Scientists use Flickr image to track whale’s movements
Boston.com has reported that scientists have used a tourist’s image of a whale fluke, posted onto Flickr, to match with pictures taken by scientists of the same whale to show that it made an unprecedented 6,000 mile journey from Brazil to Madagascar. Whale number 1363 in the Antarctic Humpback Whale Catalog was first spotted by scientists off the coast of Brazil in August 1999, swimming with another whale for an hour. The scientists took skin samples and did genetic analysis, determining that both whales were female.
Skipping on two years, Freddy Johansen, a Norwegian tourist on a whale watching cruise, took a photo of the same whale’s flukes as it swam with two other whales off the east coast of Madagascar and then uploaded it onto Flickr some while later in 2009. Gale McCullogh, liaison to Flickr for the Allied Whale research group at the College of the Atlantic, Maine, matched the two images and was hence able to track the whales movements. McCullogh said:
“This to me is just an incredibly exciting way of reminding people they are our whales — they’re not the biologist’s whales.’’
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.
Amphibico releases housings for Sony XR350V, CX350V and CX300V
Amphibico has announced the expansion of their Dive Buddy Evo housing range with models to fit Sony XR350V, CX350V and CX300V camcorders. Aimed at recreational divers, they feature full electronic controls, are depth rated to 330 feet and are constructed of Amphibico’s usual aluminum.
Amphibico are quoted as saying that the housings will be available soon.
Nikon D7000 Digitutor now online
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.
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”.
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.
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.
- Panasonic updates G80/G81/G85 firmware to version 1.3 (via )
- Panasonic updates GH5 firmware to version 2.2 (via )
- Adobe updates Lightroom Classic CC to version 7.1 (via )
- The best Christmas trees are underwater (via )
- GoPro lost in Flamborough floats 350 miles and still works (via )
- New Englanders may soon see more Great White sharks (via )
- Killer Whales vs. Minke Whales (via )
- Diver “virtually swallowed” by a whale shark (via )
- Cast of Avatar 2 being trained to free dive (via )
- Canon updates EOS 1D X Mark II firmware to 1.1.4 (via )