JohnClay Dickinson

Local Divers Rachel McGinnis and John Clay Dickinson Capture Footage of Nurse Sharks Mating in the Wild

Sharks are some of the most majestic and misunderstood members of the animal kingdom. Simultaneously feared and revered among the general populace, sharks tend to get a bad rap. However, marine experts like John Clay Dickinson and Rachel McGinnis know there’s much more to these elusive creatures than a mighty bite. In an effort to learn more and educate others, John Dickinson of Palm Beach and his partner Rachel Janea McGinnis frequently study and document sharks in their natural habitat. While they’ve filmed reels of intriguing footage over the years, one of their best to date is that of nurse sharks mating in the wild, an event that had not before been captured on film. 

Nurse sharks are native to the Atlantic and eastern Pacific oceans and are often seen around Florida, particularly the Keys. Nocturnal creatures, they hunt at night and rest during daylight, typically hovering near the ocean floor, often in reefs or caves. They rarely migrate, which is one reason their mating habits are so unique. In order to avoid the repercussions of inbreeding, nurse sharks have more than one male fertilize a litter. Research indicates litters from one mother typically have DNA from at least four fathers. 

However, idiosyncrasies don’t stop there, John Clay Dickinson said. When a male wants to mate, he bites the female’s pectoral fin to hold her in place. Females sometimes dodge this by swimming to shallow water and burying their pectoral fin in the sand. 

The shark is also ovoviviparous, meaning the female carries the fertilized eggs in egg cases within her ovaries. The embryos are fed through the yolk in the cases. Once they’ve developed enough, after about six months, they hatch and are born. After a female produces a litter, it is another eighteen months before she can produce more eggs. 

Documenting animal behavior, such as mating rituals, in the animals’ natural environment is key to gaining a better understanding of the species, John Dickinson of Palm Beach said. Furthermore, educating the public and sparking interest in marine life is essential to boost interest and investment in conservation. 

More on Rachel McGinnis, John Dickinson of Palm Beach, and Florida Scuba Divers 

Florida Scuba Divers is the area’s one-stop-shop for all things SCUBA. They sell a broad range of products, from dive suits to gear, and offer e-learning and certifications to divers of all levels from beginner to professional. Celebrating the shop’s one-year anniversary this month, John Clay Dickinson and Rachel McGinnis are proud to have served countless customers and inspired a love of SCUBA in numerous newcomers, in addition to sharing their extensive expertise with fellow seasoned divers. With a dedication to quality products, exceptional education, and stellar customer care, the shop had earned 132 well-earned five-star reviews from customers via Google Business Reviews as of December. 

John Dickinson of Palm Beach, who began his military career at age 17 and retired from the US Air Force after 20 years of service, worked in medical recruiting for several years before dedicating himself to his true passions: marine exploration and conservation, full-time. He has owned two dive shops in Palm Beach County and was featured on Shark Week for his find of a population of Sawfish in the Northern Palm Beach area. He and partner Rachel McGinnis are looking forward to educating and inspiring more Florida tourists and residents about the ocean and its treasures in the years to come. 

For more information about Florida Scuba Divers, visit the website: https://www.floridascubadivers.com/ or follow them on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/floridascubadivers/ or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Dive561.270.5788

John Clay Dickinson

Florida Scuba Divers John Clay Dickinson and Rachel Janea McGinnis Help Remove Invasive Lionfish from Florida Shores

lionfish may sound like a whimsical and harmless, if fierce-looking, creature, perhaps something taken from a children’s book or drawn up by the cartoonists at Disney-Pixar. But the lionfish for Floridians is nothing so friendly. Local marine experts John Clay Dickinson and Rachel Janea McGinnis, owners of Florida Scuba Divers, discuss why this species is so problematic and why they’re partnering with local organizations to remove lionfish from local shores.

Lionfish are brightly-colored and striped, with long, pointy spines that resemble a lion’s mane. The fish is native to the Indo-Pacific, John Clay Dickinson explained, but they can now be found in the U.S. southeast coast, Caribbean, and parts of the Gulf of Mexico. Experts believe humans are to blame for their arrival in these waters, though the exact cause is unknown. John Clay Dickinson said people may have been dumping unwanted lionfish into the water from home aquariums, although doing so is illegal and can incur a hefty fine.

Because they’re not native, lionfish have very few natural predators and have become vastly overpopulated. Rachel Janea McGinnis explained that, like any invasive species with a population of this scale, they’re a serious threat to the native ecosystem, capable of reducing biodiversity, consuming resources previously available for native organisms, and potentially driving native species to extinction. Being carnivorous, they also threaten Florida’s fishing economy as they feed on young commercial fish species such as grouper and snapper.

With the support of the Florida government, local groups, including the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) arrange regular lionfish removal events up and down the Florida coast. Volunteers like John Clay Dickinson and Rachel Janea McGinnis, along with hundreds of fellow divers, anglers, commercial harvesters, and marine enthusiasts, remove the fish from the waters in an effort to conserve the local ecosystem. Florida Scuba Divers has consistently earned recognition year after year for their impressive haul of lionfish during such removal events.

Florida Scuba Divers, in an effort to educate customers about the lionfish problem, keeps a lionfish on the front counter of the shop in an aquarium. Customers can see the species up-close and get a deeper understanding of the delicate balance that is the marine ecosystem. Discussing the problematic invasive species also opens the way for broader discussions about marine conservation and what individuals, families, and communities can do to lend a hand to protect the oceans and seas.

More on Florida Scuba Divers

Florida Scuba Divers is the North Palm Beach’s one-stop-shop for all things SCUBA, with a broad range of products, from dive suits to gear, and offerings of e-learning and certifications for divers of all levels. Within one year in business, John Clay Dickinson and Rachel Janea McGinnis are proud to have served countless customers. The pair have inspired a love of SCUBA in numerous newcomers, in addition to sharing their expertise and enthusiasm with fellow advanced divers. With a dedication to quality, education, and customer service, it’s no wonder the shop has already earned 123 well-earned five-star reviews from customers via Google Business Reviews as of November. This December, the shop will officially celebrate its one-year anniversary.

For more information about Florida Scuba Divers, visit the website: https://www.floridascubadivers.com/ or follow them on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/floridascubadivers/ or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Dive561.270.5788/

John Clay Dickinson, Co-Owner of Florida Scuba Divers, Announces Shop’s One-Year Anniversary

Florida is one of the United States’ hottest destinations for good reason. Home to the Walt Disney World Resort, the nightlife capital of Miami, a population as diverse as its ecosystem, year-round sunshine, and miles upon miles of shimmering waters and pristine beaches, it’s no wonder the state attracted more than 111 million domestic travelers, 10 million overseas visitors, and 3.5 million Canadian tourists in 2018 alone. It’s also home to 21.3 million residents proud of the state’s unique blend of rich history and culture, modern infrastructure and industry, and stunning natural beauty. It’s the latter that drew John Clay Dickinson and Rachel Janea McGinnis to the Sunshine State. The pair, who have called Florida home for decades now, are the owners of Florida Scuba Divers. Marine professionals with extensive experience in SCUBA and marine exploration and conservation, John Clay Dickinson and Rachel Janea McGinnis are ecstatic to celebrate the shop’s one-year anniversary this December.

Florida Scuba Divers is the area’s one-stop-shop for all things SCUBA. They sell a broad range of products, from dive suits to gear, and offer e-learning and certifications to divers of all levels from beginning to advanced. Within one year in business, John Clay Dickinson and Rachel Janea McGinnis are proud to have served countless customers and inspired a love of SCUBA in numerous newcomers, in addition to sharing their extensive expertise with fellow seasoned divers. With a dedication to quality products, exceptional education, and stellar customer care, the shop has earned 123 well-earned five-star reviews from customers via Google Business Reviews as of November.

John Clay Dickinson, who began his military career at age 17 and retired from the US Air Force after 20 years of service, worked in medical recruiting for several years before dedicating himself and to his true passions: marine exploration and conservation, full-time. He has owned two dive shops in Palm Beach County and was featured on Shark Week for his find of a population of Sawfish in the Northern Palm Beach area. He and partner Rachel Janea McGinnis are looking forward to educating and inspiring more Florida tourists and residents about the ocean and its treasures in the years to come.

For more information about Florida Scuba Divers, visit the website: https://www.floridascubadivers.com/ or follow them on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/floridascubadivers/ or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Dive561.270.5788/.

SCUBA Specialists, John Clay Dickinson and Rachel Janea McGinnis, Organize Beach Clean-Ups to Preserve the Oceans & Save Marine Species

From Miami to Fort Lauderdale and Venice Beach to Daytona, Florida is world-famous for its spacious sandy beaches and stunning coastline. The state, also home to Disney World and a host of other tourist hot spots, attracts about forty million visitors every year and is home to another 21.3 million. Rachel Janea McGinnis and John Clay Dickinson of Lake Park, FL, have called the state home for decades. Marine biology and aquatic professionals, the pair is dedicated to preserving the area’s natural treasures and diverse ecosystem for future generations of travelers and residents alike. Their efforts include organizing several beach clean-ups, community events at which volunteers spend time removing trash and other harmful waste from area beaches.

Rachel Janea McGinnis and John Clay Dickinson echo the sentiment of scientists, researchers, conservationists, and eco-conscious citizens around the globe when they say a significant change is needed to save the world. Specifically, along with the looming effects of climate change, the affront to our seas and oceans is a serious issue that affects millions of species all along the food chain, from coral reefs to human beings.

America alone generates about 10.5 million tons of plastic waste every year but recycles just one to two percent of it, according to Seastewards. About 14 billion pounds of trash, much of which is plastic, ends up in the ocean, killing as many as one million marine animals and birds in the Pacific Ocean each day, according to the organization.

Rachel Janea McGinnis, co-owner of Florida SCUBA Divers in Southeast Florida, says although a massive change is needed to get our earth and oceans back on track, a little effort can go a long way. With the help of community volunteers throughout Florida and beyond, there is hope for our oceans and the millions of species that call the water and shorelines home.

In addition to participating in beach clean-ups, Rachel Janea McGinnis and John Clay Dickinson encourage everyone to minimize the use of plastic. In particular, they advise, eliminate as many disposable plastics as possible from your daily life, including disposable cutlery, cups, and straws. Also, recycle whenever possible. Not only can you toss items into the recycling bin, but you can also reuse containers, such as cottage cheese and yogurt tubs, for food storage or household organization, rather than throwing them away.

Rachel Janea McGinnis and John Clay Dickinson are hopeful for the future of Florida and are inspired by the legions of volunteers and concerned citizens putting in work to make the world a better place.

To find out more about Florida SCUBA Divers, please visit: http://www.floridascubadivers.com/