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Friday, 1 June 2012

New dive site discovered at North Island

Situated about 5 miles from the island on the western side with an average depth of 20.5m and a maximum depth of 24.7m, Black Jacks has been named after the “black jack” fish, commonly known by the locals as “Demon jack” which have been sighted here on our fishing trips.
We discovered the site this week and all of activities got to dive the site and explore further. As we descended into 30m visibility, 28 degrees C water temperature, there were at least 4 large nurse sharks swimming around on the bottom.  Having never seen divers before they promptly made their exit and hung around on the outskirts of the reef until we started to ascend, at which point they came back onto the site.  We had quite a strong current on the site and it will thus need to be kept for the more advanced diver. There is amazing coral on this reef, in large numbers and in excellent health.  The small reef fish life on this site is mind blowing!!!  The site is very similar in shape to “The Spot” with all of the action happening on the main site, where after it slopes down to deeper depths of 24.7m and onto sand.

A little more information on the Black Jack…
The black jack, Caranx lugubris (also known as the black trevally, black kingfish, coal fish and black ulua), is a species of large ocean fish in the jack family Carangidae. The species has a circumtropical distribution, found in oceanic, offshore waters of the tropical zones of the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. The species is particularly prevalent around offshore islands such as the Caribbean islands in the Atlantic, Hawaii and French Polynesia in the Pacific and the Seychelles and Maldives in the Indian Ocean. Black jack are rare in shallow waters, preferring deep reefs, ledges and seamounts in clear waters. The species is easily distinguished by its black to grey fins and jet black scutes, with the head having a steep profile near the snout. The largest recorded length is 1 m and weight of 17.9 kg. The black jack lives either individually or in small schools, and is known to school with other species. It is a predatory fish, taking a variety of fish, crustaceans and molluscs as prey. Sexual maturity is reached at 34.6 cm in females and 38.2 cm in males, with spawning taking place between February and September in the Caribbean. The early life history of the species is very poorly understood. Black jack are of high importance to many island fisheries, but are rarely encountered in most continental fisheries. The species has a reputation as a game fish, and is variably considered a terrible or excellent food fish, although several cases of ciguatera poisoning have been attributed to the species. The species was initially named Caranx ascensionis by Georges Cuvier, however several issues with the use of this name have seen Felipe Poey’s name Caranx lugubris become the valid scientific name.

We are very excited to add this new site to our collection of amazing dive sites and look forward to exploring here further.

Please follow the link for more info about North Island or call: 01227 753180

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