Exotic Lionfish spreading through US coast Photo

Exotic Lionfish spreading through US coast

Exotic Lionfish have been a problem in Florida and the Bahamas for some time, but today the New York Times reports that hundreds of Lionfish were observed by divers at Long Island this summer, as opposed to only a few over the last years:

“For us to be finding that many, there must be thousands and thousands more out there,” said Todd R. Gardner, a biologist at Atlantis Marine World aquarium in Riverhead. “It’s a population explosion.” Apart from the novelty of lionfish and the mystery of how they wound up so far from home, the sudden proliferation also raises questions about effects on the ecosystem, including potential threats to indigenous fish and hazards to swimmers.

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Photobeat’s trip report from Wetpixel Guadalupe trip Photo

Photobeat’s trip report from Wetpixel Guadalupe trip

Steve (photobeat) has posted an in-depth trip report from this year’s great white shark expedition in Guadalupe, Mexico.  Steve writes, ”[we were] in Guadalupe in great conditions with decent shark action ... We didn’t have pole cams out and not that many baits were taken but we had sharks every day. When AC/DC went on through the UW speaker the sharks seemed to arrive as if on cue. They were really cautious and did not make many tight passes on the cage…”

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Sharks threatened more than ever Photo

Sharks threatened more than ever

A very nice article at the San Diego Union Tribune last week discusses the problem of shark overfishing. The new numbers are staggering:

More than 100 million sharks killed each year. One billion pounds of shark fins imported annually into China alone – for soup. Of the 390 known species of shark, 110 classified as endangered, threatened or vulnerable.

The full article is available at the San Diego Union Tribune website.

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Korean Air bans Dell and Apple laptops from flights Photo

Korean Air bans Dell and Apple laptops from flights

A few days ago Korean Airlines started asking passengers to remove batteries from their Dell laptops (any model, any battery) and from some models of Apple portables (PowerBook and iBook). Qantas is doing the same with Dell laptops. This is bad news for owners as you cannot use these laptops onboard the flights anymore, and the measures seem to be spreading. Here is the original text from the Korean Air website:

As a precautionary measure to ensure safe air travel, Korean Air kindly requests all passengers carrying any kind of Dell laptops (including those unaffected by recall), Apple’s iBook and Powerbook models first remove batteries from the unit before bringing them to the cabin. Until further advisory is issued, these laptops cannot be carried into the cabin if batteries are not removed.

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Aquatica’s new viewfinder: prototype renderings Photo

Aquatica’s new viewfinder: prototype renderings

Jean Bruneau, Wetpixel’s unofficial Aquatica representative, has posted three prototype renderings of Aquatica’s upcoming underwater viewfinder.  He reports that “it rates with the best on the market,” and we are excited to see it in the wild when it comes out.  Prospective users are pushing for a removable design to simplify packing and transport.  ETA is still pending; hopefully we’ll get a glimpse at this year’s DEMA Show.

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UWP magazine issue 32 available Photo

UWP magazine issue 32 available

Issue 32 of Underwater Photography Magazine (UWP) has just been published. As usual there is a lot of input from Wetpixel members, including a tutorial about composite photos by Alex Mustard (Alex_Mustard), a review of the Subal ND20 and Nikon D200 by Mark Webster (Photec), and an article about Bikini Atoll by Tim Priest (Tim_Priest). UWP Magazine is a free PDF magazine, published every two months.

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Great White Shark at Monterey Bay Aquarium Photo

Great White Shark at Monterey Bay Aquarium

For the second time in as many years, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has put on display a young Great White Shark (GWS) captured off the coast of southern California. The male shark is 5 feet, 8 inches long and weighs roughly 104 pounds, and joined the Outer Bay exhibit on August 31st after spending two weeks in a holding tank near Malibu. The aquarium is the only one to have successfully kept a GWS in captivity for any significant length of time (198 days) and hopes to use the opportunity to educate the public about the species.

Daily viewing of the exhibit is from 10AM to 6PM. If you are unable to make it to Monterey, there is a streaming webcam available on the aquarium’s website from 7AM to 7PM (PST).  The press release can be viewed in the full article, and Wetpixel members have already started a discussion - join in with your thoughts.

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British Underwater Image Festival 2007 Photo

British Underwater Image Festival 2007

After a postive reception in 2006, the British Underwater Image Festival (BUIF) returns for another year and is currently accepting entries! The festival is managed by DIVE Magazine, and sponsors include Suunto, PADI, and Apeks. This year there are a number of different categories. For photo; Open, Digital compact camera, and Portfolio, with prints as the entry format (no digital files or slides) and for video; Professional, Liveaboard, and Amateur. Each competitor can enter up to 6 images free of charge. The entry deadline is January 31, 2007 - continue reading for more details…

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Wetpixel forums back online, take 2

Just over a week ago, the Wetpixel forums area was compromised by a hacker and shut down.  We’ve just managed to get things back online, but we’ve lost all posts since the morning of Saturday, August 20.  The software we’re running has been updated to the newest version (with security hole plugged), and all administrator and moderator passwords have been changed.

In addition to a few days of lost posts, the look-and-feel in the new forums area will take some time to settle; my first priority was to get the forums functioning normally and securely.  Please let us know if you notice anything strange.

Because of the method of attack, if you are a user who registered on or before May 10, 2005, you should seriously consider changing your password as soon as possible.  Although we do not store your passwords in plain text, the hacker may have gained access to the encrypted passwords.  In some cases, the password can be recovered via readily-accessible web tools.

If you are being logged out by the main Wetpixel area and POTW area after you successfully log into the forums, you probably need to delete your browser cookies.  Users have reported that it solves this specific logout issue.

The not-often-used forums gallery and blog areas have been updated as well, and I’ve also enabled a new, live chat feature so you can chat in real time with your fellow underwater photographers!

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