Video: The Tiny Terror – the blue ringed octopus

blue ringed octopus scandi divers resort puerto galera

Let’s take a closer look at one of our most sought-after critters in Puerto Galera! The blue ringed octopus or more commonly known as ‘the blue ring’ is one of our biggest crowd-pleasers. The scientific name for the octopus is Hapalochlaena maculosa. They grow to around 20 cm in size and weigh a massive 25 grams.

What is really unique is the blue ring is the only venous creature in the world that doesn’t make its own venom. The octopus finds bacteria in the water and stores it within its saliva. If you are a crab that’s in its path while hunting at night then you better look out. The blue ring uses its razor-sharp beak to break into the shell of a crab, it will then basically spit the bacteria contaminated saliva inside the crab and it will become paralyzed making it much easier to eat.  Crabs reading this blog will be quaking in their boots.

The blue ring also has three hearts which pump blue blood around its body. Each octopus has around sixty blue rings on its body. You might have noticed that if the octopus is relaxed then the blue rings are not visible. Only once the octopus is feeling threatened it will flash its vibrant blue rings telling you to back off. There has only been a handful of human deaths from the octopus bite in the entire history of the planet but it can still happen. So, its better to keep your hands to yourself underwater.

This wonder of nature can be found on many dive sites around Puerto Galera. Some hot spots to look for them include giant clams, Fantasea reef and Small la Laguna. They are most active at night time when they are feeding so we recommend doing some night dives with us at Scandi Divers to increase your chances of some blue ring interaction.

Hope you enjoy the video below:

Marine life spotlight – The Flamboyant cuttlefish

Flamboyant cuttlefish scandi divers resort puerto galera

In the latest Scandi Divers blog we’ll have a closer look at one of the most sought after critters in Puerto Galera. The flamboyant cuttlefish with its pulsating colors and mesmerizing movements really grabs your attention. They are basically standing their ground flashing colors at us, telling us that they are the boss and will move for no man. The beauty of this brave behavior is we get a chance to observe it’s behavior. You have excellent opportunities to get great images and video footage as it will stay in the same area. It is probably one of the most photogenic species on the Puerto Galera dive sites.

There are some facts about the flamboyant cuttlefish that are really interesting. Despite growing to around 8cm in size they actually have toxins that are on the same level as its relative the blue ringed octopus. In case you are not sure about the level then think ten thousand times more powerful than cyanide. Luckily for us they and the blue ringed octopus don’t have much interest in eating us so they keep the toxins for the small fish and crustaceans that they feed on.

The flamboyant cuttlefish is very special, it’s one of the few species of cuttlefish that actually walk on the seafloor. They have a rather tragic short life span of just a year. After mating face to face the female will find something like an old coconut shell and lay her eggs one by one, attaching them to the shell with a special glue like substance. Once the eggs hatch the female has completed her life tasks will die shortly afterwards. These cuttlefish can be found on a number of dive sites around PG, the most common places are Giant Clams and Ship Yard.

On your next trip to Scandi Divers our dedicated dive team will try their best to show you one of our favorite critters.

Book your dream diving holiday now

Classic Club #1174 held at Sky View Bar & Restaurant

puerto galera classic club scandi divers resort

Big thanks to all the gents from the Puerto Galera Classic Club, who joined us at Classic Club the Sky View Bar & Restaurant for an afternoon of delicious food and drinks, on the 1174th Classic Club!

Scroll the gallery below and click an image to enlarge

Sharks now protected no matter whose waters they swim in

UN shark protection convention

It’s been a good week for beleaguered sharks. A cross-border conservation pact signed by 126 countries this week promises for the first time to extend extra protection to sharks and several other migratory species, whichever countries they stray into.

Among the biggest winners at the global Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals(CMS) were whale sharks: the world’s largest fish. They are a vulnerable species and their population has been falling. Governments added whale sharks to appendix I of the convention, promising to protect them domestically from killing or capture, and to safeguard their habitats.

Conservationists welcomed the move because it means whale sharks will finally be protected at offshore “hotspots” to which they migrate, including Madagascar, Mozambique, Peru and Tanzania.

Several other sharks made it on to appendix II, which obliges countries within a species’ migratory range to collaborate on measures to protect them, for example by regulating fishing or banning finning.

International cooperation

Conservationists particularly welcomed the new status for blue sharks. “They’re the most highly fished sharks in the world, with 20 million caught around the world each year, but they’re also the most migratory, so they’re vulnerable to fisheries everywhere,” says Matt Collis of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. “This puts pressure on countries to commit to international protection.”

Other sharks sharing in the same new protections included dusky sharks, angelsharks, white-spotted wedgefish and the bizarrely named common guitarfish.

As an additional bonus, Sri Lanka, Ecuador, Benin and Brazil joined the shark memorandum of understanding, an ad hoc agreement already signed by 41 countries to coordinate protection for sharks. Collis says the addition of Brazil is particularly significant, as it has a large part to play in protection of many species of shark.

Grand Opening of the Sky View Bar & Restaurant

sky view bar and restaurant puerto galera

The Grand Opening is by invite only for friends, family and VIPs, and will be featuring a live band, fireworks display and free buffet. It promises to be a great night’s entertainment for all, and we look forward to ‘wetting the roof’ before opening the Sky View Bar & Restaurant to the public.

The Sky View Bar & Restaurant will be offering a delightful selection of international cuisine and drinks and cocktails, all to be enjoyed whilst taking in the breathtaking beauty of Big La Laguna Bay.

Winner of the PADI Women’s Dive Day Video Competition!

PADI Women's Dive Day 2017 winner

Big thanks to everyone involved in our 2017 PADI Women’s Dive Day event! We’re very proud of all the girls involved, and the great video they produced! Special thanks to Richard Morante for shooting and editing the video.

Apparently PADI agrees!

Our Sky View Restaurant is now open!

skybar restaurant at scandi divers resort puerto galera

We are proud to announce the opening of the Sky View restaurant at Scandi Divers Resort. Enjoy delicious international dishes while soaking in the incredible view of Big La Laguna Bay. It’s also the perfect spot for sundowner cocktails!

We hope to see you there soon.

Three Things to Know About the Coral Triangle, the Ocean’s Biodiversity Hot Spot

the coral triangle philippines

At more than a billion acres of ocean, the Coral Triangle is one of the world’s biggest and most important marine regions.

The Triangle is a billion-acre ocean region controlled by Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste. Unlike some other coral-rich areas like the Great Barrier Reef, the Coral Triangle isn’t a household name. But it’s importance to Southeast Asia and the world’s oceans can’t be downplayed: The region encompasses a full 30 percent of the world’s coral and has the highest diversity of corals and fishes in the world. It’s a place to know—especially if you’re concerned about conservation and coastal communities, which many are.

Here are three need-to-know facts about the Coral Triangle:

It’s been called “the Amazon of the ocean”

Like the Amazon rainforest in comparison to other forest regions, the Coral Triangle is home to diversity found nowhere else in the reef system. More than 75 percent of the world’s coral species–over 600 species–live in the Triangle, and the area contains more than 30 percent of all the world’s coral reefs.

But the coral is only the start of the diversity in this living system. “The Coral Triangle has more coral reef fish diversity than anywhere else in the world,” writes the World Wildlife Federation. Of the 6,000 currently known species of reef fish, 37 percent of the world’s coral reef fish live in parts of the Triangle. Two hundred and thirty-five of those species are found nowhere else.

Six out of the world’s seven marine turtles live in regions of the Coral Triangle. So do aquatic mammals like blue whales, sperm whales and dolphins and endangered species like dugongs. The list is long. In fact, writes the WWF, the criteria used to define the Coral Triangle relied on high species diversity–higher than that of nearby reefs in Australia and Fiji.

It’s a stunning array of diversity that scientists from the Smithsonian Institution and elsewhere are working hard to understand–even as it might be fading away.

Ghizo Solomon Islands

Jurgen Freund World Wildlife Fund

It may be where coral reefs began

“The theory is that this is where coral reefs started,” says naturalist Chris Cook in the National Geographic documentary below. Today, the Triangle is the center of diversity for ocean life, and research in reef sciences has suggested that it was the historic point of origin for many coral species as well as many of the species that live there.

Paleontologists are studying ocean in the Triangle to get a sense of what the underwater past looked like. “The ancient diversity of the Coral Triangle can tell us much about how life has adapted to changing conditions in the past, and how life may well adapt again in the future,” writes Britain’s National History Museum.

Among the abundant species Cook and his colleagues observed recently: the cuttlefish, a species which itself has been around for more than 500 million years. “It’s hard to explain. You have to see it,” Cook says. “It’s a mollusc. It’s related to a clam. And it just displays such intelligence.”

Enter the Coral Triangle

It’s in danger exactly because of its abundance

Like reefs everywhere else on the planet, the Triangle is in critical danger because of human-produced factors. It’s in danger from localized threats like cyanide fishing for rare aquarium fish that live in its waters. This practice damages fish communities and the surrounding environment. But it’s also in danger because of huge threats, like anthropogenic climate change, which is warming the seas as they become more acidic, resulting in conditions where many species of coral can’t live.

On top of that, coral bleaching and white syndrome are immediate threats to many species of coral that dominate the Triangle–the Acropora corals.  “In the next century, maybe all coral reef researchers will be paleontologists,” one coral researcher said to the Natural History Museum.

But there’s hope that parts of the Coral Triangle may be refuges for marine life once again. “High levels of biodiversity, coupled with fast rates of growth and recovery, put many Coral Triangle ecosystems in a favorable position to survive climate change,” writes the World Wildlife Fund.

The Coral Triangle: Nursery of the Seas