International Diving Locations by Jack Jackson
International Diving Locations by Jack Jackson

If the title International Diving Locations gives the impression that this CD-Rom is designed to help you assess destinations, think again. Those listed are too often dismissed in a few uninspiring sentences that provide little or no helpful diving information.
What facts there are need watching. Can there really be 350 islands off central America called the Exumas And is Sri Lanka so small that you can nip round the other side to get out of the wind
This CD-Rom is mistitled. It is a vehicle for Jack Jacksons coral-reef photographs, combined with Norman Temples video clips, which appear in miniature in mid-screen and as such add little of value.
Apart from these tiny movies, the whole endeavour might just as well have been presented in traditional book format. Jackson has included several essays on marine subjects, and these contain some worrying mistakes. In the first sentence of the essay on corals, the author fails to spell correctly the scientific name of the phylum to which they belong.
The errors multiply. For example, Jackson claims that there are 250 species of shark; in fact there are more like 400. A pictured whitetip is identified as a tawny shark and a grey reef shark as a silvertip. One shark is even described as a very large soft coral!
What I find most disturbing, however, is the underlying suggestion that Jacksons shots of sharks are inevitably obtained at considerable risk to himself.
Read the entry on silvertips and he claims: I have only met... males of this species, but they all gave me trouble.
I dived with him when he took these shots of a silvertip, and rarely have I come across a better-behaved creature. Its etiquette was exquisite. It was also a female - as his own photographs show!
Jacksons theyre deadly but I can handle them approach is a less-than-helpful contribution to the current campaign to protect sharks. The question is: will it help to sell CD-Roms
Jeremy Stafford-Deitsch

  • International Diving Locations by Jack Jackson, UGA Media, The Netherlands, fax. 31 30 6953531. CD-Rom £14.99.

  • Divernet