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Rocha

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Posts posted by Rocha


  1. Ultimately, my point is that aquarium collectors are certainly a problem, but there is a wide swath of individuals that collectively contribute to the depletion of this ecosystem to a far greater extent than any collector could. This is why I believe in the expansion AND ENFORCEMENT of marine preserves. It holds everyone accountable for the stewardship of the site, instead of only regulating those that we perceive as the problem.

     

    Well said, that is exactly what I think too. Creating (and effectively protecting) well designed marine reserves is much more useful than shutting down entire industries or activities. If we shut down the aquarium industry today we are just opening a precedent for somebody to shut down the diving industry (or_____ insert your activity here, everything has an impact) tomorrow. I am optimist enough to think that both can be done responsibly, hopefully still in our lifetime.


  2. All I am saying is that these petitions are a slippery slope. Today is stop aquarium collection (in a managed area, like it or not, it is the US of A, and it is much better managed than Indonesia and the Philippines), tomorrow it will be "stop flash photography because it stresses the fish", and I did see this one before. The day after it will be "stop all diving", and so on.

     

    I am all for banning unregulated fish collection for example using cyanide in the Philippines, and that has gone down a lot, but still does happen.

     

    By the way, you wouldn't believe how much good aquariums in public places (including hospitals, restaurants, etc) do. That is the only exposure to the ocean for a lot of people, and I personally know some that became much more aware of environmental issues just by being exposed to an aquarium in a public place.

     

    I could go on for ever, but I will just give you one short example of why the aquarium trade is not as bad as it seems, especially in Hawaii. Take one of the OP's examples, Chaetodon tinkeri, this is a very valuable species, hard to collect, usually on deeper waters (80+ feet). They usually sell for $400 US dollars or more. The only reason they sell for that much is because only a few dozen (or less) make it to the shops every month. If an aquarium company "cleans up" the bottom and collects hundreds of these the price will drop like crazy and soon they will be selling for $40 instead of $400, this is simple supply and demand economics. So no company will flood the market like this, they self regulate. Aquarium fish are not like food fish. Oh, and by the way, I know many (at least 10) people that have kept these fish in their tanks for years. It's not like a person that just started a tank today will drop $400 in a fish...


  3. Increasing the MPAs to 70-80% is needed. And enforcement is needed.

     

    Increasing MPAs I agree with, completely stopping collection I do not, it will just increase pouching and illegal fishing. The same way you consider the aquarium industry a "disposable pet hobby" many people consider traveling thousands of miles to dive in exotic locations a needless hobby that leaves a huge carbon footprint, not to mention how much we spend in scuba and photo gear. Believe it or not, most people that have reef tanks do take care of their fish, and removing a yellow tang from the reef is not nearly as bad as removing a top predator like an Ulua.

     

    I have recently reviewed all of the information on yellow tang collection in Hawaii, and the catch is a stable 500,000 fish per year for almost the last 20 years. There were fishery-independent studies (visual surveys) carried out in the same time frame that found no evidence for decline in yellow tang population. We (humans) are simply replacing the top predator in the area (Ulua), and the yellow tang populations seem to not be suffering.

     

    Now I find your last statement on sending the collectors to one of the most pristine reef environments in the world very disturbing, but luckily I know that is not going to happen. So you'd rather have collection impact a pristine reef than have it better controlled where it is now (and has been for very long)?

     

    The monument is completely relevant for the question at hand though, the monument effectively protects 75% of Hawaii's reefs (and fishes).


  4. I am with the poster above, supporting the creation of marine protected areas, especially in places like Hawaii, will be always much better than creating new legislation.

     

    On a side note, collection for the aquarium trade in Hawaii is not nearly as bad as the OP makes it look. Hawaii has one of the best managed and monitored aquarium fish industries in the world. About 90% of all the aquarium fish exported from Hawaii are collected at the Big Island, by about 10 companies. Those companies created (and self-enforce) a very effective network of marine reserves along the coast of the Big Island.

     

    In addition, 75% of all the reefs (and therefore fish) in Hawaii are completely safe from fishing/pouching/collecting because they are inside the boundaries of the very well protected Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, which is one of the largest marine reserves in the planet. Frankly, I think there is no need for such a drastic measure as banning all fish collection in Hawaii.


  5. An interesting feature of the new Macs:

     

    Newly-introduced Macs -- namely Mac minis and MacBook Airs introduced today -- have a new feature called "Internet Recovery" that downloads and installs OS X Lion even if your Mac has a failed or blank hard drive.

     

    Much of the concern around Lion being download-only (though it will be available via USB key) was how to do a clean install after a hard drive replacement, for instance. For new Macs, it sounds like it will be very easy.


  6. New from Apple, MacMinis (they don't have optical drives anymore):

    Standard models

    - 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5, 500 GB hard drive, 2 GB RAM: $599

    - 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 500 GB hard drive, 4 GB RAM: $799

     

    Server model

    - 2.0 GHz, dual 500 GB hard drives, 4 GB RAM: $999

     

    MacBook Airs:

    11.6-inch

    - 1.6 GHz, 64 GB SSD, 2 GB RAM: $999

    - 1.6 GHz, 128 GB SSD, 4 GB RAM: $1199

     

    13.3-inch

    - 1.7 GHz, 128 GB SSD, 4 GB RAM: $1299

    - 1.7 GHz, 256 GB SSD, 4 GB RAM: $1599

     

    And a new 27'' display which is identical to the previous one except for thunderbolt connection and more ports.


  7. I can only speak for Subal, but it shouldn't be too different for other brands. I usually leave mine assembled the entire time I am diving, and only open it if I need to change lenses and/or memory card. The longest I went was about 3 weeks when I was diving every day on a sailboat. It is however very important that you rinse it after every dive or at the very least give it a good rinse in the end of the day.


  8. Haha, good one, I've assembled my stuff in a hurry before, and sometimes forget to switch the macro lens to "full" (or other silly things), but I never accidentally dove with the wrong lens! I'm glad the lens pushing against the port didn't cause your system to flood.


  9. This video just perfectly shows you why those guys are in such trouble in the Caribbean due to overfishing. Notice how the snapper just takes off but the hogfish isn't bothered by human presence one bit. If you had a spear (and bad intentions) the hogfish would be gone...


  10. Tips? Get close to your subject... When you think you are close, get closer! :rolleyes: Other than that, the beauty of any digital system is that it allows immediate review underwater, so just check your results on the camera LCD and keep shooting, the more you shoot the better you get at it. One important thing though, do not trust the LCD to judge exposure, the brightness of the LCD is very misleading underwater, use a preview mode that shows the histogram of the photo.


  11. "I swapped my D700 over to type 4 last summer" sounds like he did, right?

     

    If you read his post carefully you will see that he means he bought type 4 ports with adapters to fit his current type 3 D700 housing (he even mentions the port adapter as being a thin ring), anticipating his new (future) housing purchase. Doing this he will avoid having to buy new ports with his next housing (which I am assuming will be type 4). Selected quotes below...

     

    I swapped my D700 over to type 4 last summer, as I thought it was a good idea to make the change away from the cost of a new housing purchase.

     

    The port adaptor is a very thin ring (1-2mm) that just bayonets on to your old ports and is locked in place with a grub screw. I bought two adaptor rings and then bought new type 4 port extensions - so I could leave the port adaptors permanently on my flat port and mini-dome.

     

    Alex

     

    I don't think there is a way to convert a type 3 housing to type 4 since that requires a wider lens opening, but it might be possible to convert a type 4 to type 3.


  12. I don't see changing the housing from a type 3 to 4 (or vice-versa) as an advantage since my problem are the ports (all type 3).

     

    I think Alex didn't convert his housing, he got new (type 4) ports and adapters to make the ports work with his type 3 housing. This way, when he gets his next housing he will be able to get a type 4 and use it with his current ports.


  13. I agree that Canon seems to be one step ahead on video, they have video in many more cameras, but I think the video on the D7000 is excellent from the samples I saw. For me since I have lots of Nikon lenses the D7000 is the only choice, so my recommendation is for you to take a look at samples (especially underwater ones) and take it from there. With those options you can't go wrong...


  14. I am facing the same decision for my next Subal purchase, and I think I will go for the type 4 ports just for future proofing since lenses seem to be getting fatter. This was the easy decision, the hard one is the camera :) Wait for D700 replacement or get D7000 now, decisions, decisions...

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