MarineBio Conservation Society Blog http://blog.marinebio.org Marine conservation, science, education, research, and a sea ethic... Tue, 28 Oct 2014 02:46:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 New book Creatures of the Deep takes readers on an extraordinary visual and literary journey http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/10/new-book-creatures-of-the-deep/ http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/10/new-book-creatures-of-the-deep/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 02:29:15 +0000 http://blog.marinebio.org/?p=3738 Continue reading ]]> Creatures of the Deep, has just been published in a new edition — with all new photos and twice the size of the award-winning 1st edition. Erich Hoyt, MarineBio’s Director of Marine Mammals, takes readers on a journey to the deep that is part-deep sea biology, part-history of exploration, part ocean ecology and part geology. Great stories of marine life and science uncovering the secrets of the ocean deep. Deep discounts are currently offered through all the amazon websites.

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Rolling in the Deep – Papua New Guinea http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/10/rolling-in-the-deep-papua-new-guinea/ http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/10/rolling-in-the-deep-papua-new-guinea/#comments Sun, 12 Oct 2014 20:31:36 +0000 http://blog.marinebio.org/?p=3731 Continue reading ]]>
Rolling in the Deep – Papua New Guinea from Dustin Adamson.

OceanShutter.com presents The Rolling in the Deep series this time taking us into Papua New Guinean waters, one of the last unspoiled diving destinations left on earth. Watch in HD and fullscreen for the best experience.

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A Fight for Survival http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/10/a-fight-for-survival/ http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/10/a-fight-for-survival/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 20:32:25 +0000 http://blog.marinebio.org/?p=3725
A Fight for Survival from Lee Burghard.

Interested in seeing more of my work? Visit me at: wildshutterimaging.com, facebook.com/wildshutterimaging and wildshutterimaging.wordpress.com.

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Ghost net removal ~ on the frontlines… http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/09/ghost-net-removal-on-the-frontlines/ http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/09/ghost-net-removal-on-the-frontlines/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:45:52 +0000 http://blog.marinebio.org/?p=3709
Infidel Net Clean-up from Cyrille R. Ghost net removal at the well known “Infidel” wreck off Catalina Island, CA.

Find out more about ghost fishing at www.ghostfishing.org

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Racing Extinction http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/09/racing-extinction/ http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/09/racing-extinction/#comments Sun, 28 Sep 2014 07:30:07 +0000 http://blog.marinebio.org/?p=3701
illUmiNations: Protecting our Planet #ProjectingChange from Oceanic Preservation Society.

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A Good Planet … http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/09/good-planet/ http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/09/good-planet/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 06:28:12 +0000 http://blog.marinebio.org/?p=3700 Continue reading ]]>
A Good Planet… from Ron Lagerlof

“This is my 2014 video reel. Shot on RED Epic MX and Epic Dragon cameras in some of the most amazing waters of the planet – Indonesia, Cayman Islands, Mexico (Pacific and Atlantic), Tonga and the Maldives. This film has recently been selected to screen at the San Diego Undersea Film Exposition.”

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Climate History Made! http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/09/climate-history-made/ http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/09/climate-history-made/#comments Sun, 21 Sep 2014 21:15:06 +0000 http://blog.marinebio.org/?p=3698 Continue reading ]]> “Today, 310,000 people took to the streets of New York City to call for climate action — the largest climate march in history. And on Tuesday, the world’s politicians will gather in New York to talk about climate action — 125 heads of state in total. They’ll be gathering with the knowledge that more people than ever are demanding action, not just words, and that their political future is on the line — as well as the future of the planet. We will bring that message to the top leadership of the UN inside Tuesday’s summit, with a hand-delivered message to top UN climate negotiators. If you stand with the hundreds of thousands of people who marched today around the world, tell world leaders that you mean business: http://act.350.org/letter/ready-for-action

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Mantis shrimp weapons and leptocephali like you’ve never seen them before… http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/09/mantis-shrimp-and-leptocephali/ http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/09/mantis-shrimp-and-leptocephali/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 07:04:53 +0000 http://blog.marinebio.org/?p=3684 Continue reading ]]> Dr Jamie Seymour from James Cook University and Emmy Award winning cameraman Richard Fitzpatrick film a spearing mantis shrimp at 1500 frames per second:

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Citizen scientists capture beautiful ribbon eel larvae (leptocephali) on film

“Leptocephali are the remarkably transparent larvae of eels and their relatives, but they are rarely seen because they mostly live in oceanic waters. Moray eel leptocephali are one of the smaller types of eel larvae (usually less than 90 mm), but recently very large, 300-400 mm (over 1 foot) long, leptocephali have been filmed and photographed in coastal Indonesia at Sangeang Island, Lembeh Strait adjacent to Sulawesi Island, Ambon Island, and Bali (Miller et al. 2013). The similarity of the head and body shapes of these leptocephali with adult ribbon eels, Rhinomuraena quaesita, suggest they are their larvae.”


This video shows large leptocephali that were filmed by divers at 3 locations within the Indonesian Archipelago from 2009 — 2011. These leptocephali were observed in Lembeh Strait adjacent to northeastern Sulawesi Island, at Ambon Island and at Bali, from December to April.

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Taking science primetime | Riley Elliott http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/09/taking-science-primetime-riley-elliott/ http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/09/taking-science-primetime-riley-elliott/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:16:13 +0000 http://blog.marinebio.org/?p=3680 Excellent TEDx talk by Riley Elliott about combining scientific research and media savvy to get the word out about important issues, like shark finning, to the most people to help effect change when it’s most needed.

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Slow Life http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/09/slow-life-daniel-stoupin/ http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/09/slow-life-daniel-stoupin/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 17:48:40 +0000 http://blog.marinebio.org/?p=3669 Continue reading ]]>
Slow Life from Daniel Stoupin

"Slow" marine animals show their secret life under high magnification. Corals and sponges are very mobile creatures, but their motion is only detectable at different time scales compared to ours and requires time lapses to be seen. These animals build coral reefs and play crucial roles in the biosphere, yet we know almost nothing about their daily lives.

Learn more about what you see in my post: http://notes-from-dreamworlds.blogspot.com.au/2014/03/slow-life.html

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Fantastic Encounter with a Grimpoteuthis http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/09/dumbo-octopuses/ http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/09/dumbo-octopuses/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 23:00:13 +0000 http://blog.marinebio.org/?p=3665 Continue reading ]]>

Deep-sea octopuses like this amazing one in the genus Grimpoteuthis (~17 species) are sadly nicknamed “dumbo octopuses” (after the Disney character) and are generally poorly understood because they live so deep at ~3,000-4,000 m (the average ocean depth is 3,790 m). They differ from other octopuses by generally having abandoned jet propulsion, relying on their ears fins as their primary mode of locomotion. Their fins are supported by an internal shell (which also differs from other octopuses, who usually have no shells of any kind) and their arms are also seriously webbed, with their webbing usually reaching to the tips of their arms. Learn more about finned deep-sea octopuses, Grimpoteuthis spp. and watch for more deep-sea life aboard the E/V Nautilus at http://nautiluslive.org.

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The Pale Blue Dot http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/09/the-pale-blue-dot/ http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/09/the-pale-blue-dot/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 11:52:53 +0000 http://blog.marinebio.org/?p=3659

From Carl Sagan to all of us here, on Planet Ocean, the Pale Blue Dot… by Reid Gower and The Sagan Series.

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Red Sea Highlights http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/09/red-sea-highlights/ http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/09/red-sea-highlights/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:20:58 +0000 http://blog.marinebio.org/?p=3658 Continue reading ]]>

This is a highlight reel mostly from two weeks of diving in southern Sudan aboard the Don Questo live-aboard, with supplementary footage from Saudi Arabia. The central Red Sea (southern Sudan in particular) is a truly fantastic place, home to an array of incredible sharks species, majestic manta rays, massive groupers, curious jacks, schools of barracudas and more. This video was created to showcase the incredible beauty of the region and, more importantly, to inspire and convince viewers that this largely unknown, unfished, and unexplored place is well worth preserving.

Alex Kattan is a masters student in marine science at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia. He loves the ocean and all its inhabitants, with a particular fascination with tropical coral reefs. He enjoys sharing this passion with others through education, outreach, film and social media. He can be reached by email at alexander.kattan@gmail.com.

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Disruption: Climate. Change. http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/09/disruption-climate-change/ http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/09/disruption-climate-change/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 00:18:59 +0000 http://blog.marinebio.org/?p=3653
“DISRUPTION” – a film by KELLY NYKS & JARED P. SCOTT from Watch Disruption.
Join the Peoples Climate March, September 21st @ peoplesclimate.org.

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Obama to create world’s largest ocean preserve http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/06/obama-to-create-worlds-largest-ocean-preserve/ http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/06/obama-to-create-worlds-largest-ocean-preserve/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 22:02:17 +0000 http://blog.marinebio.org/?p=3636 Continue reading ]]> WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is looking to create the largest marine preserve in the world by protecting a massive stretch of the Pacific Ocean from drilling, fishing and other actions that could threaten wildlife, the White House said.

Aiming to protect marine wildlife, Obama will also direct the government to create a program to deter illegal fishing. The executive steps come as Obama is searching for ways to leave his second-term mark on the environment despite opposition from many Republicans in Congress.

Obama was to announce the steps Tuesday in a video message to those participating in an “Our Ocean” conference that the State Department and Secretary of State John Kerry are hosting.

Officials said Obama is considering a massive expansion to the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. The protected waters surround a group of mostly uninhabited islands, controlled by the U.S., that sit between Hawaii and American Samoa.

Read more…

Pink corals on the Palmyra Atoll in the Pacific. Part of three  island chains designated as protected areas by President George W. Bush.

Pink corals on the Palmyra Atoll in the Pacific. Part of three island chains designated as protected areas by President George W. Bush.

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Celebrate World Sea Turtle Day! http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/06/celebrate-world-sea-turtle-day/ http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/06/celebrate-world-sea-turtle-day/#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 16:14:40 +0000 http://blog.marinebio.org/?p=3624 Continue reading ]]> There’s World Turtle Day (May 23) then there’s World SEA Turtle Day, which is today! green sea turtleWhy is June 16th World Sea Turtle Day? It is the birthday of Dr. Archie Carr who is widely known as “the father of sea turtle biology.” Dr. Carr focused his entire career on sea turtle research and conservation. According to The Sea Turtle Conservancy:

Archie Carr was a great biologist. His early descriptive studies of turtles set the standard of quality in the field of natural history. Later on, as he focused on sea turtles, he moved toward ecology and behavior, although his work always retained a taxonomic and evolutionary perspective. For decades the National Science Foundation (and the Sea Turtle Conservancy and the Office of Naval Research) supported his research at Tortuguero, enabling him to mount one of the longest lasting and most intensive studies of an animal population that has ever been done. To date, more than 35,000 adult female green turtles have been tagged at the research station at Tortuguero. From this effort have come papers by Archie Carr, his students, and other investigators on orientation, migration, nesting behavior, nest physiology, sensory physiology, nutrition, demography, and other subjects. Almost all of the studies have significance for conservation — Archie Carr was a conservation biologist long before the field was recognized.

Of the seven sea turtle species, five are listed on the IUCN Red List as either vulnerable, endangered, or cirtically endangered. They are: leatherbacks (vulnerable), loggerheads (endangered), hawksbills (critically endangered), green sea turtles (endangered), Kemp’s Ridley (critically endangered), Olive Ridley (vulnerable), and flatback sea turtles (data deficient). What can you do to protect sea turtles?

  1. At night, keep bright lights off the beach to encourage sea turtles to nest and to ensure hatchlings can find their way to the sea.
  2. Keep beaches trash free to avoid turtles mistaking it for food or getting caught in plastic loops. Single use plastic bags are often mistaken by sea turtles for their favorite food, jellyfish. Consumption can cause them to suffocate.
  3. Join a coastal conservation effort working to protect sea turtle nests from predators.
  4. Of course you can always donate to MarineBio or join the MarineBio Conservation Society to help us share species information and raise awareness about the plight of endangered sea turtles. Whether you can spare $5 or $50, it will help us continue bringing the world a vast source of information on all things ocean.
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Happy World Oceans Day! http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/06/happy-world-oceans-day-2014/ http://blog.marinebio.org/2014/06/happy-world-oceans-day-2014/#comments Sun, 08 Jun 2014 11:47:09 +0000 http://blog.marinebio.org/?p=3620 Continue reading ]]>

Happy World Oceans Day 2014! ~ Together we have the power to protect the Ocean and all it’s marine life.

Join the MarineBio Conservation Society ~ Donate to the MarineBio Conservation Society

Discover 101+ ways you can help protect one of the most valuable resources on our Planet with the MarineBio Conservation Society: www.marinebio.org/oceans/conservation/local/

Learn more about #WorldOceansDay at: www.worldoceansday.org

Photo Credit ~ Christian Vizlwww.christianvizl.com / Christian Vizl UWPhotography

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Saving Sharks in Indonesia http://blog.marinebio.org/2013/08/saving-sharks-in-indonesia/ http://blog.marinebio.org/2013/08/saving-sharks-in-indonesia/#comments Thu, 15 Aug 2013 16:07:02 +0000 http://blog.marinebio.org/?p=3609 Continue reading ]]> blacktip shark

From our friends at the Gili Shark Foundation:

Indonesia is the largest exporter of shark fins in the world. There is no current (or planned) legislation for the protection of reef sharks in Indonesia and CITES Appendix II (which only covers international fisheries) does not cover them either. This means that the fishermen around Indonesia are acting totally within the law by catching, killing and finning these animals. The animals are sold at the local fish markets for a small price in huge numbers. Ideally we would be able to use legislation to ban all fishing of sharks, however, this isn’t realistically going to happen any time soon. The local Indonesian fishermen will land anything they can from the sea in order to make some money. When we were at Tanjung Luar Market the array of reef fish, eels, sharks, rays and pelagics was unbelievable. They will take anything they can.

There is no way we can currently affect the fishermen’s trade. They are legally allowed to do this and will do so in order to make a living. 17% of the rural population lives in abject poverty. If we cant stop them from landing the Reef Sharks then we have to try and find another way of saving them. We have been working with the Gili Eco Trust and have decided to try and intercept the sale of the sharks to the market by buying them straight from the fishermen before they are killed. By releasing them in ‘safe’ places maybe the Indonesian government and the fishermen will see the impact it has on dive tourism. If we can build a shark sanctuary around the three North-Eastern Gili Islands, which are less than 50 miles from the awful Tanjung Luar fish market then maybe we can change the minds of the legislators. We already have Project Momentum, which is attacking the problem from the top, but with this initiative we can also build up from the bottom to create a concerted effort all round closing the gaps and attacking the problem of the decline of our shark populations from all sides.

So, our aim here is to keep these sharks alive by intercepting them and preventing them from being killed and sold at the local markets. We have been able to make contact with local Balinese fishermen and have let them know that, for a nominal price, we will buy any sharks that are caught so that they don’t have to be killed and sold at the market. The local fishermen we have dealt with actual seem very interested and want to keep the sharks alive, but, of course their small income is a priority for them. This creates a dilemma for us. As shark conservationists we don’t want to create a bounty for live sharks and we don’t want to support shark fishing in anyway. This is absolutely not what we want or plan for. However, there is no way we can stop the fishermen catching these sharks and so if we don’t act in anyway we can, they will 100% end up in the fish market. It is up to us to act now and by doing so maybe we can show just how much tourism is generated and international acclaim is received by creating a second shark sanctuary in one of the worst countries for Elasmobranch fishing.

We received a call a while ago from a fisherman that had caught 6 White-Tip reef sharks that were all around a meter long. He was calling us to give us first refusal, because he had heard about our efforts to save these creatures, before he took them to the fish market. We settled on a price of Rp 2,700,000 (around $270) for all of the sharks including delivery to a sea pen in Bali. Monetarily this is nothing. It just shows that we are not being held hostage by fishermen trying to ransom sharks to us and it shows that we are not encouraging the fishing of sharks by paying extortionate prices. It does however give us a glimmer of hope on two levels. Firstly, we have saved six beautiful sharks from the dinner table; in a world where over 100,000,000 sharks are killed each year this is a small achievement yet it is still a step along the way. Secondly, and maybe more importantly, a local Indonesian fisherman has decided to go out of his way to help us protect these sharks. That again is a small step, but if we can then show Indonesia what each small step adds up to, then I think we are well on the way to making a serious change here. This is a huge task, but wouldn’t it be great if we could make even a small bit of difference. You never know what can happen.

So this leads me on to where we are now…

diver with blacktip shark

We have been working with Paul Friese from Bali Sharks because of his contacts within the local Balinese fishing community and because of his location with a purpose built sea pen in Bali. He has been rescuing sharks in this way for some time now housing and making sure they are healthy and then releasing them in a secret location off Sanur. Unfortunately, he cannot provide any monitoring after release as there is no shark foundation over there and there seems to be no communication between dive shops unlike Gili Trawangan. Here we have GIDA, we have the Gili Eco Trust and we have a fiercely strong dive community that work together on a conservation level as well as safety and business levels phenomenally well. We have rubbish collections, we have Finathons we have events for earthquake victims, we have Biorocks and MPAs and we also now have the Gili Shark Foundation. This just shows how much we come together as a community. We have the habitat, over 3000 hectares of no go zones (No fishing, no diving and no snorkeling). We have the fish stocks because of this. And we have a decimated yet existing shark population that is breeding; we have all seen the beautiful juveniles and the heavily pregnant females cruising around. This shows us that they are healthy and our islands are a good and safe place for them to breed. Our islands are capable of supporting a much larger shark population than we have at the moment, some of you may be able to remember how many there used to be. Apparently, from our research, sharks used to be common right off the front on the Biorocks. This is why we decided to start to release the sharks that are ‘ready’ into our waters.

Last Saturday four conservationists all traveled back over to the Gili Trawangan on the Gili Getaway fast boat with four sharks. Earlier that morning, we had packed them into polyboxes with hyper-oxegenated water and 100% pure oxygen. We got them back to the island where there was a team of people who helped us unload them from the fast boat straight onto one of the Big Bubble boats. We then drove out to our chosen release site, which was Manta Point where we have seen numerous sharks of both species. Each of the four teams were responsible for a shark and we had supervisors for each team as well as a supervisor watching all teams. We tagged and wrote down the vital information about each shark and then descended with the sharks after acclimating them to our water salinity and temperature and released them one by one underwater.


Gili Shark Foundation

As you can all see it was a phenomenal success. It was a great moment for each one of the sharks as they had previously been bound for the fish market. It was also a great success for the island not to mention a wonderful experience for everyone involved. Being all of our first experiences releasing sharks, it didn’t go without any hiccups. It was wonderful yet traumatic at the same time.

The white tips were incredibly strong and instantly were accustomed to their surroundings. They swam off purposefully. Unfortunately the black tips weren’t as strong. They were obviously disorientated but after an incredible amount of help from the divers they were swimming freely. We had all pretty much run out of air by the time we had to surface. One of them had bitten into the plastic and it had to be removed form its jaws in order to breathe freely. We would love all your ideas thoughts comments and advice so please don’t hesitate to like our FB page ‘Gili Shark Foundation’ and contact us at: http://www.facebook.com/gilisharkfoundation

– Steve Woods

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Ending Overfishing http://blog.marinebio.org/2013/07/ending-overfishing/ http://blog.marinebio.org/2013/07/ending-overfishing/#comments Mon, 08 Jul 2013 23:19:41 +0000 http://blog.marinebio.org/?p=3601
Ending Overfishing from OCEAN2012

Find out more about Sustainable Fisheries »

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Happy World Oceans Day! http://blog.marinebio.org/2013/06/happy-world-oceans-day-2013/ http://blog.marinebio.org/2013/06/happy-world-oceans-day-2013/#comments Fri, 07 Jun 2013 16:05:24 +0000 http://blog.marinebio.org/?p=3599

Celebrate World Oceans Day 2013 ~ Together we have the power to protect the ocean!

Discover 101 ways you can help protect one the most valuable resources on our Planet with MarineBio: www.marinebio.org/oceans/conservation/local/

Photo Credit ~ Pietro Cremone – Underwater Photography ~ www.cremone.it

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