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Scientists urge Brazil to take a stand on marine life
A team of Brazilian scientists is calling for immediate fisheries management collaboration between the nation’s public and private sectors. The scientists say Brazil can transform this moment of political turmoil into positive action, and become a leader among developing countries facing widespread extinction of aquatic animals. 

The Galapagos shark in the picture  is an example of a keystone species thought to have been fished to regional extinction due to decades of nonexistent fisheries regulations. This species is one of many that could have greatly benefited from management plans that help reduce by-catch and prevent the overexploitation of fishing stocks.

“In Brazil – a country with some of the most unique aquatic environments on Earth – fisheries data don’t really exist,” says Luiz Rocha, PhD, Associate Curator of Ichthyology at the California Academy of Sciences. “There are no bag or size limits for any species of fish, and for the past few years, even the most basic fisheries statistics – such as the numbers and weights of fish being caught – are a blank space. Maintaining current red lists is crucial to making sure management plans start as soon as possible.” 

http://news.scubatravel.co.uk/scientists-urge-brazilian-government-take-a-stand-on-marine-life-protection.html
#marinelife   #shark  
photo credit: California Academy of Sciences
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Seen any old fishing stuff littering the beach or underwater? The World Animal Protection organisation wants you to tell them about it. 

Their map of sightings is at http://www.worldanimalprotection.org/sea-change-map
 
Divers asked to report "ghost" fishing gear
According to the World Animal Protection,  an estimated 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear is lost or abandoned in our oceans each year, entangling and killing millions of animals including seals, turtles and whales. 

Now they are asking people to report any "ghost" fishing gear they see or remove.

Identifying ghost gear hotspots lets volunteers take urgent action wherever sea animals are most at risk. The data will also help demonstrate the most important causes of ghost gear so steps can be taken to reduce its use. 

More at http://news.scubatravel.co.uk/divers-report-ghost-fishing-gear.html
Upload sightings to http://www.worldanimalprotection.org/sea-ghost-gear/add

Photo: Martin Stelfox (CC BY-SA 4.0)
#fishing   #marinelife  
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Big oil companies want to drill where most of the world’s narwhals live, in the Canadian Arctic 

The tiny Clyde River community in the Canadian Arctic is under threat: oil companies have been given the green light to start looking for oil in Baffin Bay.

This involves firing deafening explosions through the ocean. The noise from these explosions could be catastrophic for most of the world’s narwhal population, who also call Clyde River home.

The explosions can disrupt narwhals' migration paths and calving areas, cause permanent hearing loss and even lead to death. 

The narwhal, or narwhale (Monodon monoceros) is a toothed whale in the same family as the beluga whale.

https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/speakout/clyde-river
#greenpeace   #marineconservation   #whales  
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Belize scuba diving
Belize's most famous dive site is the Blue Hole, currently ranked the sixth best dive in the world (http://www.scubatravel.co.uk/topdives.html). However, many people think some of Belize's lesser-known dives are even better.
 
Diving in Belize
Belize's most famous dive site is the Blue Hole, currently ranked the sixth best dive in the world. However, some people think that Belize has other even better dives.

You can dive all year round in Belize but the best time for diving is between April and June. The rainy season is from June to November, but showers are generally short and the visibility at offshore sites isn't usually affected. March, October and November can be windy.

Belize boasts the largest barrier reef in the Northern hemisphere, and the second largest reef system in the world. It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 and is comprised of seven protected areas; Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve, Blue Hole Natural Monument, Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, South Water Caye Marine Reserve, Glover's Reef Marine Reserve, Laughing Bird Caye National Park and Sapodilla Cayes Marine Reserve. Outside of the reef complex the heritage site contains three atolls; Turneffe Island, Lighthouse Reef and Glover's Reef. 

More on the dives in Belize at http://www.scubatravel.co.uk/americas/belize-diving.html
#belize   #scuba   #scubadive  
Photo: Jayhem (Ocean Brain) [CC-BY-SA-2.0]
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Go for it!
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Striking photo by +Robert Rath 
 
Scenes like this are one of Rapid Bay's major attractions and much easier to experience than finding Leafy Seadragons or nudibranchs.

Here in the 'T-Section' of the old jetty you can drift between the sponge encrusted tree-like pylons and look up at schools of Old Wives, Yellowtail, Bullseyes and Leatherjackets.

On a clear day like this there is no better shore dive within a couple hours drive of Adelaide.

On poor visibility days its best to just go hunting for Leafy Seadragons and Nudibranchs.

Photo: Robert Rath, 'Sponge Trees', 1/125s f/7.1 ISO320 15mm

... more at http://wetshutter.com

#rapidbay #jetty #oldwife #southaustralia #underwater #scuba #diving #school #fish #pylons #enoplosusarmatus
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Very nice photo 👌 
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Citizen science helps track sharks

Whale sharks are generally thought of as denizens of tropical waters. But in July 2014 someone in New Jersey saw a whale shark and reported it to Wildbook for Whale Sharks, which collects reports, pictures, and video of animals that people encounter on their travels.Share on ema

This surprised Jason Holmberg, information architect for Wild Me, the platform behind Wildbook for Whale Sharks.

 "We had no idea [whale sharks] went that far north, [and] there were no pictures to confirm it." Then Holmberg found a corroborating video of the same big fish off Sandy Hook, New Jersey, on YouTube.

That's just one example of how enlisting input from a network of volunteer citizen scientists expands the reach of a project, sometimes beyond what scientists can imagine.
 
Even with advanced technology like satellite tags and camera traps, experts still need help tracking elusive species on the move—and citizen science can fill in the gaps. Find out how.
See a whale shark on your Florida vacation? You could join a network of people who upload their pictures and video to databases that help wildlife biologists do their work.
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European fish on the move with increasing sea temperature
The world’s seas are getting warmer and the North Sea is one of the world's global warming hotspots. Twenty of these have been identified – areas in which the ocean is warming much more rapidly than the average.

The most important influence on where the fish go is last year's sea surface temperature. 

Warmer waters can increase growth and metabolic rates of the early stages of fish, but it also means the larvae need to eat more – and thus are at greater risk of starvation (the risk of starvation – and indeed being eaten – is already very high for larval fish).  More specifically, it seems that sardines, anchovies and pilchards in particular are moving increasingly more north, occupying the higher temperature environments that are now found there.  

For fishers in the south that target these guys, this shift is bad news. For more northerly fishers who may want to fish sardines, anchovies, and pilchards this shift may be good news.   
http://news.scubatravel.co.uk/european-fish-are-on-the-move-with-increasing-temperature.html
#globalwarming   #environment   #fishing  
   
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Kimon K Wreck Photos
The Kimon K, in the Red Sea, has many beautiful soft corals. 

She sank in December 1978, carrying a cargo of lentils. She lies on Shab Abu Nuhas Reef, along with the Ghiannis D, Carnatic and Chrisoula K. 

The dive is good both for all levels of divers. More experienced can penetrate the wreck but there is plenty to see if you would rather remain outside. The top of the wreck is at just 6 m and the lowest part at 32 m. 

Photos by Tim Nicholson
#shipwreck   #redsea   #underwaterphotography  
Read more on Red Sea wrecks at http://www.scubatravel.co.uk/redsea/wreckdive.html
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Four sharks were taught to choose a triangle, and received a small piece of food for pressing their nose on the triangle. The other four sharks were taught to always recognise a square, and were similarly rewarded. 

 Up to 50 weeks later, almost all the sharks still remembered which shape to select. 

A year is a lot longer than many other animals’ ability to remember training. It’s a long time not only for fish, but places gray bamboo sharks in fierce competition with birds such as crows, and even primates, such as humans.
#shark  
 
Sharks can remember for a year - Sharks can be taught to recognise shapes, and optical illusions, and remember them for much longer than expected http://bbc.in/1LzZ5eD
Sharks can be taught to recognise shapes, and optical illusions, and remember them for much longer than expected
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Thresher shark giving birth. via +Hollywood Divers 
 
This rare image showing the birth of a thresher shark casts new light on the lives of these elusive, vulnerable fish.
http://bbc.in/1A8d4Co
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Awesome pic to know that new life is going on 
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Green Turtles sunbathe on beaches, but maybe not for much longer
Naturalists as early as Darwin observed beach basking in green turtles (Chelonia mydas). It helps the threatened animals regulate their body temperatures and may help their digestion and immune systems. But warming seas may make sunbathing on the beach a thing of the past for Green Turtles
 
Warming oceans stop Green Turtles basking on the beach
Green sea turtles may stop basking on Hawaiin beaches in fewer than 25 years, a new study suggests.

Naturalists as early as Darwin observed beach basking in green turtles (Chelonia mydas). It helps the animals regulate their body temperatures and may help their digestion and immune systems.

After analysing 24 years of data, researchers found the turtles bask less often when sea surface temperatures rise.

If global warming continues, they may stop basking altogether.

The cut-off point for Green Turtles is 23 °C at the sea surface. Warmer than this and they don’t need to get out to get warm.

Not all green turtles bask on land. Though the turtles are found in tropical and subtropical oceans around the world, beach basking has only been observed in Hawaii, the Galapagos Islands and Australia. Sea surface temperatures at these sites have been observed to be warming at three times the global average rate.

http://news.scubatravel.co.uk/warming-seas-stop-turtles-basking.html
#turtles   #sealife  
Photo: Tim Nicholson
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What the oceans do for us: medicine from the sea
Take away the pain with… venom?!
The humble snail.  Not the most exciting of creatures you would think.  Cone snails (Conus) are a genus of marine snails…marine snails that hunt.  Predating on worms, small fish and molluscs these slow-moving hunters are equipped with a toxic harpoon.  One speared, their prey is paralyzed and slowly but surely the cone snail can make its way over and feast.  It’s not all pain though, as a paper by Dr Fedosoc from the Russian Academy of Sciences and colleagues points out.  It seems that the toxins have another use too – the development of pain killers. 

Just a word of warning if you do come across a cone snail.  They will have a go at humans too.  Most species will just sting you badly, but some can kill! 

Read more at http://news.scubatravel.co.uk/oceans-medicine.html
by +Sam Andrews 
#scubanews   #conesnails   #oceans  
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Established 2000, SCUBA Travel provides information and reviews on dive sites and dive operators in over 90 countries, from Argentina to West Papua. Browse our list of the best 100 dive sites in the world (how many have you dived?) and read our diving travel articles. We're here to help you plan your next dive trip.

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