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Oregon house bans shark fin Photo

Oregon house bans shark fin

The Oregon House unanimously passed a bill to ban the sale of shark fins last Friday, the Seattle Times reports. The bill will now go to the Senate. If enacted, it will prohibit the possession and distribution of shark fins and will carry a fine of up to $720 for violations. Oregon has joined several other US states that are acting to curb shark finning: Hawaii has already adopted a ban. A similar ban in Washington state is awaiting the governor’s signature and another in California is pending in the Legislature.

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Spring issue of Alert Diver released Photo

Spring issue of Alert Diver released

US based members of DAN will have the spring issue of Alert Diver winging its way to them in the post. Highlights in the magazine include The Galapagos by Brandon Cole and Hawaii by Doug Perrine, The Ocean Views 2010 photo contest winners, manatees, Ohio quarries, Greek sponge divers, and dive medicine and safety articles from DAN.

Interestingly, the cover shot was taken with an Olympus 5050 compact camera in an Olympus housing using available light whilst free diving. The magazine should arrive in people’s mailboxes late next week.

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Sealux releases housing for Panasonic HDC-TM 900/SD 909 Photo

Sealux releases housing for Panasonic HDC-TM 900/SD 909

Sealux has announced the release of a new housing for the Panasonic HDC-TM 900 and SD 909 camcorders. The Sealux TM900 is milled from a solid piece of aluminum and hard anodized. It has an integral 3.6” wide-screen LCD screen with a re-designed sunshade and 30° viewing angle to allow the monitor to be used even in bright shallow water.

The TM 900 housing is available now at a price of 2264.71 euro.

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ADEX 2011 Report Photo

ADEX 2011 Report

Prowling the Suntec City Convention Center, Drew Wong gives his views on what happened to one of South East Asian’s biggest dive shows, Asia Dive Expo 2011. From housing manufacturers showing the latest and experimental 3D rigs that didn’t quite work as well to people serving panda meat; it wasn’t boring at all! There were video interviews with housing manufacturer Subal about their philosophies and future plans, manufacturers with carbon strobe arms and ingenious connectors that allow shooters to hook up many different configurations of lights/strobes and accessories etc. Read on as Drew rambles on about ADEX this year!

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This is your Ocean: Sharks wins award Photo

This is your Ocean: Sharks wins award

The Daily Pilot has reported that the film This is Your Ocean: Sharks was recognized with a Special Achievement Award in Environmental Filmmaking by MacGillivray Freeman Films. The film debuted at the Newport Beach Film Festival last Friday. The paper reports the film’s director George C. Scellenger as saying:

“”Sharks play a critical role in the health of our oceans,” and “the decisions we make right now determine the future of these animals. It’s critical that we see them differently and this film shifts the paradigm.”

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Australian Geographic publishes the State of our Oceans Photo

Australian Geographic publishes the State of our Oceans

Australian Geographic has published an except from a report from February 2008, conducted by an international team of scientists led by Dr Benjamin Halpern of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, USA. The study found that only 4% of the worlds oceans are now undamaged by human activity. Climate change, fishing, pollution, and other human factors have taken their toll in some way on all the other 96 per cent of the and a staggering forty-one per cent of the oceans are seriously damaged.

The article goes on to contrast this with the amazing biodiversity discovered more recently during the Census of Marine Life and the reality that this new discovery is already at threat due to the degradation of the oceans

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The Nightstalker: Hunting octopus at night on Vimeo Photo

The Nightstalker: Hunting octopus at night on Vimeo

Russ Sanoian of Backscatter has published a clip of a hunting octopus during a night dive at Little Cayman onto Vimeo:

“Once I entered the lair of the beast I was cornered and my only way out was to shadow his every move and when the opportunity presented itself, scurry out the nearest crack…”

Whilst Russ was filming, the octopus would stop and come over to touch his hand and then go right back to hunting before returning again for some affection. Russ lists cephalapods as his favorite critter to see on a dive.

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Operation Squid Skin: Developing the ultimate camouflage Photo

Operation Squid Skin: Developing the ultimate camouflage

Woods Hole Marine Biology Laboratory are running a project for the Office of Naval Research to “to study and ultimately emulate the exquisite ability of some marine animals to instantly change their skin color and pattern to blend into their environment.” Researchers Roger Hanlon and Lydia Mäthger are studying the way longfin inshore squid (Loligo pealeii) change color to mimic their environment with an aim of reproducing this in materials. The team has previously discovered that cephalopod skin contains opsins, the same type of light-sensing proteins that function in the eyes, and now plan to research how these sense light and the neural pathways involved. Previous research has suggested that the that as squid have polarized vision, it might be possible that they send concealed signals to one other while staying camouflaged to fish or mammalian predators, most of which do not have this ability.

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