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Asia Pacific Dive and Marine Ecology
News and Articles 2005 archive

Paradise regained as Koh Phi Phi bounces back
Even as the mourners were placing flowers on the beach in memory of loved ones lost in the tsunami, Koh Phi Phi was welcoming fresh boatloads of its lifeblood - tourists and beer. (Dec 30, 05)

Japanese fleet suspends whaling, Greenpeace says
Greenpeace says a Japanese fishing fleet in the Southern Ocean has abandoned its whaling activities for the time being, while it tries to shake off the environmental group's tagging ships. (Dec 30, 05)

Asian adventurer breaks Guinness World Record for scuba dive
Singapore adventurer Khoo Swee Chiow broke the Guinness World Record for the longest scuba dive on Sunday 25th by staying underwater for 220 hours, Channel NewsAsia reported Sunday night. (Dec 26, 05)

Green coast project aims to restore coastal areas in Asia
Four international organizations, including WWF, have given the green light to a natural restoration project of the coastal areas in Asia. (Dec 21, 05)

Asian diving fishermen suffer for their living
They may have moved on from hosepipe air supply to proper scuba gear, but diving fishermen in Southeast Asia still suffer decompression illness, having missed out on dive theory training. (Dec 21, 05)

China blamed for Japan's giant jellyfish invasion
Japanese government-backed scholars have said an unusually large drift of jellyfish that has hurt Japan's ocean fishing industry this year may come from the mouth of the Yangtze River and other Chinese waters. (Dec 20, 05)

Dive tourism development a growing concern for Koh Tao
Thailand - While Koh Samui is well-paved and packed with five-star resorts, and Koh Phangan turns into an international frat party during its full-moon festivities, neighboring Koh Tao is still hanging on to its place slightly off the map but barely. (Dec 19, 05)

Shocked scientists find dead zone at tsunami quake epicenter
A "DEAD zone" devoid of life has been discovered at the epicenter of last year's tsunami four kilometres beneath the surface of the Indian Ocean. Scientists taking part in a worldwide marine survey made an 11-hour dive at the site five months after the disaster. (Dec 14, 05)

Tagged Whale Shark likely caught, eaten in Indonesia
A whale shark tagged with a tracking device off northwest Western Australia is believed to have been caught and eaten in Indonesia. (Dec 9, 05)

Giant jellies attack Japan
Japanese fishermen report encountering an increasing number of "sea monsters" - 6-foot-wide, 450-pound poisonous jellyfish. They are called echizen kurage and they sound like monsters from the trashier reaches of Japanese science fiction. (Dec 9, 05)

Singaporean adventurer attempts record for longest scuba dive
Just a few months after attempting to swim across the English Channel, local adventurer Khoo Swee Chiow is set to make headlines again with a record breaking attept at the longest scuba dive. (Dec 8, 05)

Thai Gulf oil clean up raises new environmental concerns
Marine scientists warned of long term damage to coral reefs and marine life after Thai Oil and state agencies dumped huge amounts of chemicals into the sea to disperse a crude oil spill off Sri Racha. (Dec 7, 05)

Shark Fin Traders protest at Hong Kong University
Dozens of merchants and businessmen marched onto the campus of Hong Kong's oldest university Friday with the aim of teaching vice chancellor Tsui Lap-chee and his students a thing or two about ecology and conservation. (Dec 5, 05)

Siam Ocean World to open this week
Construction of Bangkok's first aquarium, Siam Ocean World, which is the largest aquarium in Southeast Asia, is expected to be completed by the middle of November and ready for opening on December 9, 2005. (Dec 5, 05)

Japan's 'secret' dolphin slaughter defies protests
Japan's annual slaughter of thousands of dolphins began on Oct. 8th in the traditional whaling town of Taiji on the Kii Peninsula of Honshu's Wakayama Prefecture. Resulting protests went almost entirely unreported in Japan, where only very few people are aware of what goes on. (Nov 30, 05)

Myanmar's underwater wonderland
Much of the natural beauty of Southeast Asia has ironically been destroyed by the development and tourism it has attracted. Yet for divers and other enthusiasts of unspoiled nature, Myanmar 's Mergui Archipelago is a paradise left over from an earlier age. Martin J. Young (Nov 29, 05)

Acehnese trawlers seized in Thai waters
The Thai Navy seized four trawlers and arrested 22 Acehnese men on board for fishing in Thai waters off the coast of Satun yesterday. (Nov 29, 05)

Divers adrift overnight rescued by Philippine fishermen
Three German divers spent the night at sea before they were rescued off the island of Limasawa, Southern Leyte in the Philippines. (Nov 28, 05)

Maldives to attempt a world dive record
Maldives Tourism Promotion Board together with Dhiraagu Maldives is to attempt a new world record for greatest number of scuba divers simultaneously diving on a single site. (Nov 28, 05)

Malaysian reef balls to restore corals
About 200 reef balls weighing a total of 540 tonnes were planted at the Mid Reef area off Manukan Island, to restore coral reefs wrecked by the Greg Storm about eight years ago, last week. (Nov 27, 05)

New center to promote scuba diving in Brunei
Brunei now has a world-class international diving centre at the Empire Hotel and Country Club. With support from the Brunei Tourism Department, Brunei waters are opening to divers interested to experience one of the top diving destinations in Southeast Asia. (Nov 23, 05)

Oil spill in the Gulf of Thailand threatens beaches
More than 300,000 litres of crude oil was spilled into the sea just three nautical miles off Sri Racha district on the 19th, sparking fears of environmental damage. (Nov 21, 05)

Pattaya's artificial reef, phase 2 underway
Pattaya - Phase two of the artificial reef project got underway on November 10 with the dumping of more concrete pipes on the seabed off Jomtien Beach on the Gulf of Thailand. (Nov 20, 05)

Micronesian jellyfish signal weather changes ahead
When jellyfish vanish, it's usually cause for celebration. But their disappearance from Jellyfish Lake in Palau, Micronesia, could act as an early warning of severe weather events caused by El Niño and La Niña. (Nov 18, 05)

Sea wall in Southern Thailand threatens turtles
As workers finish the final touches on a huge sea wall on a beach resort in Phangnga, fears are growing that sea turtles would be beaching there for the last time. This month mother turtles, including leatherbacks, will begin laying eggs on Thai Muang beach until February. (Nov 15, 05)

Reports says 95% of Philippines' reefs ruined
Philippine coral reefs, renowned for being home to amazing marine resources, are in terrible condition, according to the world's biggest reef conservation organization. (Nov 15, 05)

Japanese Whale Kill Could Reach 900
A fleet of six ships left Japan last week bound for Australian waters with the Federal Government powerless to stop their intended slaughter of more than 900 whales. (Nov 14, 05)

Tourism and diving in Thailand on the road to recovery
Ten months after the tsunami sent holidaymakers fleeing, Thailand is gearing up for its peak tourist season which promises to restore the industry's fortunes, even in the shadow of bird flu. (Nov 11, 05)

Greenpeace fined for Philippine coral reef damage
Environmental group Greenpeace has been fined almost $7,000 for damaging a coral reef at a World Heritage site in the Philippines. Their flagship Rainbow Warrior II ran aground at Tubbataha Reef Marine Park, in the Sulu Sea, 650km south-east of Manila. (Nov 8, 05)

WWF Report: Tri-national commitment in Pacific raises hope for leatherback conservation
At a recent Pacific Islands Forum meeting, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands committed to developing a tri-national partnership focused on conserving the critically endangered western Pacific leatherback turtle within the Bismarck-Solomon Seas Ecoregion. (Nov 4, 05)

WWF Report: New species found in Fiji's Great Sea Reef
The first ever comprehensive survey of Fiji's largely uncharted Great Sea Reef, the world's third longest barrier reef, has revealed a staggering array of life, including a new species of reef fish. (Nov 3, 05)

Divers find treasure from the depths of the Java Sea
In a nondescript warehouse in Jakarta, treasure-hunter Luc Heymans dips into plastic boxes and pulls out jewels and ornaments that lay hidden at the bottom of the Java Sea for 1,000 years. (Oct 31, 05)

Con Dao island hopes to become economic tourism zone
Vietnam - The Prime Minister has approved southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau province's plan to turn Con Dao island, once a notorious prison for opponents of French colonialism and the US-backed Saigon regime in the south of Viet Nam, into an economic-tourist-service zone by 2020. (Oct 27, 05)

Great white shark found floating in Japanese canal
A 4.8 meter long great white shark was found floating in a canal in Kawasaki on Wednesday 26th, local government and police officials said. (Oct 27, 05)

Marine conservation organizations to assess Indonesian reefs
Three leading marine conservation organizations will complete an extensive survey next week along the west coast of Aceh Province, Indonesia, to determine the impact of last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami on the region's coral reefs. (Oct 25, 05)

Indonesian divers discover hijacked tin shipment
Indonesian navy divers have discovered a shipload of refined tin worth $4.7 million that was hijacked by pirates late last month, and the owner - PT Koba Tin - is salvaging the cargo, officials said on Thursday 20th. (Oct 21, 05)

Tsunami anniversary project announced
Bangkok - Six major activities would commemorate the first anniversary of the Dec 26 tsunami disaster under a project planned by the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry. Project ''Clear-sky Andaman - Care for the Environment''. (Oct 20, 05)

Indonesian boat carrying shark fins seized by Australia
Illegal fishermen used burning poles and machetes to try to avoid capture by the Australian navy after their boat was intercepted in Australian waters, Justice Minister Chris Ellison said on Wednesday 18th. (Oct 19, 05)

Japan to double whale catch
Japan announced this week at the International Whaling Commission in the city of Ulsan, South Korea, that it will more than double its annual whale catch for scientific purposes in what critics say may turn the tide against decades of protecting the sea mammals. (Oct 18, 05)

Dead Manatee washes up near Pattaya
Pattaya, Thailand - A local resident, out walking on a beach near Pattaya, immediately called the Rojana Thammasatan Foundation when he saw a dead manatee laying at the water's edge. Foundation personnel said that it hadn't been dead for very long. (Oct 17, 05)

Aquariums make a splash in Southeast Asia
The notion that aquariums should be purely educational, aimed at teaching hordes of school children about the wonders of marine life, is passe. Nowadays, aquariums are big business, modern technology has spawned a raft of bigger and better aquariums that hooked an awestruck public and are reeling in huge revenues. (Oct 13, 05)

Indonesia to create tsunami warning system
Indonesia will establish a tsunami warning system in its most earthquake-prone region by the end of 2005, a government scientist said on Thursday 6th. The system, developed by German and Indonesian researchers, involves sensors on the ocean floor and buoys on the surface of the sea that transmit earthquake and tsunami activity to observation stations on the coast via satellite. (Oct 7, 05)

WWF: Protecting the turtles of the Turtle Islands
Manila - A fragile population of marine turtles on remote islands in Southeast Asia are being threatened by unsustainable commercial practices and a weak management system, according to a case study published by WWF-Philippines. (Oct 6, 05)

New bombings, major blow to Bali tourism
JAKARTA - With tourism and the scuba diving industry in Bali still not fully recovered from the October 12, 2002 bombs, the Saturday attacks have made business people increasingly gloomy about the island's future. (Oct 4, 05)

Malay official wants shark fin soup banned at government functions
National conservation trust, WWF-Malaysia, is throwing its weight behind Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, Datuk Karim Bujang, who suggested banning shark fin soup from being served at government functions. (Sep 30, 05)

Giant squid finally captured on camera
A giant squid, the elusive leviathan that inspired Jules Verne, has been observed alive for the first time, scientists reported on Tuesday 27th. The creature, which is as long as a public bus from tentacle tip to tail, has been filmed by Japanese researchers using a baited underwater camera, shedding new light on the lifestyle of one of nature's most enigmatic living wonders. (Sep 29, 05)

Diver sues Chinese aquarium after shark bites his ear
A 24 year old man is suing Changfeng Park after a shark in its aquarium bit his ear and head while he was scuba diving. He claimed the sharks were being fed at the time of the attack. (Sep 23, 05)

Fiji's damaged coral reefs cannot wait for inept politicians
An environmental group has criticised the Fiji government for its inaction over shipwrecks scattered throughout Fiji's waters. The Mamanuca Environment Society claims that despite developing Fiji's environment into a drawcard for its multi-million dollar tourism industry, government has done little to see that it is protected. (Sep 20, 05)

Crabs grab government attention
NEW DELHI - Scientists at the National Institute of Oceanography have found that a compound derived from the blood of a horseshoe crab acts as a diagnostic reagent for bacteria which causes diseases like typhoid and meningitis. (Sep 19, 05)

Asia Dive Expo returns to Singapore in 2006
Asia's Dive Expo event will open its doors from April 21 - 23 2006 at Suntec Singapore. Asia Dive Expo is Asia's largest and longest running exhibition for the dive industry and related businesses. ADEX brings 11 years of successful marketing for businesses that want to talk to the buyers and consumers that count. (Sep 19, 05)

French Polynesia declares Bora Bora a disaster area
The French Polynesia government's Council of Ministers will declare "a state of natural disaster" for islands and atolls damaged by last weekend's powerful swells, President Oscar Temaru said after having visited the Leeward Islands of Bora Bora and Raiatea. (Sep 16, 05)

Aid rush in tsunami region raises fishery risks
A rush to provide boats to fishermen in regions devastated by Asia's tsunami has raised the danger of unsafe vessels and overfishing in the region, a U.N. agency warned on Wednesday 14th. (Sep 15, 05)

Southeast Asia's longest underwater marine attraction pulls crowds
Kuala Lumpur - The Malaysian softshell turtle, which weighs 130kg and is a bit more that a metre wide, rests on an artificial seabed, oblivious to the excited screams of thousands of children on the other side of a giant fibreglass tank that is south-east Asia's longest underwater marine attraction. (Sep 14, 05)

Philippine coral reef picked for research
Boliano, Philippines - The Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the World Bank have chosen this coastal town as one of four areas in the world for coral reef research. (Sep 14, 05)

School in Japan serves whale curry
A public junior high school in Japan's northern port town of Kushiro had a new item on the menu for its students on Monday 12th - rice topped with whale curry. The meat is from minke whales the local whalers had caught just off the coast of Kushiro on Japan's northernmost island of Hokkaido, Kyodo News agency reported. (Sep 13, 05)

Divers discover 19th century Spanish gunboat off Caramoan
Caramoan, Philippines - A 19th century Spanish gunboat wreck was discovered last week off the coast of this town when a team of divers assessing the coastal environment here accidentally stumbled on it. (Sep 7, 05)

Netted shark kills fisherman on Thai boat
Rayong - A two-metre long shark bit to death a Cambodian crewman while he attempted to untangle a Thai trawler's drag net on deck, media reports said on Sunday 4th. (Sep 6, 05)

India's Gulf of Mannar under threat
Will the Gulf of Mannar, the 'Paradise of Biologists', be lost or saved due to indiscriminate fishing? This is the question often posed by environmentalists. Hope has emerged in the form of Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve Trust, which has launched a conservation programme by creating awareness among the people residing along coastal areas. (Aug 31, 05)

Coral reefs escaped damage from Asian tsunami
Almost 90% of coral reefs hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami escaped severe damage, according to research. A study of 175 sites along 435 miles of Thailand's west coast found 60% of reef suffered little or no damage. (Aug 30, 05)

Thai seabed sculptures to draw divers
ANDAMAN COAST - The Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) plans to install novel underwater attractions off the six Andaman provinces on the coast of Thailand that were affected by the tsunami. (Aug 30, 05)

Leading dive companies target China market
Leaders in dive industries Bare Wetsuits, Beuchat, Divers Alert Network, Mares, NAUI, PADI, Suunto, lead the charge into the China market with their participation in China Dive Expo. The first-ever international dive exhibition for the trade and public will be held on 23-25 September in Shanghai, China. (Aug 26, 05)

Marianas Visitors Authority pushes for new diving regulation
Amid recent tragedies in the sea involving tourists doing marine sports, the Marianas Visitors Authority is pushing for the adoption of rules and regulations regarding the marine industry. (Aug 24, 05)

Thailand reef restoration project update
The Reef Ball Foundation aided in the post tsunami coral reef restoration by introducing 5 artificial reefs comprised of over 250 designed coral seeded artificial reef modules, called "Reef Balls" to Butok Bay, off Racha Island in Phuket, Thailand. (Aug 23, 05)

Reefs changing colour in the Andaman Sea
The phenomenon of coral bleaching is emerging as the leading threat to coral reefs in the Andaman Sea, just as they recovered from the effects of last December's tsunami, marine biologists warned last week. (Aug 22, 05)

Phuket and the Indian connection
The ink has barely dried on the twinning agreement signed between the local administrations of Phuket and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India. And serious questions are beginning to be asked on the motives behind the agreement and its likely adverse impact on the fragile ecology of the Andaman islands. (Aug 18, 05)

U.S., Sri Lankan researchers find coral reefs protected towns from waves
Illegal coral mining off the southwest coast of Sri Lanka allowed far more onshore destruction from the December 26, 2004, tsunami than occurred in nearby areas whose coral reefs were intact, according to an August 15 press release form the American Geophysical Union. (Aug 18, 05)

Scuba diving paradise on Vietnam's central coast
Van Phong Bay is a place of superlatives. A report of the Vietnam Maritime Department shows that Van Phong is one of the world's deepest bays. United Nations tourism experts have also recognised it as one of Asia's most perfect sites for eco-tourism, and the bay has been rated as an ideal place for scuba diving. (Aug 17, 05)

Philippine scuba looter drowns in Subic Bay
A Filipino diver looter drowned in Subic Bay near a former US navy base north of Manila while stealing valuable artifacts from the sunken warships in the area, the authority of the bay area reported on Thursday 11th. (Aug 12, 05)

New ferry route opens up south Thailand dive sites
The honeymoon paradise island of Langkawi in Malaysia, recognized by travel insiders as one of the world's great nature destinations, can now offer visitors year-round access to 50 additional islands in Thailand's Tarutao National Park. (Aug 10, 05)

U.S. mining giant continues waste dumping in Indonesian waters
BATU HIJAU MINE, Indonesia - An environmental pointman for U.S. mining giant Newmont looks out onto a sparkling sea where the company dumps more than 50 million metric tons of waste each year - and wonders what the fuss is about. (Aug 8, 05)

Commentary: Diving for sunken warships in Truk Lagoon
TRUK LAGOON - Bubbles from my regulator dislodge rust flakes and silt from the corroded pipes above my head. The blue water becomes a brown snowstorm. I move slowly, trying not to kick up more sediment with my fin strokes, as I hover over a row of tree-trunk-sized engine cylinders... (Aug 5, 05)

Commentary: Tourists rediscover beautiful Maldives
It's safe to say that unless you are a diver, the Maldives didn't cross your mind, at least until Dec. 26, when the little nation of about 1,200 islands was smacked by the tsunami that ran over parts of southeast Asia. (Aug 5, 05)

Andamans 'Phuket' plan sparks row
Leading Indian environmentalists have opposed a plan to bring in tourists to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands from the Thai resort of Phuket. They say that Thailand's tourism model will be disastrous for the Andamans and have asked for its environment and indigenous population to be protected. (Aug 5, 05)

Shark fin stays on official menus in Hong Kong
BEIJING - The Hong Kong government has refused requests from environmentalists to follow Disneyland's example by taking shark's fin soup off the official banquet menu for visiting dignitaries. (Aug 3, 05)

Australian Navy's last steamship finds new life as reef
An Australian former war ship has been scuttled to create a new reef for dive tourism, 38 years after the 4000-tonne destroyer was commissioned - it was resting on the seabed, 28m below the surface. (Aug 3, 05)

Gentle giants swimming into danger
Scientists monitoring the movement of whale sharks from Western Australia's Ningaloo reef say the giant fish often swim into areas where they are in danger of being slaughtered for their fins. One of the sharks has already reached Jakarta while others have headed off into the Indian Ocean. (Aug 3, 05)

Malaysian turtles are bidding goodbye
TERENGGANU - Despite conservation efforts, Leatherback turtles, which have witnessed the fall of the dinosaurs and the rise of humanity, have not returned to traditional nesting sites in Malaysia. The same appears to be happening to Olive Ridley and Hawksbill turtles. (Aug 3, 05)

Giant sperm whale saved by Philippine fishermen
Fishermen rescued a seven-metre sperm whale off the central Philippine island of Bohol after finding the giant mammal drifting with several bullet wounds, a press report said on Monday 1st. (Aug 2, 05)

Earth's last paradise to be newest nation
Tokelau, a group of microdot coral islets in the middle of the South Pacific that calls itself the last paradise on earth, is poised to cast off historic, colonial shackles and become the world's newest country. (Aug 2, 05)

Bangkok aquarium to be region's biggest
The $24m USD Siam Ocean World will open as planned in early November and is expected to be a major tourist draw at the Siam Paragon luxury shopping centre in central Bangkok. The venture hopes to attract 1.5 million visitors, 20% of them foreign tourists, in its first year of operation. (July 29, 05)

Thailand lifts tsunami alert despite large quake
A strong earthquake of magnitude 7.2 hit India's Andaman and southern Nicobar Islands late Sunday 24th, triggering panic in the islands and a tsunami warning in Thailand, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage. (July 25, 05)

'Farmed' sea creatures to boost Asia's wild stocks
Fisheries specialists representing seven South-East Asian nations agreed last week to intensify and better coordinate efforts to enhance stocks of rare marine life by releasing animals reared in captivity into the sea. The scientists and senior officials from government fisheries departments issued a resolution outlining their consensus on 15 July at a meeting in Iloilo City, the Philippines. (July 21, 05)

Rare Cambodian turtle saved from soup by microchip
An extremely rare Cambodian "royal" turtle has been rescued from a Chinese soup pot by a microchip implanted in its leg, officials said on Thursday 21st. The interception of the animal in Vietnam on its way to China was hailed by international conservation experts as a major success in the war against smugglers of rare wildlife in Asia, whose prey often end up on Chinese menus or in traditional medicine. (July 21, 05)

Scuba instructor and tourist diver drown diving in Saipan
Saipan - Police believe that the diving student who drowned at the Grotto, a popular cavern dive site on Saturday 16th got low on air while she was several meters underwater, causing her to panic and to attempt ascending fast to the surface. (July 21, 05)

Cousteau : Japan lying about whaling
OCEANOGRAPHER Jean-Michel Cousteau has accused Japan of lying, using scientific whaling as a cover for commercial takes of the marine mammals. The son of the late diving pioneer Jacques Cousteau also believes Blue Whale, the largest species on earth listed as endangered by Australia, is being sold in Japanese fish markets. (July 20, 05)

Japanese students saving 'Nemo'
Tokyo - Finding Nemo is easier said than done in Japan after the clown fish became popular with the release of the hit film and was over-fished, but university students are saving Nemo by successfully farming the salt water fish, reported Kyodo news agency. (July 15, 05)

Wrangle over US wreck
Since the discovery in May of the World War II wreck of the USS Lagarto, a 1,500 ton Balao class submarine, in the Gulf of Thailand, a new skirmish on and under the seas is surfacing. On one side are the divers who discovered the wreck and who are eager to explore and film it. On the other side is the might of the US military, which insists that the wreck should be left untouched out of respect for the 86 crewmen who went down with her. - Martin J Young (July 14, 05)

US Army divers search waters of Vietnam for wreckage
GULF OF TONKIN, Vietnam Dive teams returned home to Oahu this month after a 30-day deployment to Vietnam in support of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, or JPAC. The groundbreaking JPAC mission was the first in a set of programmed trips to Vietnam to conduct underwater searches for downed aircraft from the Vietnam War. (July 12, 05)

Indonesian boats burnt by Australia
The Australian authorities have destroyed five Indonesian boats caught fishing illegally in national waters. The boats were set on fire in Darwin harbour, in what the Australian government said should be seen as a message to Indonesian poachers. (July 10, 05)

Undersea volcanic eruption sends vapor plume 1,000 meters skyward
Authorities confirmed Sunday 3rd that a column of vapor observed the day before off Minami-Iwojima Island in the Pacific Ocean had been caused by an eruption of an undersea volcano. (July 5, 05)

Divers in Thailand find missing US World War 2 submarine USS Lagarto
A team of deep-sea divers has discovered the wreck of a U.S. submarine sunk by a Japanese minelayer 60 years ago in the Gulf of Thailand during the closing stages of World War II. (July 1, 05)

India to build new "Suez" desipte ecological storm
For India, it is an almost 150-year dream about to come true - its "Suez" carving a new channel between the south coast and Sri Lanka, dramatically shortening the sea route for freight and slashing costs. But for environmentalists and fishermen, it is a nightmare in the making, one that it will haunt South Asia for decades. (July 1, 05)

Sarawak Maritime Academy Ready By December
Sarawak is to have its own maritime training academy by December this year. The RM11.5 million academy, to be known as the Sarawak Maritime Academy, would be the second in the country, after the Malaysian Maritime Academy in Malaka. (June 29, 05)

Diver rescued after drifting nearly 40 km
SHIMODA, Shizuoka - A man who went missing while diving for shellfish off the coast of Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan, was rescued a day later after drifting for nearly 40 kilometers in strong winds, coast guard officials said. (June 29, 05)

Kuala Lumpur dive pool planned
Kuala Lumpur City Hall plans to build a pool for scuba-diving enthusiasts. Datuk Bandar Datuk Roslin Hasan said today that the pool, which is now at the planning stage, would offer a variety of basic courses for city folk. (June 28, 05)

Dive boat sinks killing one in Phuket
It is believed that at least one person died when a diveboat capsized and sank 40 kilometers off the coast of Phuket in a storm on tuesday (June 7, 05)

Miss Universe bikini babes snorkel to boost Thailand's ailing tourism industry
Miss Universe babes descended on the resort islands of Phuket and Phi Phi to check in on post-tsunami reconstruction and remind the world that this year's beauty pageant contestant is more than just another bikini bimbo... - (May 19, '05)

Paradise not lost along Thai coast
Thailand's tourism industry has been in first gear since the tsunami devastated a number of coastlines along the Andaman Sea, damaging businesses above the water and coral reefs below. But for those willing to take the plunge, there's a wealth of underwater wonders still waiting to be discovered. - Martin J Young (May 6, '05)

Asia Dive Expo attracted visitors from 39 countries
Bangkok, Organisers of Asia Dive Expo (ADEX) 2005 announced today that the recent dive show attracted more than 6,000 participants from 39 countries, spanning Australia, China, Germany, Japan and the US. (Apr 18, '05)

Coral reef rescue underway in Thailand
RACHA YAI ISLAND, On a beach alive with tropical delights as smooth white sand washed by calm turquoise waters, an European like Bas Toeter cuts an odd figure in a T-shirt, shorts and wide-brimmed hat. - IPS (Apr 6, '05)

Hong Kong's murky pleasures
For anybody whose scuba diving experience has been confined to the lush and idyllic tropical waters off Thailand, the gelid currents off Hong Kong - the water plumbed by the the South China Diving Club - are a change of pace indeed. - Todd W John (Mar 6, '05)