The following outstanding 2 hour video shows the amazing biodiversity of the marine life in the Andaman Sea (in the northeast Indian Ocean). Produced by Nick Hope at Bubble Vision, he again amazes us while introducing us to many rarely seen marine species the way they should be met, in their home under the sea.
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The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute has released a free iPhone app, for the identification of Pacific fish species. The species covered spans from Baja California to Ecuador, including the Galapagos.
The app evolved from the book, “Fishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific” published in 1994. However, the app covers over 1,300 species allowing the identification of 10% of the world’s tropical fish species whereas the book only has 700. The app is free on iTunes: here and is potentially one of three apps according to iTunes descriptions.
Having downloaded and played around with this app it is very easy to use. It has a clear lay out containing a notebook section where you can compile your own lists and each page comes with a glossary section for any words used that aren’t understood. When you click on one fish you will also see other members of the family before it goes directly to the profile page, allowing for a perfect match. I like the feature of being able to find out the IUCN red list status which is available on each profile page. A useful little app that I would recommend to anyone needing to identify any pacific fish species!
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This story proves how we’ve only scratched the surface of what we know about the ocean and marine life.
Some animals are classified as “intelligent” if they use tools right? What about fish? It is known that some fish use tools to crush the shells of their prey but it is not well documented in photos. Recently a diver on the Great Barrier Reef managed to photograph a tuskfish using a rock as an anvil to smash a clam shell open.
Tool use in the tuskfish Choerodon schoenleinii?
Fig. 1 a–f: Series of six photographs of a black spot tuskfish, Choerodon schoenleinii using a rock as an anvil to open a cockle shell. The photographs span 75 s and were taken while on a dive in the Keppel Islands region of the southern Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia. Broken shells are seen lying on the sand near the rock.
ScienceDaily (Feb. 5, 2011) – Things are not always what they seem when it comes to fish — something scientists at the Smithsonian Institution and the Ocean Science Foundation are finding out. Using modern genetic analysis, combined with traditional examination of morphology, the scientists discovered that what were once thought to be three species of blenny in the genus Starksia are actually 10 distinct species. Continue reading →
and worms(?)…. How appealing is that when you think of the ocean? Something that captivates most of us and draws millions of us to its shores and into its waters? It seems that people still aren’t taking overfishing seriously. My litmus test is the culinary industry. When I have time, which is never, I love to cook. Since I never have time, the next best thing is to watch my favorite cooking shows on TV – generally competitive shows like “Top Chef” or “Iron Chef.” These are shows where the best in the business compete with each other. Chefs, particularly “celebrity” chefs, are like the fashion designers of food. They’re the ones who establish what foods are fashionable in the culinary scene – and they always seem to be using red-listed fish. Tuna, Chilean seabass, grouper. It makes me cringe. Because people are inspired by what these chefs cook and the go to the markets to buy the ingredients that these chefs use. It’s frustrating as an armchair chef and conservationist when I know there are so many other products they could and should be using – they’re the ones who need to set an example!
I highly recommend reading this excellent article published in a newspaper in Australia. The article was inspired by a new documentary film about overfishing called The End of the Line. It’s time for chefs, and cooks in general, everywhere to respect the need to stop overfishing and set an example.
“WHERE have all the fish gone?” is the key question asked by new documentary film The End of the Line. And it doesn’t pull punches in detailing the ravages of global overfishing. Collapsed species, poor people going hungry, our seas emptied of all but mud and worms. Continue reading →