Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
dustin

Marshall Islands - D70

Recommended Posts

I got back a few days ago from my 4th trip to the Marshall Islands. This was my second time using my D70/Ikelite Housing/2x DS-125 setup. I think I did quite a bit better than my last trip, but I owe a lot of it to shooting RAW. That really saved a lot of my pictures, however at about 10min of work per image, it took me about 30 hours to get the images done and the pages made. Everything worked pretty good for me on the trip, the zoom gear on my housing stripped out but I was sort of able to fix it. I did miss a few photos because of it though.

 

Here are the new pictures:

 

 

http://www.dustindorton.com/diving/RMI_Feb..._2005/index.htm

 

So far everyone wants to know whats up with the letters in the corals. The fish collectors that dive that specific site dive deep to get fish. They leave the fish to decompress in cups at that depth for a couple days. They mark the spot so they know where to find them since they hide them under the tables. I think they must also get bored during their deco stop and mess around a bit. The corals seem to recover very well from it though. The depth they scratch into them should only take a couple weeks to regrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like your photos a lot, great job! What lens did you use?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dustin,

 

Great to hear from you! Your photos HAVE improved a lot - it's great to see.

 

I think my favorite photos are the T gigas clams in Wau lagoon with corals growing all over them.

 

Cheers

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually shot every picture with the 18-70 lens that comes with the camera. I never used my 60mm on this trip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me, scratching letters and numbers into the corals like that is an outrageous act of vandalism. Yes, acropora sp. corals are relatively fast growing. But I'm not at all convinced that there would be recovery from the kind of damage shown here "in a couple of weeks" - esp. "Delap Point/Nk1104097447.jpg", where the gouges appear quite deep. Damage like this is also likely to make the corals more vulnerable to infection.

 

If there is a legitimate need to do so, then there are other ways to "mark" the location of objects left on the bottom - such as tieing a lift bag on to a piece of rock or dead coral.

 

The Marine Aquariam Market Transformation Initiative (MAMTI) - a project supported by the Global Enviroment Facility of the World Bank, The Marine Aquarium Council, CCIF and Reef Check - is working to clean up the aquarium fish trade in Indonesia and the Philippines through establishing Marine Aquarium Council (MAC) certification systems for suppliers. The project includes building capacity for scientific assessment and monitoring of coral reefs and marine ornamentals stocks, training collectorsin non-destructive collection techniques (!), establishing no-take zones and reef and stock restoration, cyanide trace sampling in collected stock, as well as building awareness and demand for certified marine ornamentals among consumers.

 

http://www.aquariumcouncil.org/

http://www.gefweb.org/Documents/Work_Progr...ct_Document.pdf

 

Did you meet any of the "collectors" that are doing this? Based on your photographs, I would expect that there may be other serious problems with the way they are doing their business. Did you get deeper, where the collecting was going on, and were there signs of cyanide damage?

 

I don't know many people who collect marine ornamentals, but it's important to supporit projects like MAMTI that are working to train collectors and reduce destructive practices in the industry.

Frogfish

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't met any of the collectors there. We did dive to about 150 on that site looking for the same fish that they collect there. Helfrich's firefish. There was actually a good number of them down there, something I didn't expect.

I have never seen cyanide damage in person, only in pictures. I didn't see any evidence of it there, its not known to be used in the Marshalls. The fish they dive that spot for are _very easy_ to catch with a net.

 

I don't support them writing in corals, I certainly found it alarming. Thats one of the reasons I took so many pictures, I was going to send one to the paper there.

It would certainly be better to use a float of some sort. There werent any dead or bleached tables in that area that would suggest they are dying from this. There were areas on corals that appeared to have been carved in the past that were completely healed. I propagate corals for a living, specifically Acropora sp. so I am quite familiar with how fast they grow. Again, im not supporting what they do, it is certainly an eyesore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I certainly didn't mean to suggest that you supported the collectors' actions in "writing" on table corals, nor that damage of this sort would necessarily result in killing entire colonies. Nor am I opposed to collecting per se, provided its done in a way that avoids serious damage or loss of coral or other biota, and that target species are not hunted to the point of scarcity or local extinction - something which has certainly happened in some parts of Southeast Asia.

 

Scraping numbers into live coral like this is clearly over-the-top. I hope you do send a copy of one of your photos to the local newspaper.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunate that coral vandalism is so rampant worldwide. What do you expect when some people pay loads of $$$ for a rare fish in their aquarium, without a care on how they were caught! I wish Finding Nemo brought out the problem of cyanide fishing in the movie. Awareness is just so limited or even ignored for the fish trade.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...