Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area threatened. Photo

Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area threatened.

AfriOceans reports that attempts are underway to allow line fishing in the Tsitsikamma Marine Protected Area (MPA), which has been established by the South Africa government as a “no-take” zone. In fact, the Tsitsikamma National Park is the oldest (proclaimed in 1964) and largest “no-take” MPA in South Africa and makes a substantial contribution to marine biodiversity protection in the Agulhas Bioregion. This new threat is a secretive process between government departments, after an attempt to open the area to fishing in 2007/8 failed.

Concerned individuals are being encouraged to send comments, which will be forwarded to the relevant minister.

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Wildscreen Film Festival 2010 Photo

Wildscreen Film Festival 2010

The 2010 Wildscreen wildlife and environmental film festival kicked off in Bristol, England last Sunday (10 October). The event, sponsored by BBC Earth and Animal Planet, lasts for 5 days, and will culminate in the judging of the 440 plus finalists of the Panda Award film competition. In addition, the festival features discussion panels and workshops, and is seen and marketed as a place to meet and network with other wildlife filmmakers.

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BBC clarifies position on DSLR footage Photo

BBC clarifies position on DSLR footage

HD Magazine published an article on the use of Canon 5D Mk2 video footage being used on a BBC drama, and subsequently received a call from the BBC technology department seeking to emphasize that DSLRs are not on the BBC’s approved camera list and that they were being considered on a ‘case by case” basis.

Ian Potts, BBC Executive Producer said:

“Cameras like the 5D and the 7D are going through our R&D departments and our simulations but at the moment they are not cleared for use mainly because of their aliasing issues. Moire patterns are also a concern but these aren’t new and cameras like the Arri D20 and D21 also show them. But the fact that the 5D produces a 22 megapixel image then brings that down to 2 for video without the necessary processing and filtering does concern us but the proof of the pudding is in the eating.”

He went on to say that the BBC is in the process of a tendering project to approve new HD cameras, and that anything with less than 50mb/s data rates was being looked at “unfavorably”.

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Barbara Block at TED: Tagging tuna in the deep ocean Photo

Barbara Block at TED: Tagging tuna in the deep ocean

Marine biologist, Barbara Block (a MacArthur “genius” grant winner), part of the Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP) team operating out of Stanford’s Hopkins Marine station delivered a talk to TED in April this year. Her study is attempting to combine physical tracking data of bluefin tuna with physiological and genetic analysis of them and through this to develop population and ecological models to help us understand these fishes’ roles in the ocean ecosystem. The ultimate aim is to learn to better manage these important food fish.

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Raja Ampat contest: Last chance to vote Photo

Raja Ampat contest: Last chance to vote

Voting for the Wetpixel 2011 Raja Ampat Entrance Tag Design contest finishes tomorrow (11 October 2010). The standard of the entries has been so high and the rankings so tight, that any votes cast now could make a huge difference to the outcome of the contest: So please go over to the voting page and vote for your favorites. The winning designer will receive an all-inclusive, minimum 10-day dive trip for two people in Raja Ampat and their tag will adorn the BCDs of visiting divers from all over the world throughout 2011.

Your votes will make a difference, so please vote now.

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Underxmag issue 6 available Photo

Underxmag issue 6 available

Issue 6 of Brazilian based Portuguese language magazine Underxmag is now available for download. Amongst the articles in this issue are profiles of diving destinations including Curacao, Sipadan and Recife, which is highlighted as the “capital of shipwrecks”. Other features include an article on wide-angle ambient light photography, and this edition’s featured photographer is Daniel Botelho.

Underxmag is available as a free pdf download

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Oceans in Focus competition announces winners Photo

Oceans in Focus competition announces winners

The third annual Ocean in Focus Conservation Photo Contest has announced it’s winning entries. The competition received more than 300 image submissions from more than 80 photographers around the world. The winner was Guy Marcovaldi with a shot of a free diver removing sea turtle by-catch from a discarded fishing net. The net was discovered drifting off the coast of Bahia, Brazil, days after a storm in which 17 sea turtles were entangled and killed.

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British Wildlife Photography Awards announced Photo

British Wildlife Photography Awards announced

The results of the British Wildlife Photography Awards 2010 (BWPA) has been announced with the winner being an entry in the “Coast and Marine” class by Steve Young. The judges felt that his entry of a herring gull surrounded by crashing surf:

“Is a unique and striking image. One that captures perfectly the power, chaos and intensity of the ocean as it surrounds the majestic gull.”

Amongst the highly commended images are pictures from Alex Mustard and Charles Hood.

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