New DiveFilm and DiveFilmHD Podcast Videos
DiveFilm High Definition Podcast Video presents HD Episode 6, Howard and Michele Hall’s “Ocean Requiem.” Striking in its ability to transition seamlessly between beautiful scenes, it is a tribute to the ocean world and its creatures, and serves as a reminder of the vulnerability of marine life. The film is currently available for free at iTunes.
The first of several new web videos is now available at the DiveFilm website, “Clown Struck” by Leandro Blanco, a short story about the photographic subject you hate to love, the clownfish (and with a short cameo by Wetpixel’s own Eric Cheng). Both Hall’s and Blanco’s films touch on issues of conservation with powerful imagery of gillnets and discussion of destructive aquarium trade practices.
DiveFilm Podcast Video is produced in association with Wetpixel.com and are “Featured High Definition Podcasts” and “Featured TV & Film Podcasts” at iTunes.
Dean Burman master of pike
Congratulations to Wetpixel member Dean Burman (DeanB) whose success with his award-winning natural history film Lair of the Water Wolf, about pike, has seen him on BBC TV and Radio and the subject of an article in the UK’s Dive Magazine. Dean’s expertise in filming the behaviour of pike has also led to him recently assisting on a new BBC Natural History Unit production ‘Nature of Britain’. Dean is pictured (right) with series presenter Alan Titchmarsh, look out for it in the autumn.
Underwater Journal #3 available for download
This issue contains articles about closed-circuit rebreathers, dive travel and gear reviews among others. There is a great piece about the current status and future of the Goliath Grouper. Underwater Journal is a free electronic diving magazine published in PDF format.
CITES to consider designating additional protected shark species
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) is considering adding two additional species to their protected list, the porbeagle and spiny dogfish sharks. The issue will be voted on this weekend, but among the 171 members countries, some of the most influential - Canada, New Zealand, and the United States - are considering opposing the proposal to restrict trade of these species.
Rob Stewart, director of Sharkwater, has requested help in contacting government officials of each of the countries in an effort to win approval for the proposal. Voice your support for protection of these sharks with the email form at SavingSharks.com.
Scuba Diving Magazine 2007 Photo Contest winners announced
Moderator Todd Mintz’s image of a clownfish in Raja Ampat took the Grand Prize, and Wetpixel members not only placed first in each of the categories of Wide-Angle, Macro, Marine Life, and Topside, but also dominated nearly all of the other placings.
Under the Blue 2007 winners posted
The winning images from the Under the Blue 2007 International Photo and Video Competition were announced at the SCUBA Show in Long Beach, California, and have been posted at UnderwaterCompetition.com.
Congratulations to Wetpixel member Yeang Chng for taking Best in Show with an excellent photograph of a sunburst-lit cuttlefish, and also to all those individuals who placed. The winners shared more than $20,000 in prizes ranging from photo and video equipment to dive travel opportunities.
A special thanks to the generous sponsors, without which these competitions would not be possible. Good luck next year!
Japan’s whaling industry loses support of commercial fishing companies
Japan’s largest seafood company, Maruha, and fourth largest fisheries company, Kyokuyo, have both committed to end the production and sale of whale meat products in Japan. Both Kyokuyo and Maruha were among Japan’s leading commercial whaling companies until March 2006, when they divested their ownership in Japan’s whaling fleet in response to pressure from international campaigns. It is estimated that these companies have killed nearly half a million whales since 1929.
Allan Thornton, president of the Environmental Investigation Agency said: “This should mean the end of the commercial whaling business in Japan with Kyokuyo and Maruha pulling their sales of millions of cans of whale meat each year. It’s time to silence Japan’s harpoons and work together to conserve whales for future generations.” Post your thoughts in the discussion...
New fishing legislation in Mexico allows longlines and gillnets
The Mexican legislation NOM-029-PESCA-2006 took effect on May 16, 2007. Originally advertised as a way to “reduce the overfishing of sharks and rays in Mexican waters,” and specifically, in the Sea of Cortez, the bill became strongly supported by commercial fishing interests.
Under NOM-029, there is a reduction in protected no-take zones for marlin, dorado, sailfish, and other species, no reduction in currently issued permits and no restriction on ‘incidental’ by-catch (resulting from longline and gillnet fishing), which some studies have reported “runs 60% to 80% of the total catch.”
Environmental organization Sea Watch has issued a call to action to contact Mexican government and civic officials in an attempt to stop the implementation of NOM-029. Take the time to send a message to preserve these marine habitats, or suggest alternatives in the ongoing discussion...
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