Wednesday, 28 May 2008

The Annual WWF Turtle Benefit Ball, Fiji

An enchanted evening for the endangered turtle

The venue before the majority of the guests arrived. © WWF Fiji / Jone Tuiipelehaki.

The Annual Turtle Benefit Ball is promising to be another evening of fun, feasting and most importantly, gathering much needed support for turtle conservation in Fiji.

The event scheduled for the 7th June, 2008, has already attracted commitments from the following:

The inaugural Turtle Benefit Ball held in 2007, attracted more than 200 guests from different professions and repute to aid WWF Fiji and partners in their efforts to protect the endangered sea turtle – a cultural icon for the island nation. The Ball raised a total of FJD 10,000 that supported several key activities such as:

  • nesting beach surveys during December 2007
  • community road shows in Vanua Levu aimed at primary and secondary school students
  • national high school art and poem competition
  • the first ever satellite tagging of hawksbill turtles on Yadua Island and the Mamanuca group

The 2008 Turtle Benefit Ball is aiming to again raise more public awareness and corporate engagement to continue the momentum of activities enabled by the funds raised in the previous ball.

Former Fiji PM Sitiveni Rabuka and WWF's Ashwini Prabha at the 2007 Turtle Benefit Ball. © WWF Fiji / Jone Tuiipelehaki.

This year’s theme is linked to the International Year of the Reef and particularly looks to illustrate the important role of turtles in maintaining the health of coral reefs. Turtles have recently been heralded as the emerging ‘canaries’ of climate change particularly as they are a good way to study the impacts of climate on coral reefs and associated ecosystems.

» Download our flyer for more details

» Learn more about turtles

Call 3315533 and speak to Akisi / Jone for ticket / table reservations or further enquiries.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Under the Sea Website Now LIVE

Under the Sea Website Now LIVE

Get ready to take a one-of-a-kind tropical plunge and come face-to-face with some of the most colorful and intriguing creatures of our oceans in stunning IMAX 3D! Under the Sea 3D will transport you to the exotic locations of Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia's Coral Sea to explore these animals in their native habitat, and witness the impact of global warming.
• Check out the Webisodes that take you behind the scenes on this far-flung film shoot

• Read director Howard Hall's Travel Log for insight into the making of his newest IMAX 3D underwater film
• Learn more about these intriguing South Pacific destinations through the Location Profile
• View stunning imagery both above and below the surface in the photo Gallery
• Submit your OWN underwater photos on our Community page

Shark Fin Soup driving 11 species to extinction

Shark Fin Soup driving 11 species to extinction

Shark Fin

Tremendous demand for Shark Fin Soup is driving 11 shark species to extinction reports Discovery Channel “Despite mounting evidence of decline and increasing threats to these species, there are no international catch limits for oceanic sharks,” said Sonja Fordham, a researcher at the Oceans Conservancy and Shark Alliance in Brussels

sf 2

Fin soup used to be a rare and very expensive delicacy in China. As the Asian economies grow, in particular that of mainland China, a middle class has emerged hungry for shark fin soup; they eat it almost as a status symbol. So what was a rare and expensive delicacy is now just part of the buffet at most weddings and corporate functions. This symbol of luxury and wealth is a luxury that the people in coastal communities in the developing world who depend upon shark meat for protein cannot afford. The sharks threatened by extinction certainly cannot afford this delicacy! Living sharks are enjoyed by recreational divers, bringing millions of dollars in foreign exchange to countries in both the developed and developing world. By contrast, the trade in shark fins has created a handful of millionaires in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

So how do we at GSTF stop this?

Read the Discovery article here:

Monday, 19 May 2008

Scuba car

Scuba car | Comments (1)
Apr 8, 2008

Scuba car...............................(2560.jpg)

It's straight out of a Bond movie (The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977, to be precise). But the cool thing is, this diving car is real. At last month's Geneva Motor Show, the sQuba - the world's first submersible car - was revealed to the world.

Scuba car...............................(2561.jpg)

Unlike military vehicles which can drive into the water and along the sea floor, sQuba can float on water. Then once you crack open its door to let the water in, it sinks and flies underwater at depths of up to 10 meters. The car's occupants breathe through a compressed air tank in the car, but it's roofless, so if something goes wrong it's easy to escape from.

Scuba car...............................(2562.jpg)

In addition to all that, sQuba is battery-operated and emission-free. Which is probably good news for fish. Created by Frank M. Rinderknecht of Rinspeed, it's currently a concept car, but keep an eye on the tide next time you're sunbathing. You never know what may emerge from the water. RM

Monday, 5 May 2008

Sharks of the World (Princeton Field Guides)

It's finally here -- THE DEFINITIVE and COMPLETELY (yes, very literally) EXHAUSTIVE shark guide. I've just picked up my copy and it still feels like a dream. As a serious shark enthusiast, this is the book that I have always dreamed about but has never existed, until now. If you're a shark enthusiast, it would be a tragedy not to acquire this book.

Here's why:

(1) There are lavish full color illustrations of every single species of shark known today -- 404 described species and 49 as-yet-undescribed species on 64 plates, each species in oblique view (not the usual profile shot), giving invaluable information on its shape in 3 dimensions. In addition to the most popular species (such as the great white or the blacktip reef shark), the least well known are also included in this book, such as Deania quadrispinosum or Etmopterus pusillus, or new species, such as Isistius labialis or Somniosus antarcticus. There are 3 plates of 18 species of angel sharks (Squatinidae)! All 5 species of Oxynotus are included! Nine species of saw shark (Pristiophoridae)!

(2) All breath-takingly accurate illustrations are by the same artist, ensuring consistent style. Mark Dando is among the most accomplished of shark artists; his attention to detail is truly astounding. As a discriminating and accomplished fellow natural history artist, I know what I'm talking about. Having said that, please understand that the illustrations chosen for the cover, while wonderfully accurate, are not representative of the exquisite skill demonstrated in his illustrations of more colorful species, such as the ornate wobbegong (Orectolobus ornatus). Therefore, at the risk of sinking in the mire of cliche, I nevertheless urge you not to judge this book by its cover!

(3) The work is truly exhaustive, not only in the number of species depicted. Where there is sufficient variation within a species, additional color illustrations depict sexual dimorphism, juvenile forms and races. All species are presented to scale with each other and a scale bar is provided for easy size comparisons.

(4) For those with a taste for the traditional practice of depicting sharks in profile line drawings, the illustrator satisfies in the textual portion of the book. Again, every single species is beautifully presented in a fine ink line drawing from the side (or from the top in angel sharks and saw sharks). With every species is included a detailed range map, and for most species the teeth are also illustrated. For many, the ventral view of the head is also presented.

(5) The text reads like a field guide, providing detailed notes on the measurements, distinguishing features, distribution, habitat, behavior, biology and status of each species, written by leading authorities on sharks. It even includes a checklist at the end so that shark watchers can record their sightings in the field.

I am completely confident that no shark enthusiast will be disappointed in this book. Seriously folks, the editorial review provided by the publisher for this book underestimates its worth. It's truly a gem and will probably remain the definitive reference and the ultimate field guide for a long, long time.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Google SMS adds flight info

We've long been fans of using Google SMS to fetch information from our phones. Now we can use it to retrieve airline numbers and flight status.

Just text your airline flight number to GOOGLE (466453) and in short order you'll receive a message listing arrival/departure times, flight status and even the airline's phone number. If you need only the latter, just text the airline's name. Of course, you can still use Google SMS to get driving directions, stock quotes and tons of other useful info. This is just a bit of extra icing on that already yummy cake.

  • Your flight number has to be proceeded with the two letter airline code...

  • I happened to wonder if Google SMS would do anything with the flight number. So first I typed in "UA flight 273" and got back a "Sorry, nothing for that" message. Then I tried "UA 273" and voila! There was the flight info!

See demo at this web age, works with real data,

Start using Google SMS. Want to get started right away? Just click the button and we'll send a link to your phone.

Get started now »

Text message your search query to 466453 ('GOOGLE' on most devices) and we'll text message back results.

Personalized SMS saves you time by saving your location. We'll automatically save your most frequently used location for future queries. You can also text 'set location' followed by a city & state or zip to save a new location. Try it out on our demo!

Try our interactive demo to the right and view results on the phone image as you would on your own mobile device. Discuss this product or click here for help.

Enter a search term (Hint: Click on the links under "Search Feature" in the table below to find specific information)

Or click on any of the links in the "Sample Query" column to view sample search queries: