Sunday, 26 February 2012

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Backscatter Custom GoPro Underwater Housing with Glass Lens and Underwater Removable Filter MountBackscatter Custom GoPro Underwater Housing with Glass Lens and Underwater Removable Filter Mount bs-gpuwg.jpg
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Friday, 10 February 2012

Reef Fish Identification: Tropical Pacific ebook now available!

Ned and Paul with Blio

Reef Fish Identification Tropical Pacific ebook!

Now you can take a copy of the Reef Fish Identification: Tropical Pacific with you on your laptop, phone or iPad. The new ebook is available in the Blio format for Android, iPad, iTouch, iPhone and Windows PC computers.

You can download a copy of Blio for your device at: http://www.meetblio.com/download/

then purchase a copy of our ebook from within the App
or at Blio.com for $29.95
.

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ebook now available!

Friday, 3 February 2012

The Great Fiji Shark Count

Throughout the month of April 2012, you have the opportunity to help celebrate and record Fiji’s amazing coral reef biodiversity, show you care about our world’s delicate coral reef systems, and have fun, by taking part in the FIRST FIJI-WIDE SHARK COUNT!

Easy to do, this is suitable for visitors and locals alike, whether you like to fish, snorkel, or SCUBA dive. We hope that tourists, school children, scientists and all people with an interest in the marine environment will take to the reefs with us to search for the Sharks of Fiji!

Black tip shark Tim Rock

The Great Fiji Shark Count will be held across Fiji in April 2012, and again in November 2012.

You can do a single count, or take part as many times as you like during that month, so that you cover different reefs. All data will be gratefully accepted!

So, see your resort, watersports operator or travel agent, get your Shark identification materials and dive into the beautiful blue waters of Fiji, to be a part of history!

Silver tip shark

The Great Fiji Shark Count

DIVE THE WORLD

The International Dive Magazine is a global lifestyle magazine focusing on extraordinary dive experiences, dive travel, exotic location and exciting marine life encounters.

Editor-in-chief Jesper KjĂžller extolls what his new publication will and won’t do: ”In our opinion many dive magazines kill the underwater images by cramping too many and too small photographs together in too little space – and then they suffocate the pages further with ugly advertising. Diving is visual activity and with DIVE THE WORLD we will let the images speak for themselves. Our goal is to take the reader along with us on a dive, even if they are relaxing in an armchair or airplane seat with the magazine. Properly telling a story requires space, and we will gladly let an article fill 16 to 20 pages if that is what it takes to bring a story to life.”

A relatively new idea in dive publishing, DIVE THE WORLD is for the traveling diver who enjoys easy tropical diving, marine life encounters and exotic adventures. Get your own subscription here and see a publication schedule here – DTW is on newsstands now.

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Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Voracious Demand Threatens Manta and Mobula Rays

A few years ago, something surprising began turning up in Asia’s fish markets: the gill rakers of manta and mobula rays.

Manta and mobula ray gills at a market.Manta Ray of HopeManta and mobula ray gills at a market.

Shawn Heinrichs and Paul Hilton, photographers who have been monitoring the international soaring trade in shark fins, decided to find out what was going on. The appearance of those creatures in the markets “came as a real shock to us,” Mr. Heinrichs said by phone from Indonesia. “They don’t even taste good, so what was the reason?”

On Saturday, the conservation organizations Shark Savers and WildAid released the results of a comprehensive global studyshowing that these species have been driven to the brink of extinction within a chillingly short space of time. The main reason is demand from China, where their gill rakers (filaments that filter the animals’ food from the water) are marketed as a supposed cure for a variety of ailments.

The southern Chinese city of Guangzhou is the hub of the trade in the dried parts, which retail for as much as $500 a kilogram (roughly $225 a pound), according to the research team’s findings.

The gills are boiled along with other fish products in a soup that is promoted as a cure for anything from chickenpox to cancer. “I call it endangered species soup,” said Mr. Heinrichs, who led the research.

The researchers note that the gills had not previously been prescribed in traditional Chinese medicine, and many of its practitioners conceded in interviews for the study that gill rakers were not effective in treating illness and that many alternatives were available. The rising popularity of the ingredient seems to be the result of traders’ efforts to create a market, the report’s authors concluded.

The growth in demand has been devastating for populations of both rays — all the more so because these creatures reproduce very slowly.

A female manta ray will produce between 10 to 16 pups at best during her lifetime, far fewer than great white sharks, for example, which can produce that many in a single litter. And while great whites are protected under international conventions, manta and mobula rays are not, largely because the fishing pressures described in the new report are little understood by conservationists and the general public.

“The economics and the moral imperative are clear,” Peter Knights, executive director of WildAid, said in a statement. “We need an immediate moratorium on gill raker trade, and measures for complete protection to some populations and to reduce fishing pressure for others.”

A silver lining is that these creatures are also viewed as generators of millions of dollars in tourism revenue because divers and snorkelers travel from far and wide to observe them.

For the time being, however, this is not helping to curb the trade. And because of the extreme vulnerability of the manta and mobula rays, the race to save them is “an entire factor worse” than the race to save sharks, Mr. Heinrichs said.

As I’ve written here before, it took years of campaigning before shark sanctuaries and bans on shark fin possession began to materialize.

With manta and mobula rays, “we simply don’t have the time to go through years of raising public awareness before action is taken,” Mr. Heinrichs said.“The race to preserve these species is almost over before it even started.”


Voracious Demand Threatens Manta and Mobula Rays - NYTimes.com