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Jill Studholme
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'Zombie corals' pose new threat to world's reefs writes Damian Carrington in today's Guardian newspaper.

Zombie corals, which look healthy but cannot reproduce, have been discovered by researchers, dashing hopes that such reefs could repopulate areas destroyed by bleaching.

Part of the problem is aerosol sunscreen,

The places with the heaviest tourism had the most severe damage to coral reproductive capability.

Oxybenzone, a common UV-filtering compound in sunscreen, kills coral but also causes DNA damage in adult coral and deforms the larval stage, making normal development unlikely.

The research also showed the toxic effects to coral, sea urchin embryos, shrimp larvae, and fish larvae exposed to preservatives, UV absorbers and microbeads from personal care products.
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i feel like that little guy when i come home...
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Thought to be a new species. Via +Brent M 
Can you say “adorabilis”? The flapjack octopus is back on exhibit!
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Iron fertilization won’t work in much of Pacific
Over the past half-million years, the equatorial Pacific Ocean has seen five spikes in the amount of iron-laden dust blown in from the continents. In theory, those bursts should have turbo-charged the growth of the ocean’s carbon-capturing algae – algae need iron to grow – but a new study shows that the excess iron had little to no effect.

The results are important today, because as groups search for ways to combat climate change, some are exploring fertilizing the oceans with iron as a solution.
Photo: Phytoplankton bloom seen from space by Robert Simmon and Jesse Allen/NASA
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Diving Tioman Island in Malaysia
Tioman is the third largest Malayasian island, off the east coast of the peninsula. The island is about 38 by 19 km. There is a road which extends about 3-4 km past the airstrip and ferry terminal and a couple of km either side. It connects the villages of Tekek and Juara, however all other villages are accessible only be ferry boat. The coast is a marine park area with a limit of 2 nautical miles offshore for commercial fishing. The water is warm, from 27 to 29 oC. There is only 1 ATM on the island, so it is best to bring some cash with you and check with your resort and dive centre is they accept cards as many places do not. Exchange currency before you get to the island (in Mersing) as you won't get a good exchange rate on Tioman. 

The season runs from early February to November, the out of season time is associated with unpredictable weather during the monsoon. The best time of the year for visibility is March – June and visibility may drop in July and August.

Typically visibility is between 15-20 meters, but sometimes drops to 5 meters for no very obvious reason.

If nudibranchs are your thing you'll be happy at Tioman.

Photo credit: Jens Petersen (CC-BY-SA-3.0). Hypselodoris bullociki.
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Jellyfish stings: heat better than cold
Jellyfish stings are responsible for more deaths than shark attacks each year. Even "mild" stings can hurt for hours or sometimes days and leave lasting scars. According to some estimates, more than 150 million people are stung by jellyfish each year. 

Researchers have now found overwhelming evidence that applying hot packs, or immersing in hot water, is much better for treating jellyfish stings than cold water which was previously widely recommended.

The scientists, Christie Wilcox and Angel Yanagihara from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, trawled through more than 2,000 articles in major scientific journals to find every study to date that examined the effects of using temperature-based treatments for jellyfish stings. They found that the data supported immersing in hot water, finding that venom components are inactivated at temperatures between 40 and 50 degrees Celsius.

"I was shocked that the science was so clear, given that there is so much debate over the use of hot water," said Wilcox. Hot-water immersion is already the standard of care for other severe marine stings including those from the  potentially life-threatening stonefish. "It's simple, really: If you're stung, use hot water or hot packs rather than ice or cold packs."

The scientists conclude that immersing a stung limb in 45 oC water for 20 minutes has no ill effects, is a safe and effective method of reducing pain and improves the outcome of the sting.

The research was published this month in the journal Toxins
Wilcox and Yanagihara. Heated Debates: Hot-Water Immersion or Ice Packs as First Aid for Cnidarian Envenomations? Toxins 2016, 8(4), 97;
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Did you know nautilus populations tend to be about 75 percent male and 25 percent female? Scientists aren’t sure why!
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This is a fascinating under water creature i saw it on a Great Barrier Reef documentary once. I think its a cross between two inverts if im not mistaken.
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Interesting art by D.J. Jackson.

" Tylosurus - This piece demonstrates how Beloniforms utilize Snell's Window in order to surprise their prey."

Tylosorus is not some kind of prehistoric fish which was my first thought, but a kind of needlefish. I had to look up Snell's Window as well. If you look from under the sea towards the surface, you will see a large circle of light surrounded by blacknesss - this is called Snell's Window. It occurs because of the different refractive indexes of air and water, and is a cone of visibility of what is above the water. Outside that cone the fish, and a person, can't see what is going on above.

You can see examples of photos using Snell's Window on the underwater photography guide at

Came across the art via Mission Blue.
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Love the free courses you can get from Universities around the world now. This looks like being a good one Sharks! Global Biodiversity, Biology and Conservation. From Cornell and the University of Queensland.
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Galapagos Islands Wolf and Darwin home to largest shark biomass in the world
Overfishing has reduced biomass of most sharks and other large predatory fishes worldwide by over 90%, and even remote locations have been severely impacted. The islands of Darwin and Wolf in the far north of the Galapagos Marine Reserve though, are known for their large shark abundance, making them a global scuba diving and conservation hotspot.

In a study published this week in the journal PeerJ, scientists from the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) and the National Geographic Society revealed that the islands are home to the largest shark biomass on the planet reported to date at 12.4 tons per hectare.

Despite this, the abundance of reef fishes around the marine reserve, such as groupers, has been severely reduced because of unsustainable fishing practices. Although Darwin and Wolf are within the reserve, they were not fully protected from fishing until March this 2016. Given how important the Galapagos are to Ecuador’s dive tourism industry and to the well-being of these top predators, the scientists hope that the current protection will ensure the long-term conservation of this marine and diving hotspot.The shark biomass divers collected data using stereo-video surveys at seven sites at Darwin and Wolf islands. These surveys are considerably larger than those reported at Costa Rica’s Cocos Island National Park and the Chagos Marine Reserve in the Indian Ocean, home to the world’s next largest shark biomasses.

The establishment of marine protected areas, especially no-take areas where all forms of fishing are prohibited, have been shown to be one of the most successful management tools to confront global ecosystem degradation.

The Galapagos Islands are known worldwide for their iconic terrestrial fauna and flora, due in large part to Charles Darwin. However, the underwater Galapagos remains under-studied and largely unknown compared to terrestrial ecosystems.

Galapagos is the only tropical archipelago in the world at the cross-roads of major current systems that bring both warm and cold waters. From the northeast, the Panama Current brings warm water; from the southeast the Peru current bring cold water; and from the west, the subsurface equatorial undercurrent (SEC) also bring cold water from the deep. The oceanographic setting surrounding Galapagos results in a wide range of marine ecosystems and populations, that includes from tropical species like corals or reef sharks to temperate and sub-Antarctic species like the Galapagos fur seal (Arctocephalus galapagoensis) or the waived albatross (Phoebastria irrorata).

Nearly 73% of the total fish biomass around Darwin and Wolf was accounted for by sharks, primarily hammerheads (Sphryna lewini 48%), Galapagos (Carcharhinus galapagensis 19%), and blacktips (Carcharhinus limbatus 5%).

Photo by Enric Sala/National Geographic A group of hammerhead sharks swims over the sandy seafloor populated with garden eels at Darwin Island. These sharks are known for their ability to make sudden and sharp turns as the unique wide-set placement of their eyes allows them a vertical 360-degree view, which is ideal for stalking their prey.
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Latest issue of SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011) now up at
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Earth Day 2016 - My planet. My part: Plankton and MicroPlastics

Phytoplankton can travel around the world in less than 10 years, according to new research from Princeton University. 

They created a computer model for objects travelling in the oceans that have no ability to control their movement. They tested it by feeding in data from real events, like the destinations of the 29,000 rubber ducks which fell off a Chinese freighter in 1992. 

Phytoplankton are not the only things in the ocean today which can't control their movements. One of the problems marine animals face is the amount of microplastics in the sea. Microplastics are tiny plastic granules. Once in the water they attract toxins to their surface.  Zooplankton mistake the microplastics for fish eggs and eat them. From the zooplankton they pass up the food chain. 

One source of microplastics is from cosmetics and personal care products like handscrubs, soap, shampoo and toothpaste. Things are improving though. In 2017 microplastics will be banned from products in America. Canada and several EU nations are set to follow suit. Many though, like the UK, aren't.

So now I always check before buying products that I am ultimately going to wash down the drain, do they contain microplastics - namely Polyethylene / Polythene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA or Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)? 

The trigger for this post? I've become a member of  the  Google+ Create community. To celebrate Earth Day they  invited their members  to post something on the subject relevant to them and add the paragraph below. I saw Tuesday's published research about the plankton and pollution dispersion which made me think of the microbeads and led to this post. 

"We are a group of members of Google+ Create, a Google program for recognizing creative users of Google+. This year we are celebrating Earth Day with this small, symbolic art project with the theme: Earth Day 2016 - My planet. My part." 

Photo by my friend Tim Nicholson, taken in the Irish Sea
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+Hassan Mohamd Glad you like them - thanks
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Right Whales Threatened by Planned Seismic Surveys
A series of seismic surveys for oil and gas planned for the mid- and southeastern Atlantic coastal areas of the United States pose a substantial threat to one of the world’s rarest whales, according to a group of renowned marine mammal scientists urging a halt to the surveys.

In an open letter sent to President Obama, the 27 leading right whale expert said that the surveys planned in the waters between Delaware and Florida would significantly impact the acoustically sensitive North Atlantic right whale, an endangered species numbering no more than 500 animals, and “would jeopardize its survival.”

The statement says that the surveys would introduce a significant amount of noise pollution into the area of ocean most critical for the survival of the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), an animal that gives birth and nurses in the relatively warm coastal waters from North Carolina to Florida. The cacophony produced by the airguns in the survey is likely to disrupt the whales’ behaviour, with the resulting stress affecting the health of the animals. 

The airguns used for seismic oil and gas surveys produce intense explosions every 9 to 11 seconds for many weeks or months at a time. All of this is undetectable to someone at the surface, but the underwater impact and disturbance from these activities can be devastating to ocean life, especially for species such as the North Atlantic right whale,”
Photo credit: NOAA
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  • University of Manchester
Basic Information
Writing on the marine environment and scuba diving
Some days writing on scuba diving and the marine environment, others on data acquisition & control.

Edits SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011) which launched in May 2000. SCUBA News contains articles on diving destinations; features a marine "creature of the month" and brings news on events and research in the diving, marine life and other underwater fields. Tweets as @SCUBANews and contributes to the SCUBA Travel Facebook page. Also editor of the SCUBA Travel web site.

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Manchester - Ashbourne
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The CircleRank of Jean-Marc Luna (juancaramel) is 8679! In France the CircleRank is even 34! Jean-Marc Luna (juancaramel) says 'Geek de camp


Easily see the best time for you to post on Google+ for the greatest impact.

Retail Sensing

Leading the way in video capture people counting around the world

Why Count People? What are the benefits for Bars, Shops...? | Video Turn...

People Counting Systems » Who Counts People? Who Counts People and Why? Video Turnstile People Counter. Many companies benefit from counting

Beautiful Close-Up Underwater Photos of Luminous Sea Creatures - PetaPixel

Photographer Joshua Lambus has put together a beautiful series of photographs showing luminous creatures of the deep glowing with light agai

Amazing Sea Butterflies Are the Ocean’s Canary in the Coal Mine

These delicate and stunning creatures are offering Smithsonian scientists a warning sign for the world's waters turning more acidic

Making Google Plus Work for You | A Culinary Journey With Chef Dennis

If you want to know why Google Plus doesn't seem to work for you, I'll give you 12 good reasons.

GISCafe -

April 19, 2013 -- Windmill Software is pleased to announce new software for easy data logging and control with Excel. Called Windmill Real T

Google+ Platform — Google Developers

Access public Google+ social graph info, build Hangout apps, and more.

Manatees - Photo GalleryPhotogallery - National Geographic Magazine

We swim with it when legal, tune to its radio station, ponder its fate.

SCUBA Travel

Everything Scuba Diving from the SCUBA Travel dive guide

9 marketing strategies you must stop using -- now -

Antonio, thank you for clarifying. I was referring to Blue Martini & Broadvision platforms in my article, as examples of overly complicated

Wireless Devices Track Movements of Ocean-Going Creatures

For most people, the sea is a deep, dark mystery. That is changing, though, as scientists find innovative ways to track the movements of oce

Kidnapped Brits Freed, according to Egyptian TV - SCUBA News

According to reports on Egyptian State TV, police have just announced that the two Britons who were kidnapped in Egypt have been freed.

Bedouin Kidnap 2 Tourists on route to Sharm El-Sheikh - SCUBA News

Tribesmen have kidnapped two British tourists on route from Cairo to Egypt's diving resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. The kidnappers are reported t

Island Safari 1

The crew was great and I would definitely dive with them again.

Harlequin Shrimp eats Starfish Alive

Exquisitely patterned Harlequin Shrimp eats starfish alive: starfish takes days to die.

SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011): Issue 153, February 2013 | SCUBA Travel

In this issue: Comparing diving qualifications: PADI, BSAC, NAUI, etc; diving East Timor, Sardinia and Jordan; article by Samantha Craven, c