New study uses non-lethal whale research methods
A pioneering study by Australian and New Zealand scientists has disproved the traditional position; that in order to study whales it was necessary to kill them. Conducted under the banner of the Southern Oceans Research Partnership (SORP), seventeen researchers gathered information about whales using skin biopsy, photography, satellite tagging and acoustics to study population structure, distribution, movement, feeding and ecological role of Southern Ocean whales.
During the expedition, the team attached 30 satellite tracking tags, collected 64 skin biopsy samples and 61 individual tail fluke photographs from humpback whales. They also deployed 110 sonobuoys which recorded the sounds of blue, humpback, minke, fin and sperm whales, as well as an unidentified beaked whale. Lastly, they were able to track the movements of blue whales for 36 hours.
The findings of their research will be presented to the International Whaling Commission meeting next year.
BBC: Shark finning in Mozambique
BBC Oceans has filmed Phillipe Cousteau Jr. and his team visiting a small isolated community in Mozambique which has recently become active in the shark finning trade. He observed that the trade, a recent phenomena in the Indian Ocean, has increased at an alarming rate and is filmed attempting to understand why this new industry has taken hold in an area not traditionally associated with it.
Sanyo announces 2500 mAh eneloop battery
Sanyo Europe has announced the release of AA eneloop batteries in a 2500 mAh capacity. Eneloop batteries have been the choice of many underwater photographers, and this increase in capacity is a welcome feature. The new batteries are branded XX and have the same low self-discharge rates as their predecessors.
In addition, in the forums Drew Wong has posted a review of Nickel Zinc batteries (NiZn) based on his use of them in his strobes over the past eight months.
New World Publications announces Marine Life Library
A collection of magazine articles from the past 30 years, written by Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach, the authors of best selling marine life field guides, is now available online. “The extensive collection of articles reflects the many years of experience and contributions Paul and Ned have made to dive travel industry and natural history. The release will be valuable addition to the archives of scuba diving history.” said Anna DeLoach, co-author of many of the later articles.
See the articles by clicking over to fishid.com, or continue reading for the full press release.
Canon XF305/300 approved for BBC HD Independent production
BBC HD announced the Canon XF305 and XF300 camcorders have been approved principal capture cameras for independent production. These cameras are the first ones with 1/3” CMOS sensors to make the list. The camcorders are the first fix lens 3xCMOS sensors cameras to capture 4:2:2 50mbps MPEG2 1080p video onto common high speed compact flash cards without an external recording device and proprietary cards. This camera is the most compact for undewater use on the list.
Call for entries: Capture the World 2011
UnderwaterVideography.com has announced its first annual underwater video challenge: Capture the World 2011. It is open to all underwater videographers from amateur to pro and aims to showcase the best benthic behaviors, astonishing action and splendid sequences.
Blue sharks tagged off Ireland
Two blue sharks (Prionace glauca) were tagged by researchers on the Irish West coast, the Irish Times reports. The sharks, named Granuaile and Queen Méabh by the University College Cork (UCC) team during the encounter off Cork’s Old Head of Kinsale, will be tracked as they move around the North Atlantic over this winter. Although blue sharks have been tagged before, this is the first time that archival “pop up” tags have been deployed: These tags detach after a specific time period, having collected and stored data on temperature, depth and light as the sharks migrate.
Palau President receives Ocean Heritage Award
Johnson Toribiong, President of Palau, has been awarded the Ocean Heritage Award by the Shark Research Institute. This reflects his creation of the worlds first shark sanctuary by outlawing shark finning throughout the entire Palau exclusive economic zone (EEZ). This will comprise some 237,000 square miles. At a recent UN General Assembly meeting. President Toribiong said:
“The need to protect sharks outweighs the need to enjoy a bowl of soup,” and went on to say, “these creatures are being slaughtered and are at the brink of extinction unless we take positive action to protect them.”
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