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.
LAUPS announces results of competition
The Los Angeles Underwater Photography Society (LAUPS) has published the results of their annual International Underwater Photographic Competition. Now in its fiftieth year, Best of Show and wide-angle was won by Eduardo Acevedo of Tenerife, Spain with his circular fisheye image “Stars & World”. Other still categories were won by Tony Cherbas in Macro, Ximena Olds in Behavior, Allison Vitsky Sallmon in Cold Water, Stephen Holinski in Compact Cold Water, Oliviero Giorgio Pulido in Compact Macro, Karoly Szabo and Compact Wide. In the video contest, Mike Boom won the Video Edited and Walter Marti the Video Raw Footage categories respectively.
Congratulations to all the winners and all those in the placings. The full results are available on the LAUPS website.
Wetpixel Senior Moderator Mike Veitch has provided some notes on diving and photographing in an environmentally responsible way. This article is a part of a re-write of a series of articles that was originally published in Mike’s “In Focus” column that was published in Scuba Diver Australasia magazine from 2006-2009. It has been re formatted and has new images bringing it up to date for Wetpixel. Mike concludes that:
“By practicing considerate and safe photography you can lessen your impact and footprint on the coral reef. If everyone does their part, by following the guidelines above, we will all benefit in the long run with a healthy and happy underwater world.”
Apple updates camera RAW support
Apple has added RAW support for the following cameras: Canon EOS M, Canon PowerShot G15, Canon PowerShot S110, Canon PowerShot SX50 HS, Nikon D600, Nikon 1 J2, Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ200, Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G5, Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX7, Sony Alpha NEX-F3 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100. These cameras are now fully supported in iPhoto and Aperture.
Camera RAW update version 4.01 is available to download from the Apple support site or via Software Update.
Call for entries: Ocean Views
The 2012-2013 Ocean Views contest is calling for entries. The contest, hosted this year by Alert Diver, Nature’s Best Photography and Wetpixel, is offering photographers the chance to win a Grand Prize of two live-aboard dive holidays, one on the Thailand Aggressor, and the other on the Carib Dancer. In addition, there are many other significant prizes for those in the competition’s placings, including great dive holidays and shiny scuba gear. All the winning images will also be published in upcoming editions of both Nature’s Best Photography and Alert Diver magazines as well as on Wetpixel. The contest is open at all, with no specific categories, but with prizes for the top 12 placings and 5 honorable mentions. Entries may be of life below, above or around the ocean’s surface and for a one-off $25 US entry fee, you can submit up to 20 images.
The deadline for entries has been changed to 18 December 2012, and full rules and procedures are listed on the Nature’s Best Photography website.
Parasites affect reef fish streamlining
A new study published in Biology Letters has looked at the cost of hosting ectoparasites to coral reef fish. The paper observed bridled monocle bream (Scolopsis bilineatus), parasitized by an isopod (Anilocra nemipteri), which attaches above the fish’s eye. Model parasites were attached and it was shown that although these did not affect the fish’s metabolic rates (the “live” parasites do), the main effect was reduced streamlining, which in turn reduces swimming performance at high-speed. Previous thought has been that the main cost to the host was the increase in metabolic rate necessary to sustain both fish and parasite. (Image by Valter Jacinto).
360 degrees field of view video from custom GoPro housing
Subsurface Media’s Brian Dombrowski has posted his 360° field of view video of a dive site in Dry Tortugas. It was shot using a custom designed housing linking 4 GoPro HD2, linked with custom electronics. The files are then joined by 5 different software processes, including one that is written by Brian himself.
The housing can go pass 400ft deep. It does synchronized start and stop of the cameras. It took over 6 hours to process the 2.30 minute video! It certainly looks better than the BBC one that was done last year for the Oceans series. Watch this special video on his website for a fully interactive video experience.
Nikon rumors for 2013
We don’t normally post rumors onto the Wetpixel front page, but the site Nikon Rumors is making some interesting predictions for Nikon’s camera releases in 2013. They forecast that the company will release a new pro/high-end DX camera early in the year. This will replace both the existing D7000 and D300s and will have a “pro” body with a 24MP sensor and 8fps. In late 2013, they also prophesize that a new version of the D4 will be released with a higher resolution sensor, with a 52MP version being mentioned.
I would strongly suggest that these rumors are treated with caution, however, if the “D7000 Pro” becomes a reality, it will be a very interesting camera for underwater use.
- Great White Shark Finned in Mozambique (via African Diver)
- In Pictures: Tracking hammerheads (via BBC)
- A New Video from the Herparazzi! (via )
- In Pictures: Monitoring manta rays (via BBC)
- Durban Protest Against Marine Mammal Captivity (via African Diver)
- Bioluminescence: nature lights up (via BBC)
- Chernobyl mammals tracked in snow (via BBC)
- Audio slideshow: Exploring Africa (via BBC)
- The amazing wildlife of Africa (via BBC)
- The secret lives of giants (via BBC)