Philippines

The USS Johnston off Seattle, Washington (USA), on 27 October 1943

USS Johnston, world's deepest known wreck, identified

The 115m-long US Navy destroyer is widely known for her bold action in the Battle off Samar, the Philippines.  The actions of the relatively lightly armed Johnston—sunk after a fierce battle with a large fleet of Japanese warships—helped stop the Japanese Admiral Kurita's Center Force from attacking vulnerable U.S.

Howard Johnson, Anilao Scuba Dive Centre, Shala Caliao, scuba diving news, PPE, COVID-19, face masks, plastic pollution, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, X-Ray Mag, XRay Magazine, Philippines
Polymeric materials used in face masks can be a potential source of plastic and break down into microplastic pollution.

Abandoned face masks found on Philippine reef

The popular dive spot is southeast of the Philippine capital, Manila.

BBC Philippine correspondent Howard Johnson joined dive professionals from Anilao Scuba Dive Centre as they resumed diving, following the national lockdown. The dive centre is affiliated to the United Nations Environment Programme’s Green Fins, which promotes sustainable marine tourism in South-East Asia.

Capturing the Fire Dancer
The Gurnard lionfish (Parapterois hentururus) is a small, nocturnal species of lionfish common to the Philippines.

Capturing the Fire Dancer

It's large, fan-like fins wave and flare like the skirts of a Flamenco dancer, revealing vibrant shades of rust and orange with flashes of royal blue as it hunts its prey under the cover of night. As beautiful as its dance may be, one prick from one of its long dorsal spines will inflict a very painful burning sensation.

Malapascua Island: Where thresher sharks roam

As picture perfect as Malapascua is, in a nation of 7,107 palm tree fringed islands, 2.5km long Malapascua wouldn’t be on anyone’s radar were it not for the thresher sharks that treat the island like a spa. Each morning as the sun peeks over the mountains on distant Cebu, Pelagic threshers rise from the depths to be cleaned by reef fish along a deep ledge known as Monad Shoal.

Beyond the Muck

Muck diving is a term used quite frequently these days that can be applied to either a dive site, a type of diving or even an entire region like Lembeh Strait in Indonesia or Anilao in the Philippines.

These areas of the Indo-Pacific have consistently ranked amongst the highest in terms of high coral counts, reef fish and of course the high impact Holy Grail of critters.