Whale Shark rescue
A video posted on YouTube showing the dive guides and guests from Wetpixel sponsor and DivEncounters Alliance member Solmar V removing a mooring rope from around a whale shark has now been shown on the BBC. The shark was found on 7 November, 2012, at Roca Partida, near Socorro Island, about 250 miles south of Baja, Mexico. During a subsequent dive, it was located again and the dive guides cut the rope off the whale shark who, as the video shows, almost seemed to allow them to do so. The scene was filmed by one of the guests, using a GoPro camera. Great job!
Deep sea mining on hold
Plans to commence deep-sea mining operations around Papua New Guinea (PNG) have been stalled. A dispute over royalties has led the mining company, Nautilus, to cease to produce the specialist equipment that it needed to undertake the mining operations. The PNG government originally agreed to take a 30 percent share in the enterprise, but is unwilling to help fund the project. PNG also has a limitation on how long a company can hold a mining tract without working it. The mining plans have caused concern for the environment around the islands
Wetpixel Alaska Expedition 2013
Join professional underwater photographer Jason Bradley for the Wetpixel Alaska Expedition 2013 aboard the iconic Nautilus Swell. The itinerary will depart Juneau on 18 July and arrive Ketchikan on 1 August 2013, taking in some of the finest cold-water diving and topside scenery in the world. Full details of this amazing trip are on the Wetpixel Alaska Expedition page, and if you want further information , or to book, please contact Jason Bradley.
Think Tank launches new company and product
Camera bag and equipment manufacturer Think Tank photo has announced that it is to form a new company specializing in equipment for shooting in the great outdoors. MindShift Gear is aiming to cater to “photographers who are passionate about experiencing the natural world”, and has launched its inaugural product on Kickstarter, a backpack called the Rotation 180° Professional. This has a belt pack that “parks” inside a lower compartment but can be swung round onto the wearers front for access. Its upper compartment can be outfitted to carry lenses etc, or it can function as a conventional space for other gear.
Typhoon Bopha hits the Philippines
CNN is reporting that Typhoon Bopha has landed on the Southern Philippine island Mindanao, brining wind speeds of up 175 kph (110 mph). It has hit the city of Baganga early on Tuesday. It has then hit Bohol in the Visayas, central Philippines and is expected to track North West before leaving for the South China Sea through Mindoro in southern Luzon on Thursday.
Many dive centers lie in the typhoon’s path and we hope that their staff, guests and structures all survive unscathed. If you are there now, we hope that you are in a place of safety and that the storm pass by without any significant disruption.
Study reveals slow reef recovery
A new paper published in Marine Ecology Progress Series journal shows that traditional estimates of reef fish recovery on over-fished reefs may well be considerable underestimates. The Wildlife Conservation Society study looked at the Kenyan marine parks that were established in the mid 1970s and have since received steady protection from fishing and high levels of tourism. The authors examined the size, growth and reproduction characteristics of the fishes within the protected areas and found that neither growth nor reproduction patterns had stabilized. The body sizes of the fish species showed more evidence for stabilizing but were still increasing up to the full length of the study. This has significant implications for the management of fishing in reef areas. The full paper is available as a free pdf download.
RED releases 4K Cinema Player
RED has announced that its Redray 4K Cinema Player will begin shipping this month, with volumes being available from Q1 2013. The player is capable of:
“…native 4,096 × 2,160 or 3,840 x 2,160 video playback (in .RED file format) and upscaling. It connects to 4K displays via one HDMI 1.4 port or 4 HDMI 1.3 ports, with an additional HDMI jack needed to push 7.1 audio. It’s even ready for the new high framerate 3D video that we’ll see debut at theaters with The Hobbit.”
Buyers will still need to connect it to a 4K ultra-HD display, and the player alone will retail at $1,450.
NOAA to list 66 coral species as endangered
UnderwaterTimes reports that the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is proposing to list 66 species of reef building corals under the Endangered Species Act. If the proposal is carried out, it means that:
“…endangered does not prohibit activities like fishing or diving, but prohibits the specific “take” of those species, including harming, wounding, killing, or collecting the species. It also prohibits imports, exports, and commercial activities dealing in the species.”
The 66 species includes 59 in the Pacific and 7 from the Caribbean. The scheme will now go forward to a 90 day public hearing period, during which NOAA will hold 18 public meetings. If it passes through this process, the listings will be made in late 2013.
- Video: Photographing Antarctic’s Leopard Seal (via DivePhotoGuide)
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- Canon Announces Firmware Update for EOS 1D-C (via DivePhotoGuide)
- DPG Announces December Monthly Contest Winners (via DivePhotoGuide)
- In Photos: The Hammerhead (via DivePhotoGuide)
- First Signs of Life Discovered in Antarctica’s Lake Whillans (via DivePhotoGuide)
- Shark Man serious after crash (via African Diver)
- How do you give a polar bear a ‘medical’? (via BBC)
- Great White Shark Finned in Mozambique (via African Diver)
- In Pictures: Tracking hammerheads (via BBC)