could so easily have been fatal.


New St Abbs and Eyemouth Dive Guide out now

7 May 2011 UP

Wolfish by Jim GreenfieldA new dive guide covering the coastal waters off St Abbs and Eyemouth has been produced by the St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve.

Some divers may remember ‘The Grey Dive Guide’ which was first published in the 1980s by Carol Warman and the Berwickshire Divers club which at the time was considered to be an invaluable tool for exploring the marine reserve. ‘A Guide to Diving the St Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve’ captures the information contained within the Grey Dive Guide and updates it for modern usage. The guide is also illustrated with stunning photographs of local marine life and scenery which were donated by a number of talented underwater photographers.
The new dive guide is a 32 page A5 booklet printed in full colour throughout. It describes 18 dives within the marine reserve and has maps of all the locations. In addition the guide contains useful information about the local area including background information about the Voluntary Marine Reserve; a description of the habitats and marine life divers might expect to encounter in the coastal waters off St Abbs and Eyemouth; details on how divers can help protect marine life and get involved in the work of the Voluntary Marine Reserve and practical information such as what local diving services are on offer and useful websites to help you plan your trip.

The guide contains a large amount of information in a compact size: it will fit into most divers log books making it the ideal companion on your next visit to the Voluntary Marine Reserve, whether you are just visiting for the day or planning a longer trip.

The guide is on sale for £7 directly from the Marine Ranger or local establishments. To order your copy by post please send a cheque for £7 (+ £1.50 postage and packaging) made payable to ‘St Abbs and Eyemouth VMR’ to The Marine Ranger, Rangers Office, Northfield, St Abbs, TD14 5QF.

Image copyright Jim Greenfield.

NAS Sound of Mull Fieldschool 13 June - 2 July 2011

6 May 2011 UP
NAS Fieldschool

Eyemouth VMR Seasearch course and dives

28 April 2011 UP

Hi all,

No doubt by now many of you will have dusted off your dive gear and taken those first few tentative dives of the season to get back into the swing of things. I’ve been busy here at the St Abbs and Eyemouth VMR organising some Seasearching activities for you to get involved in. As well as another Seasearch Observer course for new comers I have added some specific Seasearch diving dates to the programme this year.

If you’re keen to learn more about what you see underwater and want to help to protect it then now’s the time to take part in Seasearch! Further information on all the courses and dives is below.

If you’d like to book on the course or dives please contact me.

If you’ve any questions don’t hesitate to contact me. Please feel free to pass this information on to anyone you think may be interested, and bear in mind that you don’t need to be a diver to sign up for the Observer course. I look forward to seeing you all soon.

Observer Course

Saturday 25th June 2011. £35 (includes course pack). Location: St Abbs (venue TBC).

This is a one-day classroom-based course designed to enable you to do Seasearch recording to Observer level. It is not a marine life identification course, but provides an excellent introduction to Scottish and UK marine life and habitats, what to expect to live where and why. It will help you get more out of every dive by opening your eyes to the life in our seas.

Areas covered include the aims of Seasearch, an introduction to marine life and habitats in the UK, classifying marine species and habitats, position fixing and how to complete a Seasearch Observation Form.  The day includes a ‘virtual' dive so you can practice filling in the forms without getting wet! This course is the first step in qualifying as a Seasearch Observer - once you've attended it and had five Observer Forms from actual dives endorsed by a tutor you can get signed up as a qualified Seasearch Observer. There is an opportunity to attend two dives on the following day to begin this process (see below).

 Dive Schedule 2011

Seasearch dives are a great way to dive with likeminded people and an opportunity for you to get qualifying Observer forms signed off. To take part in Seasearch dives you should have completed the Seasearch Observer course and will need to be BS-AC Sport Diver or equivalent with 20 dives, 10 of which being in temperate waters.

Each diving day includes two dives from a hard boat. The cost of the 2 dives is £30 and does not include lunch or air fills. Diving will of course be weather dependant.

Dive sites for each date have not yet been finalised as this will depend on sea conditions however I am keen to visit some less-dived reefs to the north and south of the VMR’s boundaries. There have also been a number of unconfirmed sightings of jewel anemones at a couple of sites which I would like to visit and see if we can confirm their presence in the VMR.

Sunday 5th June – 2 boat dives departing St Abbs harbour 10:30am 

Sunday 26th June – 2 boat dives (priority for those on Seasearch Observer course) departing St Abbs harbour 10:30am

Saturday 6 August – 2 boat dives departing St Abbs harbour 9:00am

Sunday 11 September – 2 boat dives departing St Abbs harbour 10:30am

Happy diving!

Georgia Conolly
Marine Ranger / Naturalist
St. Abbs and Eyemouth Voluntary Marine Reserve
The Rangers' Office
Northfield St. Abbs Berwickshire
TD14 5QF
Tel: 018907 71443
Mobile: 07592 341 724

E-mail: gconolly@nts.org.uk


Hyperbaric Medicine Divers Survey Summary 2011 Published

22 March 2011 UP

NHS National Services Scotland have published the summary of their Review of Hyperbaric Medicine Service Provision for 2010 - 2011.

Read the review here.


Marine Scotland announce 'A Strategy for Marine Nature Conservation in Scotland's Seas'.

21 March 2011 UP
Marine Scotland consulted stakeholders on its draft marine nature conservation strategy in March 2010 and has been revising the strategy to take account of the very helpful comments received. The final version of the strategy, which outlines Marine Scotland's aims and objectives for protecting and enhancing Scotland's marine biodiversity, was recently approved by Richard Lochhead MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment. A Strategy for Marine Nature Conservation in Scotland's Seas can be found at www.scotland.gov.uk/marinescotland/mncstrategy.

Training help needed.

15 March 2011 UP

Napier University is having a training weekend at Oban on the weekend of 19th-20th March. 

Also Stirling University is having two training weekends at Oban on 26th -28th March and 1st - 3rd April. 

Any Regional Instructors that can spare a bit of time to help on any of these dates would be most welcome.

Contact NDC Member - Dorothy Kisielewski if you are available.


INTO THE DEEP: Photography competition

12 March 2011 UP

The Edinburgh International Science Festival announce:-

"Been inspired by the spectacular images of marine wildlife on display at Into the Deep? Why not submit your own marine photograph to our competition for the chance to win some great prizes?

Into the Deep features marine wildlife from Scotland and beyond, taken by some of the world's finest nature photographers. We've teamed up with Marine Scotland, Scotland's lead marine management organisation, to offer our winners some fantastic prizes.

Entries will be divided into two categories - photographs from Scotland and photographs from the rest of the world. The winner of each category will receive:

A place on the Edinburgh Zoo Photography Workshop (ages 9-15 or 16+ as appropriate), held during the Science Festival. The workshop allows you to capture amazing images from the zoo with the help of expert advisers.

A fantastic Steve Bloom photography book.

We'll be posting all the entries on Facebook so it will be up to the public to pick a winner!

Visit the web page and vote for your favourite by clicking on the "like" button. The competition will run until 5pm on Friday 1 April, when the most popular image from each category will be declared the winner.

For more details about Edinburgh Zoo's Photography Workshops and other events at the Zoo during the Science Festival, please click here.

How to Enter

To enter, submit your photograph by email to marketing@scifest.co.uk with 'Into the Deep Competition Entry' in the subject line. Please include your name, the name of the species you have photographed and details of where the picture was taken."

The Terms and Conditions and more information.


URGENT RECALL: Tabata TUSA RS-670 Regulators

3 March UP

Tabata TUSA RS-670 Regulator

Tabata has announced a recall of defective regulators manufactured in Japan. The first stage balance chamber plug can loosen from the scuba regulator causing a high-pressure leak and creating unstable pressure, which poses a drowning hazard to divers.

There have been no injuries or fatalities associated with the defective Tabata scuba diving equipment.

The recall affects the TUSA R-600 first stage scuba regulators with the following serial numbers:

  • UR600022 through UR600029,
  • UR600031 through UR600103,
  • UR6000637 through UR6000676,
  • UR600708 through UR600716,
  • UR600737 through UR600776

Owners of defective TUSA regulators affected by the recall should stop using the equipment IMMEDIATELY and return the product to TUSA or an authorized dealer for free inspection and replacement.

NAS Introduction Course in Foreshore and Underwater Archaeology
Saturday 16th April 2011 at Headland Archaeology, Edinburgh

3 March UP
The Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) is holding a one day introduction to underwater archaeology course on Saturday 16th April in Edinburgh. All welcome and no previous experience in archaeology needed. The course offers a mixture of theory and practical sessions and covers such topics as 'What is Archaeology', 'Archaeological Dating Methods' and survey techniques.

Hands on survey tasks will teach you some 2D survey methods on dry land before you have the chance to practice them underwater and really test your skills! The course costs just £55.

If you would like any further information this course or if you would be interested in booking a place, please contact Mary at the NAS on mary@nauticalarchaeologysociety.org or give us a call at the office on 02392 818 419.
NAS Course in the classroom NAS course in the pool

Into the Deep: underwater photography exhibition in Edinburgh

26 February UP
Into the DeepThe rich variety of life to be found in the world's oceans is being celebrated in a new exhibition presented by Steve Bloom Images and the Edinburgh International Science Festival in Edinburgh. Into the Deep features 60 giant photographs by 10 renowned photographers and 80 not so giant photographs of Scottish marine life by renowned local photographers.
The images start at the surface of the ocean and travel downwards - capturing life beneath the waves.
Into The Deep is a free outdoor exhibition open to the public between 8am-6pm, at St Andrews Square, Edinburgh from 25 February -1 May.

London Dive Show

24 February UP

The London Dive Show - LIDS - is taking place over the weekend of the 26/27 March.
The 10th anniversary event is being held in the new ExCeL London located 10 minutes from Canary Wharf, in the heart of London's Royal Docks.

For more information or to book tickets on-line then go here.


Training and Instructor Assessments 12th and 13th March

21 February UP
There is to be an Instructor Development Event on the weekend of 12th and 13th March at the Tea Rooms on Loch Fyne.  This is to facilitate the Open Water assessments of aspiring BIs and RIs.  This is NOT a Sport Diver or Master Diver training event.  All BI candidates should be accompanied by their DO/RC and (a) trainee(s) from their own Branch; RI candidates will be provided with trainees.  Contact National Coach, Graeme Forsyth, on 07798631275 for further details.

Final date for Enhanced Disclosure applications - 11th Feb 2011

Updated
31 January
UP
Final date for Enhanced Disclosure applications
Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme goes live
 
The Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme goes live on 28th February 2011.
The last date CRBS will accept Enhanced Disclosure applications is 11th February.
 
Will any trainee instructors still intending to submit an application please immediately contact Marion Brown, CPO ScotSAC.
 
Contact details: email   rivervale_mdb@hotmail.com         or text        07798865121

Coastguard station under threat

Updated
9 January
UP

Dear User of the Scottish Coast,

As you are part of an organisation that has close ties with the coast and sea we are requesting that you take a few minutes to read this note.

You may have seen or heard in the local and national media that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency’s management and UK Government are proposing to restructure HM Coastguard from its current structure of nineteen stations, to three 24 hours stations and five day stations. If these proposals go ahead it will impact on your local station, Stornoway MRCC (Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre), which will either be closed or become a Day Station with a staff level of less than half the present number and an as yet undisclosed role.

In 2009 (a typical year) Stornoway Coastguard co-ordinated the rescue of 684 people across our district, which stretches across the west coast of Scotland from Ardnamurchan Point northwards and out into the mid-Atlantic.

We are asking for your support to ensure that those who live, work and play on or around the seas and diverse, beautiful and often hostile coastline of our area, continue to be served by a local Coastguard Station that has an intimate knowledge of our unique environment and society.

For more information on this issue, please visit our web site at www.stornowaycg.co.uk. There you will find links to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency web site where you can download a copy of the consultation document containing full details of Management’s proposal.

Most importantly please respond to the consultation document (instructions are on the MCA web site). If you require advice or assistance in filling in the response form, would like it in paper copy, or have any queries on the technical matters within it, please call us on 01851 702013 / 702014 (24 hours) or e-mail us at: savestornowaycoastguard@gmail.com

Thank you for your support, Stornoway Coastguard