Australian lawmakers enact largest removal of conservation zones in the world
Via some deft political maneuvering, the Australian government has railroaded through new legislation that removes protections from sensitive marine environments. Opponents of the move are calling it the largest unwinding of conservation zones in world history, at least by area, exceeding the Trump administration’s downsizing of two national parks to make way for mining. For updates and ways to protest this decision, please see this thread in the Wetpixel forum.
RED announces Gemini low light sensor
RED Digital Cinema are shipping a new low light sensor for the EPIC-W brain. It is a 15.4 MP 5K Super 35mm sensor called Gemini. RED notes that this offers around 2 stops of improved low light performance (at the expense of clipping the highlights 2 stops earlier). Control is via DSMC2, it is compatible with RED’s family of OLPF filters and has interchangeable lens mounts.
Arctic sea ice extent among lowest on record
The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has recorded that on 17 March, the Arctic sea ice pack reached its likely maximum extent for 2018. The area is 14.48 million square kilometers (5.59 million square miles) which is the second lowest in the 39 year satellite record. In the Southern hemisphere, the minimum extent of sea ice was recorded on 20 and 21 February, with it also being the second lowest in the satellite record.
Video: Deep sea anglerfish with parasitic male
A video shot by a special submersible at around 800m (2624 ft) off São Jorge Island, Azores, shows the first ever recorded footage of a female fanfin sea devil (Caulophryne jordani) with an attached parasitic male. Like other deep-sea anglerfish, the female has a bioluminescent, lurelike appendage (esca) that drifts in front of her head to attract prey. But in the video, the filaments and fin rays also appear to emit light at their tips and at intervals along their length.
The Ocean Cleanup Foundation releases starling results of Pacific Garbage Patch survey
The Ocean Cleanup Foundation has released the results of a 3 year project that mapped and cataloged the size and composition of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. They are startling and dramatically exceed previous estimates: There are 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic, weighting 80,000 metric tons afloat in an area of 1.6 million square kilometers between Hawaii and California.
DEEP 2018: Results controversy
The results of the 2018 DEEP Indonesia imaging contest, co-hosted by Wetpixel and DivePhotoGuide have attracted significant numbers of comments. As a result, an exhaustive investigation was launched, soliciting the knowledge and opinions of leading scientists, active underwater photographers and local experts. This editorial presents a synopsis of the results of this investigation.
M.I.T. scientists design a robotic fish to track ocean health
Scientists at M.I.T. have developed a robotic fish, which they revealed yesterday, to someday be used to monitor fish and ocean health. The maiden voyage occurred in Fiji and proved that the robot was capable of autonomously swimming up to a depth of 60 feet. The robot is named “SoFi”, like Sofie, but actually short for Soft Robotic Fish.
Wreck of USS Juneau discovered in Solomon Islands
The final resting place of the World War II ship U.S.S. Juneau was discovered by Paul Allen’s research vessel at more than 2.5 miles deep off the coast of the Solomon Islands. The U.S.S. Juneau was hit by a Japanese torpedo and sunk on November 13, 1942 killing 687 people aboard, among them the five Sullivan brothers: George, Frank, Joe, Matt, and Al. Allen’s research vessel has been surveying many locations throughout the Pacific to find other wrecks such as the U.S.S. Lexington, U.S.S. Ward and U.S.S. Indianapolis.
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