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Scuba Diver Ocean Planet Issue 4/2015, OP No. 4

One Ocean, One Life

FROM THE EDITOR

We're getting back to the schools with this issue, discovering the places where our fishy friends gather in jaw-dropping numbers, where the seas are swarming with scales, where the ocean's inhabitants create choreographed congregations, and dizzying droves put on dazzling displays.

It seems obvious now, but when I first processed this next bit of information the implications of it blew my mind: When fish create those rippling, shifting schools, each fish is actually behaving in entirely its own interest - according to the research, each one is supposedly entirely unaware of the bigger picture: They apparently have no idea at all of the patterns they are creating.

Yes, those seemingly choreographed displays are what they call "emergent properties" of individuals selfishly following basic rules for their own individual survival. And we see evidence of this same principle everywhere.

This is synchrony, a fundamental force that creates simultaneous action. And it's one of the most pervasive drivers in all of Nature.

So why is this fact so revelatory? Well it seems to imply that there is an underlying order, and that even when the world can seem too complex and chaotic to understand, perhaps that's only because we are on the inside of a great "school" looking out.

But that's enough philosophy for one issue; this one's about schools, not school, after all...

Alice Grainger

Contents

OCEAN WATCH

Reef Check malaysia

AMERICAS
HOPE SPRINGS IN THE SEA OF CORTEZ

By Christian Vizl

An enforced no take zone in Mexico's Cabo Pulmo has let the fish life bounce back with a vengeance

EUROPE
WATERS OF ABUNDANCE

By Rui Guerra

The islands of the Azores are rare havens for fish life in the middle of the Atlantic, where, in the crystal clear water, sensational sightings await.

ASIA
EYES WIDE UP

By Gil Woodley/ Scubazoo

The stunning aggregrations off Malaysian Borneo's Sabah will have the eyes of even of most die-hard critter hunter glued to the blue

AUSTRALASIA + OCEANIA
SUPER SPAWNERS

By Richard Barnden

Witness pivotal moments in the procreation of life in the seas - Palau's well-documented spawning events

AFRICA
THE GREATEST SHOAL ON EARTH

By Sophia Van Coller

The world's most iconic schooling event, South Africa's sardine run, is the schooling phenomenon of the year, attracting predators from above and below in a breath-taking show of Nature at her most dramatic

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