News from issue 157 Dec/Jan 2017 – International

Save the Sea Event Supports Coral Reef Restoration at Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort

Divers plant young coral in the underwater nursery at Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort.

Divers plant young coral in the underwater nursery at Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort.

In October, the Phi Phi Island Village Beach Resort held its regular ‘Save the Sea’ event, where guests and staff team up to clean the local environment and counter environmentally damaging practices which have a negative impact on the habitats of Thailand’s stunning marine life.

A particular focus was placed on an innovative new method to reinvigorate the coral reef population. A team of staff and guests took over 70 pieces of infantile staghorn coral and planted them in specially-designed nurseries, developed to provide the perfect foundation for coral growth. The aim is to leave the corals to grow and then replant them in the surviving reefs offshore where they then have a better chance to thrive and reproduce. The staff already considers this initiative a success as the coral specimens planted in previous months have grown faster than expected and divers have already reported an increase in fish life.

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Antarctic Glacier the Biggest Threat for Rising Sea Levels

News 157_glacierjpgUS and British science agencies announced a multimillion-dollar research mission to study an enormous and exceedingly remote Antarctic glacier, one that they say could hold the potential for major sea level rise before the end of the century.

The move suggests that even as world governments move to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, their polar research arms are racing to get a handle on perhaps the most sweeping potential consequence of a changing climate — a large increase in global sea level due to the loss of polar ice — and determine just how rapidly it could arrive. And they appear to have singled out the number one point of vulnerability.

Washington Post; read more:

Nudibranch Safari is on

Don’t miss the famous Nudibranch Safari at Gulen Dive Resort on the Norwegian west coast next year February 28 to March 5. This unique workshop organised by Scubapixel and Gulen Dive Resort includes two nudibranch lectures per day, a one-day boat excursion and up to four house reef dives a day. The lectures (in English) are held by Dr Alexander Martynov, curator Bernard Picton, marine biologist Klas Malmberg, Dr Tatiana Korshunova and Dr Torkild Bakken – perhaps the most experienced experts on north Atlantic nudibranchs out there. Underwater photographer Christian Skauge will also share tips and techniques.

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Jellyfish Help Scientists to Fight Food Fraud

Jellyfish from the North Sea.

Jellyfish from the North Sea.

Animals feeding at sea inherit a chemical record reflecting the area where they fed, which can help track their movements, according to a new study by scientists from the University of Southampton.

Chemical testing of the source of marine food products could be a powerful tool to help to fight food fraud, maintain healthy sustainable fish stocks or marine protected areas, and ensure consumer confidence in marine eco-labelling.

University of Southampton; read more:


Lydia the Globe-Trotting Great White Shark

Lydia the great white shark is shown on a research vessel off the coast off Jacksonville, Florida, in a March 2013 photo. Image: Robert Snow/Ocearch Jacksonville Expedition/Canadian Press.

Lydia the great white shark is shown on a research vessel off the coast off Jacksonville, Florida, in a March 2013 photo. Image: Robert Snow/Ocearch Jacksonville Expedition/Canadian Press.

Lydia’s dorsal fin tracker ‘pinged’ a satellite Friday suggesting she was swimming near Maritime waters. Researchers say the approximately 900-kilogram shark has travelled more than 57,200 kilometres since being tagged by researchers in 2013.

CBC News; Read more:

British Diver Survives 17 Hours in Shark-Infested Waters

A British diver survived 17 hours in shark-infested waters off the Queensland coast after strong currents pulled him 15 miles away from his yacht. Les Brierley, 68, originally from Bury but who now lives on the Sunshine Coast, was saved by his flippers and oxygen tank which he clung onto as he swept away from his boat <<<The Moonlight Dancer>>>. Recalling his ordeal he said: “I was debating in my mind which would be the preferable way to go… drowning or getting eaten by a shark.”

DailyMail; read more:

Malpelo Hope Spot Gets Expanded!

Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos has pledged to more than double the size of the Malpelo Flora and Fauna Sanctuary. “This is important to protect our jewels. If there is something that Colombia has, it’s a richness in flora, fauna, and biodiversity. An important part of that richness is in Malpelo,” Santos said. The new expansion ensures a protected environment where internationally threatened marine species can engage in their natural behavioural patterns.

Stop Using Aqua Lung Powerline Inflators Immediately!

Aqua Lung has now issued a recall of all 53,000 Powerline inflators sold with Aqua Lung and Apeks Black Ice BCDs since January 2015 until September 2016. That’s an awful lot of inflators. Aqua Lung says that the inflation button can remain depressed and cause the buoyancy compensators to continue inflating, resulting in an uncontrolled ascent. “This poses injury and drowning hazards to the diver.”

An uncontrolled ascent might cause a DCS incident or worse, burst lung. Recalled Powerline inflators have a date code beginning with “H” printed on the inflator body.

The company reports that as many as 60 inflators have been found defective, continuing to inflate after the button was no longer depressed. It advises users to stop using the recalled Powerline inflators immediately and contact Aqua Lung to receive a replacement of the inflator button by an authorised Aqua Lung dealer.

UnderCurrent; read more:

US Navy Divers Testing an ‘Iron Man’-Style Dive Helmet

News157_helmetUS Navy divers this month are testing new components for a ‘next-generation’ dive helmet that has a see-through heads-up display or ‘HUD’, embedded inside the helmet itself. The Divers Augmented Vision Display (DAVD) system enables a diver to have a real-time visual display of everything from location mapping via ‘sector sonar’,  text messaging, diagrams, photographs and even augmented reality videos. According to the Navy: “Having real-time operational data enables them to be more effective and safe in their missions — providing expanded situational awareness and increased accuracy in navigating to a target such as a ship, downed aircraft, or other objects of interest.”

Deeper Blue; read more:


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