Shark Conservation Bill sent to Obama for ratification Photo

Shark Conservation Bill sent to Obama for ratification

The Washington Post has reported that the Shark Conservation Bill has passed through the US House of Representatives today, having been passed through Congress on Monday. All that now remains is the President’s signature to ratify it into law. The Bill proposes to force any vessel to land sharks with their fins attached and would prevent non-fishing vessels from transporting shark fins without their carcasses. In addition, the Shark Conservation Bill will improve on the existing law originally intended to prevent shark finning, and it also allows the U.S. to take action against countries whose shark finning restrictions are not as strenuous.

It seems that 2010 may have been a better year for sharks than 2009.

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Review: UnderWater Camera Stuff Housing Sentry Photo

Review: UnderWater Camera Stuff Housing Sentry

Damian Siviero has reviewed the UnderWater Camera Stuff Housing Sentry:

“You’ve just sealed up housing with camera inside – what next? Conventional wisdom would suggest that you either rely on a dunk test in fresh water or simply hope that no seal has been compromised. The dunk test - a procedure that uses water entering a confined space filled with expensive electronics as an alert mechanism, not my idea of common sense. Then there is the hopeful approach, whereby you assume everything is okay either because you’re flawless or your housing was engineered by god and can never fail.”

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Larike Village Eels Photo

Larike Village Eels

Tony Wu has added an article and video of a fascinating visit to the village of Larike, Ambon, Indonesia. He managed to get to the village at the end of the Wetpixel Ambon Night safari, and Tony had some very close encounters with the eels which live in a river near the village. He was alerted to the presence of the eels by Hafes Mansur Lausepa, one of the team at Maluku Divers, who also happens to be Raja of Larike village. Hafes describes the eels:

“They are completely harmless and quite curious”.

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Mini review: Lightroom SoftProof plug-in Photo

Mini review: Lightroom SoftProof plug-in

A mini review of Lightroom Plugins SoftProof plug-in. Soft proofing is a process that allows you to view images on your computer screen, with the same profile applied to them that will be used during printing. The idea is that in a color-managed workflow, this should give the user a pretty clear idea of how the image will eventually look printed on paper using an ICC profile. This plug-in allows the soft proofing of images from within Adobe Lightroom.

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ULCS releases GoPro mounting options Photo

ULCS releases GoPro mounting options

Ultralight Control Systems (ULCS) has released two new mounting options for the GoPro HD camera housing. Initially debuted at DEMA, the GoPro HD Ball mount cage, fits over the GoPro HD camera housing. It serves to prevent loss of the camera if the housings plastic mounting tab breaks. The ball attachment allows for the housing to be attached to a still camera housing, for example, giving the option of recording on video what you are shooting.

The other new attachment option is the AD-GO, which allows the GoPro housing to attach to a tripod or other mounting with a ball fitting. However, It does not offer the protection that the mount cage does.

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Hugyfot D7000 housing renderings released Photo

Hugyfot D7000 housing renderings released

Hugyfot has released some early CAD renderings of their new housing for the Nikon D7000 camera. In common with all other Hugyfot housings, it will be equipped with the HugyCheck leak detection system. New features on this housing will include a sled camera mounting system, fiber optic connections for TTL strobe control, a dovetails handle mounting system and a built-in HDMI in/out connection. The latter will allow for the use of a large external monitor.

The company plans to have working prototypes in early January, and have committed to providing a housing for the forthcoming Wetpixel D7000 housing review.

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New Nudibranchs ID app Photo

New Nudibranchs ID app

FishTales has released an iPhone/iPod/iPad App to help identify Nudibranchs. Nudibranch Wizard for iPhone and iPod Touch and Nudibranch Wizard HD for iPad are both available for immediate download. The App has been written by Wetpixel member Steve Fish with help from several Wetpixel members who beta tested and offered valuable suggestions. It has a built-in database of 100 Indo-Pacific Nudis with more to be added later as free updates. It also has two different search methods and even Nudibranch games.

The iPhone/iPod Touch version and the iPad version are both available as paid Apps on iTunes.

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410 MEPs sign shark finning declaration Photo

410 MEPs sign shark finning declaration

As of 15 December 410 MEPs have now signed the Written Declaration on shark finning. This is well over the 369 signatures we needed for a simple majority and the Written Declaration will be announced in the next plenary session of the European Parliament. All of you who wrote to the MEPs did make a difference. It is important to point out how much of an impact this legislation can make: one in three of shark fins in the trade are from EU registered boats. This may, in effect, stop this and potentially reduce the supply by one-third.

It is also unfortunately necessary to sound a note of caution on two fronts. Firstly, this means that the we still have a long road to go until we have legislation that forces boats to land the full shark (and makes the trade uneconomic). We need to keep the motivation and pressure up to make this happen. We have proved that we can make a difference with the legislators in Europe, so let’s keep doing so. Secondly, cutting supply is only one part. The hardest task is to cut demand, and this ultimately is where the survival of sharks will rest. Please add your support campaigns like Sharksavers’ “I pledge”.

Against all this, this is possibly the best Christmas present possible: A potential to reduce this heinous trade. Thank you all!

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