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Argentines plan to shoot gulls to save the whales

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — What began as bizarre bird behavior has turned into something out of a horror film for threatened whales in Argentina, where seagulls have learned that pecking at the whales’ backs can get them a regular seafood dinner. Seagull attacks on southern right whales have become so common now that authorities are planning to shoot the gulls in hopes of reducing their population. Environmentalists say the plan is misguided and that humans are the real problem, creating so much garbage that the gull population has exploded. Both sides agree that the gull attacks in one of the whales’ prime birthing grounds is not only threatening the marine mammals, but the region’s tourism industry as well, by turning whale-watching from a magical experience into something sad and gruesome. Seagulls around the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Adv. Open Water, Conservation, Divetalking, Education, extinction, ocean, Preservation, Reference, Report, Rescue, Stories, Whales

Divers targeting lionfish on Florida reefs

It’s open season on invasive lionfish on the reefs of Florida and the Bahamas. By SUSAN COCKING scocking@miamiherald.com   On her first-ever scuba diving adventure on the colorful coral reefs and blue holes south of Eleuthera in the Bahamas, underwater photographer Maggie Martorell of Hollywood immediately noticed something was missing. “Where are all the little tropical fish?” Martorell wanted to know. The reef looked healthy; stands of mountainous star coral jutted up from the ocean floor, interspersed with tangled branches of staghorn. Soft corals, such as sea whips and sea fans, undulated with the gentle current. A few groupers swam around the entrance to a marine cave that descended into darkness in the middle of the reef tract. But Martorell was alarmed by what she didn’t see — convict-striped sergeant majors busily patrolling the reef to protect … Read entire article »

Filed under: Artificial Reefs, Divetalking, Education, extinction, Featured, Fish, Lionfish, ocean, Reefs, Reference, Report

Florida Fish and Wildlife Seeks Public’s Help with Lionfish Invasion

Florida’s lionfish invasion has become so dire that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have changed some fishing rules to allow for more people to start catching the pests in order to save their reefs. Lionfish, native to the Indo-Pacific, are indiscriminate predators, with virtually no natural predators of their own in these foreign waters. They gobble up literally anything and everything, including juvenile species who haven’t yet had a chance to spawn. Reports of reefs devoid of any fish save for lionfish are increasing, which opens up the lionfishing arena to just about anyone who can handle a spear. The changed rules are effective through August 2013, and are as follows: A recreational fishing license is not required when using a Hawaiian sling, pole spear, handheld net, or any … Read entire article »

Filed under: Alert, Conservation, Diver, Divetalking, Earth, Education, extinction, Featured, Fish, Lionfish, ocean, Preservation, Promotions, Reefs, Reference, Report

Top Marine Scientists Warn Reefs in Rapid Decline

By Agence France-Presse 11 July 12 More than 2,600 of the world’s top marine scientists Monday warned coral reefs around the world were in rapid decline and urged immediate global action on climate change to save what remains. The consensus statement at the International Coral Reef Symposium, being held in the northeastern Australian city of Cairns, stressed that the livelihoods of millions of people were at risk. Coral reefs provide food and work for countless coastal inhabitants globally, generate significant revenues through tourism and function as a natural breakwater for waves and storms, they said. The statement, endorsed by the forum attendees and other marine scientists, called for measures to head off escalating damage caused by rising sea temperatures, ocean acidification, overfishing and pollution from the land. “There is a window of opportunity for the world … Read entire article »

Filed under: Conservation, Divetalking, Earth, Education, extinction, ocean, Preservation, Reefs, Reference, Report

Up to 20,000 sea turtle eggs crushed by bulldozers on Caribbean island

By Miguel Llanos, msnbc.com   Thousands of leatherback sea turtle hatchlings and eggs were crushed over the weekend by bulldozers and excavators used to divert a river on the Caribbean island of Trinidad. “Unfortunately the engineers in charge bulldozed a far greater portion of beach than necessary, and they did destroy many viable nests,” the Papa Bois Conservation group posted on its Facebook page. It wasn’t immediately clear how much of an impact the tragedy would have on the critically endangered species, but the group noted that it happened on “the world’s most densely populated leatherback nesting beach.” Papa Bois said it wasn’t opposed to diverting the river, since it had been eroding not only a local eco-tourist hotel but the nesting area itself. But it noted that the work was done without supervision by “any of the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Conservation, Divetalking, Earth, Education, Events, extinction, ocean, Preservation, Reefs, Reference, Report, Turtles

Blue Whales sighting off California

Have you ever seen pictures of a submarine, while it was underwater? Long and sleek, like cylindrical tubes, blue whales are are the largest animal to be known to live on earth and are the largest mammal in the world. When born, the calf can weigh as much as one ton, gaining as much as 200 lbs a day during its first year. The gestation period for the female blue whale is approx 11 months. Blue whales are found in all our oceans, traveling alone or in small groups. They travel to regions that provide food or nursing their new born, known as a calf. During the summer months, they may be found in the arctic. As winter arrives, they migrate south towards the equator and can be found around the Baja California … Read entire article »

Filed under: extinction, Killer Whale, ocean, Preservation, Reference, Report, Shrimp, Stories, Whales

See Turtles!

Sea Turtle Identification Guide  From Monique Mancilla and Daniel Ponce-Taylor  [singlepic id=669 w=320 h=240 float=center] Sea turtles are an almost common sight while diving. We like watching them, following them and admiring them. Those who carry a camera like to take pictures and hoping for that perfect angle. Those with a video camera like to film their majestic movements. While we see them from time to time, do we know how to identify the species when found? Here is bit of terminology to assist you in honing your turtle identification skills! Identifying Features of Sea Turtles: • Carapace: The upper part of the shell • Plastron: The underside of the shell protecting the belly • Scutes: The scales on the shell and body • Dorsal Ridges: The longitudinal ridges running down the top of the upper shell • Beak: The mouth To … Read entire article »

Filed under: Conservation, Diver, Divetalking, Education, extinction, Featured, ocean, Preservation, Reefs, Reference, Report, Turtles

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