Misool Eco Resort seeks help to protect MPA Photo

Misool Eco Resort seeks help to protect MPA

Misool Eco Resort is now raising funds to sponsor a team of local Rangers with their own speedboat to patrol and protect a 200 sq km Marine Protected Area (MPA) around Batbitim, their resort island.

Conservation International and The Nature Conservancy have offered to provide training to the Rangers so they can patrol as well as collect baseline data on turtle nesting beaches, reef health, and migration patterns. The Ranger’s base will be at Misool Eco Resort, and with plans to establish posts on Kalig and Gelu. These Rangers will be the vanguard of local conservation, enriching our understanding of this ecosystem while safeguarding their grandchildren’s inheritance.

Misool Eco Resort is holding a donation raffle to help reach their goal. If you’d like to help protect their MPA, please head on over to their news page, which has detailed information about the MPA.

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Shark Conservation Act of 2008 approved Photo

Shark Conservation Act of 2008 approved

The Shark Conservation Act of 2008 was approved yesterday by the House Natural Resources Committee. This is a step in the right direction for protecting sharks worldwide.

The Act would strengthen the U.S. finning ban by closing enforcement loopholes, encouraging other countries to adopt shark conservation programs, and establishing a process that would ultimately allow for sanctions against countries that do not. The prohibition on the removal of shark fins at sea, added through the amendment, is the most reliable means of ensuring a finning ban accomplishes the intended goal. A “fins-attached” strategy is also key to helping scientists and enforcement agents determine the species of sharks retained in fisheries, data that are essential for assessing populations and enforcing species-specific protections. - Ocean Conservancy

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Digital Shootout Bonaire 2008 Live Coverage Photo

Digital Shootout Bonaire 2008 Live Coverage

Wetpixel’s Eric Cheng reports as the participants of this year’s Digital Shootout Bonaire undergo an intense week of underwater photography & videography, classroom workshops, image critiques, and much more! This year’s staff includes Berkley White (Backscatter), David Fleetham, Eric Cheng (Wetpixel), Dan Baldocchi (Under Exposures), Daniel Brown, Mary Lynn Price (DiveFilm), Len Bucko, Jim Decker (Backscatter), and Russ Sanoian (Backscatter).

This year, we will be updating via up-to-date video feeds from the Divi Flamingo Resort in Bonaire. Continue reading for updates…

*UPDATE* Digital Shootout 2008 contest winners have been announced!

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DiveFilm releases new podcasts Photo

DiveFilm releases new podcasts

With the International Whaling Commission meeting just around the corner, DiveFilm HD Video Podcast has released as its latest episode, Shawn Heinrichs’s “Whale Wisdom - A Mother Humpback’s View.”  This short film evokes the world of a mother and calf as whaling resumes in much of the world’s ocean.

Other great episodes of DiveFilm Podcasts recently released include Irish filmmaker Vincent Hyland’s homage to the ocean life off the South West coast of Ireland, and more of the award-winning video entries from the 2008 Our-World Underwater / Wetpixel / DivePhotoGuide Competition, including Simon Spear’s “Porbeagles in Peril” and Shawn Heinrichs’ “The Sardine Run.”  The most recent episode released of the original standard definition DiveFilm Podcast Video is Wags & Kelly’s “A Call to Action” which garnered honors in the OWU Conservation Video Competition.

Both DiveFilm Podcasts, the original and the HD version, are Featured Podcasts at iTunes, and are produced in association with Wetpixel.

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Wetpixel Quarterly ships issue 3 Photo

Wetpixel Quarterly ships issue 3

Wetpixel LLC is proud to announce the immediate availability of issue #3 of Wetpixel Quarterly magazine. In its trademark landscape-oriented, high-resolution format, issue #3 celebrates the American underwater landscape by showcasing the work of Alex Kirkbride, who spent three years photographing the waters of America’s 50 states.

Also featured are the winners of 2008’s Our-World Underwater and DEEP Indonesia photo competitions, run annually by Wetpixel and DivePhotoGuide. This collection of diverse imagery is truly an international celebration of the underwater world, featuring the photography of artists from 18 different countries.

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Amphibico announces Phenom Z7LE housing for Sony HVR-Z7U Photo

Amphibico announces Phenom Z7LE housing for Sony HVR-Z7U

Amphibico is proud to announce the new Phenom Z7LE underwater video housing for the Sony HVR-Z7U HDV camcorder.  The stand-alone housing with no port will be introduced at a price of $4795CAN.  Three port options are available, including a standard dome, flat port, and 94° wide-angle port.

The Phenom Z7LE for the Sony HVR-Z7U is an electronic and mechanical combined housing which gives a complete control of your camcorder while filming your underwater scenes. Amphibico has also added a 2-year Amphibico warranty to the housing. The housing should be available in July 2008. Continue reading for full press release.

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Queensland, Australia considers creating a dedicated shark fishery Photo

Queensland, Australia considers creating a dedicated shark fishery

We are shocked that the Queensland, Australia Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) is creating a dedicated shark fishery at a time when shark populations worldwide face unprecedented fishing pressure and many have been drastically reduced.

Although the DPI&F’s measures intend to bring sustainability to shark fishing, they appear to be driven by short-term financial gain. Instead, the establishment of shark fisheries will deplete shark populations and produce negative impacts to the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem. Short term economic interest of a small number of fishermen should not be placed above one of Australia’s – and the world’s - most precious resources: sharks and the Great Barrier Reef.

If you are against Australia’s actions, please take the time to sign these two petitions: [Shark Savers] [Australian Marine Conservation Society]

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Oceanic white-tip shark expedition trip report Photo

Oceanic white-tip shark expedition trip report

I’m told often by folks who have been on the ocean for decades that that oceanic white-tip sharks (Carcharhinus longimanus) were once one of the most common sharks in the ocean… We pulled up close to Cat Island in the late afternoon on the 30th, and a few minutes later, the back deck erupted into frantic activity. Everyone threw on their gear and launched themselves off the back of the boat. At the stern were three oceanic white-tip sharks (all female). One of the sharks had four pilotfish around her… (continue reading for full trip report)

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