Issue 10 of Beyond Blue magazine available
Issue ten of Beyond Blue is now available and the theme for this issue is predators. Among the articles are “Killing the Killers” by Christopher Bartlett which is an account of a scientist’s battle against Crown of Thorns starfish; “This Slug is a Fighter” by Yara Tibiriçà about the under-rated nudibranch predators, and “Great Whites Hit the Beach” by Oliver Jewell featuring a look at tracking white sharks into the shallow waters around South Africa.
PEW Group on shark conservation in The Bahamas
Matt Rand, Director of Global Shark Conservation of the PEW Environment Group has been featured in a video on YouTube emphasizing that shark conservation should be a priority as the outcome of removing them for a tourist oriented economy like that of The Bahamas is potentially devastating:
“Here in The Bahamas, shark tourism activity actually brings in $78 million into the economy annually and reef sharks here are actually estimated to be about $250,000 each for shark tourism and shark related activities here in The Bahamas. So it is an important economic driver and it’s a sustainable situation. If you leave the sharks in the water, keep them healthy as you currently have them, and keep the ecosystem healthy right now then you will have this resource for future generations to come, so that the kids will actually be able to see a healthy ocean environment as well.”
Scubazoo films footage for BBC Human Planet
BBC Human Planet Ocean: Into the blue will go to air in the UK on 13 January. Filmmakers Scubazoo were heavily involved in the filming of the episode including providing footage of the Pa’aling fishermen of the Philippines and the Bajau Laut sea gypsies who spend most of their lives afloat. In the latter, a fisherman named Sulbin performs an incredible two and a half-minute freedive. Videographer, Simon Enderby comments:
“As I bobbed around on the water’s surface, in full scuba diving kit and with my underwater camera, I couldn’t help but be amazed as I watched Sulbin take a last few deep drags of his hand rolled cigarette, pull off his shirt and shorts, affix his wooden goggles over his eyes and take a few big breaths before slipping off his hand-made wooden boat and into the watery depths. I filmed as he descended to the 20m deep-sea floor where he began to walk along the bottom as if on a gentle Sunday morning stroll. After 2 minutes of searching Sulbin finally selected his desired fish, lined up his antiquated wooden speargun, and fired. Successful, Sulbin pushed off from the seafloor and returned once more to his boat with his family’s next meal leaving me bemused and bubbling away with my high-tech scuba gear.”
BBC approves Canon XF305 and XF300 HD camcorders
Canon reports that the BBC has added the XF305 and XF300 HD camcorders to it’s list of approved cameras. The broadcaster has bought the XF305, and started to take delivery of units last December. Both units are now approved to produce entire programs for the BBC’s HD channels. It had been approved previously for use by independent filmmakers .
The XF305 is a fixed lens 3xCMOS sensor camera capable of capturing 4:2:2 50mbps MPEG2 1080p video directly onto standard high speed compact flash cards.
From my view gallery opening in Monterey
Wetpixel members Mike and Jody Elliot are opening a gallery dedicated to fine art about the sea and land. The gallery is called “from my view”, is located in Monterey, California, and features Jody’s aluminum prints of macro underwater life and Mike’s HD underwater video. They are holding a grand opening on 22 January, from 1-5pm and all Wetpixel members are invited to attend!
20% of the proceeds from sales at the opening will be donated to Shark Savers, so you will be supporting a great cause too.
Laurent Ballesta films live coelacanths in the wild
There is an incredible documentary online that features Laurent Ballesta filming live coelacanths in the wild off the coast of Mozambique. Coelacanths were believed to have been extinct for over 60 million years until a specimen was found off the east coast of South Africa. The short documentary is part of a series called Ushuaia Nature. It’s all in French, but the video is very interesting for those of us who explore the ocean’s depths. Skip to 20:30 for the start of the deep dive footage.
Wetpixel Expeditions: Alaska in June 2011
Wetpixel Expeditions are seeking a few good people to join them on their Juneau to Sitka Alaskan trip running from 11 to 23 June. Based on board the Nautilus Swell the trip will take in: Underwater kelp forests, white plume anemone forests, Steller’s sea lions, rockfish, anemones, crabs, shrimp, amphipods, ratfish, and much more. Reef walls are nearly 100% covered in bright orange, red and yellow invertebrates and on top of all this is the amazing top-side scenery of Alaska.
Eric Cheng had a phenomenal trip on a similar route in 2007, so expectations are high for this one. If you would like more information, please head on over to the expedition page, or contact organizer, Jason Bradley, directly.
The Kittiwake: Cayman’s newest wreck and artificial reef
On 5 January 5 2011 the USS Kittiwake was finally sunk off the west coast of Grand Cayman. Once she was ready to go down and the water was pumped on board it took only 60 seconds for her to fall to the sandy sea bed. The wreck sits in reasonably shallow water and is therefore great for both snorkelers and divers alike.
Only one day after sinking and marine life is already settling in; from snapper, jacks and juvenile sergeant majors. A private dive site (a first in the Cayman Islands) all divers will receive a medallion while snorkelers a wrist band for entry. Having dived the Kittiwake already I can attest to it being great for photography, there are some great angles and interesting objects all over the place. It is also vast so expect to take more than just a few dives to experience it all and get that perfect photo.
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