Ig Nobel Award for whale sample collection
The BBC has reported that Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse’s technique for collecting samples from whale blowholes has earned her an Ig Nobel award. Dr Acevedo-Whitehouse, of the Zoological Society of London, uses a remote-control helicopter with a petri dish hanging below it to catch samples as the whales evacuate their blowholes. The exhaled gases and mucus blast the dishes which are then taken back to the lab to study the disease-causing micro-organisms carried by the animals. Dr Karina Acevedo-Whitehouse says:
“We certainly have had fun doing our whale-snot research”.
The tongue-in-cheek Ig Nobel awards are given annually for “improbable research”.
New DiveFilm HD podcast: Shark Bite GoPro
Eric Cheng’s experimental film using a GoPro HD camera “Shark Bite Go Pro” is now available as an HD or iPod podcast via DiveFilm HD on iTunes. The film has additional footage from Sterling Zumbrunn and Jim Abernethy, and shows plenty of shark teeth!
DiveFilm HD is currently the number 1 Sports & Recreation Video Podcast at iTunes and showcases some of the best high-definition underwater short films being produced today from all over the world. Featuring beautiful images of the underwater world, marine life large and small, interviews with interesting people, and updates on underwater imaging. Produced in association with Wetpixel and available via iTunes.
2011 Raja Ampat Entrance Tag Contest
The Raja Ampat Entrance Tag competition is now entering it’s final stage with only 11 days left to get your votes in. The shortlisted entries are now available to view, and for you to cast your votes for your top three designs. These tags will be attached to the BCDs of all divers visiting Raja Ampat, Indonesia and the winner will be able to chose an all-inclusive 10 day dive trip to the area.
All votes must be in by 11 October 2010, so please head on over now and vote!
Easydive Leo II: A housing for all cameras
As reported in the forum, Italian company Easydive has released the Leo II, a housing that fits the majority of DSLR cameras. They have achieved this by controlling camera functions via USB, rather than traditional push buttons, devising a customizable camera saddle to accommodate different models and offering three different rear panels. These rear panels can allow access to video functions, or can be supplied with dual five-pin Nikonos strobe connections. Easydive offers a range of dome and flat ports to complement the housings, an optical viewfinder and lens gears for most lens combinations.
New study uses non-lethal whale research methods
A pioneering study by Australian and New Zealand scientists has disproved the traditional position; that in order to study whales it was necessary to kill them. Conducted under the banner of the Southern Oceans Research Partnership (SORP), seventeen researchers gathered information about whales using skin biopsy, photography, satellite tagging and acoustics to study population structure, distribution, movement, feeding and ecological role of Southern Ocean whales.
During the expedition, the team attached 30 satellite tracking tags, collected 64 skin biopsy samples and 61 individual tail fluke photographs from humpback whales. They also deployed 110 sonobuoys which recorded the sounds of blue, humpback, minke, fin and sperm whales, as well as an unidentified beaked whale. Lastly, they were able to track the movements of blue whales for 36 hours.
The findings of their research will be presented to the International Whaling Commission meeting next year.
BBC: Shark finning in Mozambique
BBC Oceans has filmed Phillipe Cousteau Jr. and his team visiting a small isolated community in Mozambique which has recently become active in the shark finning trade. He observed that the trade, a recent phenomena in the Indian Ocean, has increased at an alarming rate and is filmed attempting to understand why this new industry has taken hold in an area not traditionally associated with it.
Sanyo announces 2500 mAh eneloop battery
Sanyo Europe has announced the release of AA eneloop batteries in a 2500 mAh capacity. Eneloop batteries have been the choice of many underwater photographers, and this increase in capacity is a welcome feature. The new batteries are branded XX and have the same low self-discharge rates as their predecessors.
In addition, in the forums Drew Wong has posted a review of Nickel Zinc batteries (NiZn) based on his use of them in his strobes over the past eight months.
New World Publications announces Marine Life Library
A collection of magazine articles from the past 30 years, written by Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach, the authors of best selling marine life field guides, is now available online. “The extensive collection of articles reflects the many years of experience and contributions Paul and Ned have made to dive travel industry and natural history. The release will be valuable addition to the archives of scuba diving history.” said Anna DeLoach, co-author of many of the later articles.
See the articles by clicking over to fishid.com, or continue reading for the full press release.
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