Your action needed: EU shark finning ban Photo

Your action needed: EU shark finning ban

The European Commission wants to eradicate the practice of shark finning completely from EU waters and fishing vessels from the EU wherever they operate in the world. In order to do this, they need 369 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to sign the Written Declaration (0071 /2010), launched by four MEPs, Chris Davies from the UK, Sirpa Pietikäinen from Finland, Daciana Octavia Sârbu from Romania and Jean-Paul Besset from France, which calls on the EU Commission to deliver a proposal to completely prohibit the removal of shark fins on-board vessels by the second anniversary of the Community Plan of Action for Sharks (February 2011). So far, only 329 MEPs have signed, and the Declaration will lapse unless complete on 20 December.

Project AWARE has published a list of MEPs and also lists whether they have as yet signed or not. For those of you living in Europe, please take the time to write to the MEPs from your country urging them to sign the Declaration. Template emails for MEPs are also available via the Project AWARE site.

The EU fishing fleets are responsible for one in three of the shark fins in trade in the world. This is a golden opportunity to stop this.

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EU citizens, help sharks by writing in to the European Commission! Photo

EU citizens, help sharks by writing in to the European Commission!

The European Commission’s Fisheries dept is now seeking a public consultation whether to completely ban shark finning in the EU. Regulations now basically banned finning, but a loophole allowed by the EC by issuing special permits to allow fishermen to remove fins. There is now a movement within the IUCN which is calling for the EC to stop all permits and close off the loophole entirely. The EC Fisheries has started an online consultation for EU citizens to gauge the popularity of banning finning entirely. So to all the EU citizens who remotely care about sharks, get your family, friends (facebook, myspace, twitter etc etc) out there to write in to support this move!!!

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Pixel Farm releases Airgrade color grading app Photo

Pixel Farm releases Airgrade color grading app

The Pixel Farm has released Airgrade, which emulates professional film and TV grading tools, and combines a powerful Mac-based grading engine, with a wireless remote control on the iPhone. Users roll a 3D trackball and rotate a radial wheel on their iPhone to adjust precise tonal ranges using Lift, Gamma, Gain controls – recognized by professional colorists as shadow, midtone and highlights and a saturation control for overall colour intensity. The results appears on the Mac, or on any other connected monitoring device, such as a digital projector. A shake of the iPhone resets the parameters. The software is designed to be a great tutorial tool, as well as a powerful grading engine is its own right.

The software is a free download, and the iPhone app is available in the iTunes store.

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Apple updates Aperture to version 3.1.1 Photo

Apple updates Aperture to version 3.1.1

Apple has just released an update for Aperture 3, bringing the latest version to release 3.1.1. This addresses problems with iLife ’11 compatibility, importing, upgrading, adjustments, publishing to the Web, slideshows, and vaults. One key bug fix is that when uploading images to a Flickr Pro account, Aperture will now upload full-resolution images.

The latest update is available via software update or from Apple.

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Review of Olympus E-PL1 and housing on Backscatter Photo

Review of Olympus E-PL1 and housing on Backscatter

Wetpixel moderator Sterling Zumbrunn has published a comprehensive review of the Olympus PEN E-PL1 camera and PT-EPO1 housing on Backscatter. He introduces the EVIL camera as:

Honey - I shrunk the SLR … and the price!”

The article is the result of extended testing of the system in the Cocos Islands, the Digital Shootout in Bonaire and in the Californian Channel Islands. Sterling outlines the pros and cons of the system, including some specific issues with the housing controls, and goes on to introduce and evaluate the dome ports available from third-party manufacturer Zen Underwater. Finally, he compares it to conventional compact camera offerings and SLRs, and finds that the E-PL1 effectively bridges the gap between the two.

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Manta-Ray of Hope documentary project Photo

Manta-Ray of Hope documentary project

Wetpixel moderator Shawn Heinrichs is involved in the making of a documentary highlighting the increasing trade in manta body parts for the “medicinal” health trade. The film begins with the views of naturalists and researchers, attempting to unravel the mysteries of the manta. It then goes deep undercover, from remote fishing villages to bustling cities, to understand and expose the trade that is threatening the mantas future. Finally it meets with those that are having a positive effect, and shows how we all can make a difference for these creatures.

The final product will be in Mandarin, Canto, English, Spanish and other languages, to cater for a world-wide audience.

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Light & Motion SOLA light roundup and adjustable red power levels Photo

Light & Motion SOLA light roundup and adjustable red power levels

Light & Motion’s release of its acclaimed Sola 600 dive / focus light was only its first step. Since Alex Mustard’s glowing review at the end of August, Light & Motion has expanded the suite of compact Sola lights to include dive lights, photo lights, and video lights. Each product line is subtly different, aimed for specific use cases (although any light can be used for any purpose). Continue reading for a full roundup of all Sola lights…

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Final call: Capture the World Underwater Video Challenge Photo

Final call: Capture the World Underwater Video Challenge

The first annual Capture The World Underwater Video Challenge submission deadline is December 31st. Entries can be travelogues, environmental videos, best critter behaviors or any other special underwater video and the competition offers prizes from the Agressor/Dancer fleet and Gates Underwater Products. Full entry details and competition rules are listed on the Gates site. The winning entry will also be showcased at the San Diego UnderSea Film Exhibition in summer 2011.

Special notice to all entrants: If you have already submitted an entry for this contest, please contact Gates.

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