Egypt unrest reaches Red Sea resorts Photo

Egypt unrest reaches Red Sea resorts

The BBC is reporting this morning that the widespread protests against the ongoing political rule of President Hosni Mubarak has now reached the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh, with barricades being erected in front of resort hotels. It is believed that the president may actually be at his summer dwelling, which is part of a hotel complex in the area. Although the situation on the Red Sea coast seems calm, it is important to bear in mind that many of the workers in the resort towns have roots and family in the areas that are currently affected. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is now advising that Britons in Cairo, Alexandria and Suez should leave if it is safe for them to do so. This does not apply to people in Red Sea resort areas at this time.

Many Wetpixel members live and work in Egypt and I’m sure we all send them our support in what must be a difficult time.

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Jim Abernethy speaks to the press about shark bite Photo

Jim Abernethy speaks to the press about shark bite

Our good friend, Jim Abernethy, has been released from the hospital after he was bitten by a shark in the Bahamas 3 days ago and evacuated by helicopter to a St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. Wearing his “Stop Eating Shark Fin Soup” shirt, Jim gave a press conference earlier today where he talked about the importance of sharks in the marine ecosystem. Jim also showed that he has full mobility in his arm and hands. Continue reading for the video of the press conference.

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Eric Cheng joins the Sharksavers board Photo

Eric Cheng joins the Sharksavers board

Wetpixel editor, Eric Cheng, has joined the board of directors at Sharksavers. Other new members of the board include Sue Chen of the Reef Check Foundation, Wyland Icon award-winning dive center owner Martha Watkins Gilkes and jounalist and award-winning photographer Douglas David Seifert.

Sharksavers has also expanded it’s board of advisors to include Jim Abernethy and Howard and Michelle Hall. Sharksavers was founded in 2007, and focuses on education and awareness of the issues around the commercial fishing of sharks, and the empowerment of people to take action by taking part in programs and campaigns. Current campaigns include generating support for a anti-shark finning bill currently going through parliament in Guam and the “Take the Pledge-Say No to Shark Fin Soup” campaign.

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Keldan increases output on LUNA 8 CRI light Photo

Keldan increases output on LUNA 8 CRI light

Keldan has announced that it has increased the output of their LUNA 8 LA-V CRI video light to 4000 lumen. The LED unit in the light has been redesigned, but still provides a color rendering of 95. Color rendering ensures that the spectrum of light is distributed correctly through the color temperature. We plan to feature an article on color rendering soon.

The light weighs 1.1kg, and has a burn time of 55 minutes using the supplied Li-Ion battery.

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Guam’s sharks need our support Photo

Guam’s sharks need our support

Sharksavers is calling for people to write letters or emails in support of a new bill that will outlaw the shark fin trade in Guam. Guam Vice Speaker BJ Cruz and Guam Natural Resources Committee Chair Senator Rory Respicio introduced Bill No. 44-31, banning the sale and possession of shark fins and manta parts in Guam. A hearing for it is set for 1 February. In the meantime, fishing interests are mobilizing in opposition to the Bill and it needs support to make it through the legislature.

There are template letters, and instruction on how to send your support for the Bill on the Sharksavers website. As the hearing is so soon, they need the letters by 30 January, so please don’t delay.

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Gates announces 3D beam splitter housing Photo

Gates announces 3D beam splitter housing

Gates Underwater Products has released details of their underwater 3D beam splitter system housing known as Deep Pulsar/Deep Atom (DPA). Designed specifically for use with Element Technika Pulsar and Atom Beam Splitter rigs, the Gates housing can accommodate a variety of cameras, including RDCC EPIC, Sony P1, E3 and others by request.

The new housing will allow for complete control of IO, convergence, lenses and cameras, and will be supplied with a 3D monitor as standard.

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Jim Abernethy hospitalized after shark bite Photo

Jim Abernethy hospitalized after shark bite

Jim Abernethy, owner of JASA and well-known to many Wetpixel members, was bitten by a Caribbean reef shark yesterday and hospitalized. Jim is at pains to stress that his injuries are minor and that he plans to resume his shark advocacy at the earliest possible opportunity. This is from his Facebook page:

“Thank you for your concerns and well-wishes tonight; I’m going to be fine. My concern is for the future of sharks. Each day more than 200,000 are killed - mostly for shark fin soup. Since the 1970s, sharks populations have plummeted by as much as 80 percent, with some species reduced by a staggering 97 percent. I’ve spent the last two decades of my life in the Bahamas with the sharks that I love. Today’s minor incident will not deter me. I will continue my mission to help protect these beautiful animals and share their grace and wonder with others. I am dedicated to promotion and establishment of marine preserves for these creatures and all marine life. This is the only way to help protect the future of our oceans – and the life, resources, and joy it brings to all of us.Thank you again for your concerns and well wishes. I plan to be back out to sea in a few days.”

I’m sure all Wetpixel member will join in wishing Jim a swift recovery.

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Women Divers Hall of Fame class of 2011 announced Photo

Women Divers Hall of Fame class of 2011 announced

The Women Divers Hall of Fame (WDHOF) has announced ten new members for 2011. The WDHOF is a non-profit organization dedicated to recognizing and honoring the contributions of women divers. Amongst those on the list for 2011 are: Anna DeLoach, Karen Straus, Maureen Langevin, Céline Cousteau, Michele Westmorland and Christina Zenato.

They will be inaugurated into the society at a ceremony during the Beneath the Sea Awards Banquet on 26 March.

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