Sounding news

Divers find ‘priceless’ hoard of gold coins off Israel’s Mediterranean coast

A record haul of 2,000 coins has been found in an ancient harbour and belong to era of Fatimid Caliphate which ruled much of the Middle East and North Africa from 909 to 1171. The country’s antiquities authority said the 2,000 pieces date back more than 1,000 years.  The coins which have been described as “priceless”, weighed nine kilograms.

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NIWA voyage researching foodwebs of ocean’s top predators

At the base of the ocean’s food chain are algae. Algae feed the krill that feed the whales. Marine Ecologist Sarah Bury is leading the continuous collection of water samples aboard NIWA’s deepwater research vessel Tangaroa and the experiments on the algal biomass supporting the krill. It is probably the high krill and fish abundance that attract the humpback whales to the feeding grounds around the Antarctic Balleny Islands.

 

China fishing plan in Antarctica alarms scientists

China plans to vastly increase fishing for Antarctic krill – small crustaceans that are a critical food for the continent’s penguins and other creatures. China currently harvests about 32,000 metric tons of krill annually from Antarctica’s waters. Krill provides very good quality protein that can be processed into food and medicine,” The Antarctic is a treasure house for all human beings, and China should go there and share.” quoted in China Daily.“ www.miamiherald.com

Pew, National Geographic Applaud Creation of Pitcairn Islands Marine Reserve

U.K. government establishes world’s largest fully protected marine reserve, sets new standard for monitoring18 March 2015 The United Kingdom committed to create the world’s largest fully protected marine reserve in the remote waters surrounding the Pitcairn Islands in the South Pacific. The Pitcairn Islands Marine Reserve will build a refuge of untouched ocean to protect and conserve a wealth of marine life.  www.pewtrusts.org

James Cameron and WHOI Partnership

Explorer and filmmaker James Cameron and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have formed a partnership to stimulate advances in ocean science and technology building on the historic breakthroughs of the 2013 Cameron-led DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition. Cameron will transfer the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER to Woods Hole, where WHOI scientists and engineers will work with Cameron and his team. This partnership harnesses the power of public and private investment in supporting deep-ocean science.

New Find for local Scientist

Paul Caiger, a PhD student at the Leigh Marine Laboratory, NZ, was diving near the mouth of Ti Point and found a new sea slug. Ercolania boodleae had never been reported in NZ before his find. Divers are encouraged to look out and report their findings to alison@inspiredtodive.com if you have seen these sea slugs around New Zealand.

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Japan WWII Warship Musashi Found

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and a team of researchers have located the wreck of the Musashi, a massive Japanese battleship sunk 70 years ago during World War II, off the Philippines. The 263m Musashi left Brunei in October 1944 for the Battle of Leyte Gulf, where it was sunk by an estimated 19 torpedos and 17 bombs from American forces. The naval battle, considered the largest of WWII, crippled the imperial fleet, cut off Japanese oil supplies and allowed the US invasion of the Japanese-held Philippines.

NIWA discovers 141 new creatures

The work of NIWA biologists has discovered 141 new marine creatures in the past three years, an important contribution to a worldwide register of the planet’s underwater life. The World Register of Marine Species, (WoRMS) published in Ostend, Belgium has almost completed logging all the world’s known marine species. The list relies on contributions from marine biologists around the world — including New Zealand. More than 1000 new-to-science marine fish species have been described globally since 2008 – an  average of more than 10 per month. Among new fish species worldwide are 122 new sharks and rays, 131 new members of the goby family, and a new barracuda found in the Mediterranean.

Whale tales from Antarctica

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Researchers aboard RV Tangaroa have encountered humpback whales at the Balleny Islands deep in the Southern Ocean and are on the track of the world’s largest mammal, the blue whale. “Numerous humpback whales were observed, around Buckle Island (the middle island), and acoustic data showed aggregations of Antarctic krill in the upper 200 metres of the water. Biopsy samples were taken from seven humpback whales, NIWA trawled for food species, netting krill and jellyfish, some grenadiers, small Antarctic cods and lanternfish.”  The voyage is monitoring the health of the ecosystem that supports the ocean’s top predators, blue whales, humpback whales and Antarctic toothfish.

Video and high-resolution photos are available at niwa.co.nz.

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Blue Whale encounters captured on film

Travelling through the icy Southern Ocean with blue whales is helping scientists discover whether years of industrial whaling in the mid-20th century reduced Antarctic blue whale numbers to just a few hundred animals from an estimated population of over 200,000. So tracking down the whales is quite a feat, despite the blue whale being the largest living thing on Earth. Compelling footage and photography is coming back from the Antarctic. The population is really recovering from the devastating effects of industrial whaling. Video from on board Tangaroa, including interviews with voyage leaders, is available at the link below, or for further information, contact: www.niwa.co.nz

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HDS Australia – Pacific, show their appreciation

At the recent Dive Expo, OZTeK, held in Sydney (view page 51) I was lost for words when I was presented with a plaque from the  Historical Diving Society Australia – Pacific, in appreciation  of Dive Pacific Magazine’s valued support to the organization.  If my wife Petal had been present at the Expo she would have been a joint recipient.To receive such recognition from an Australian based organization was very unexpected. It’s most appreciated by Petal and myself. The Society does a fantastic job of keeping the history of diving alive.They produce an excellent quarterly magazine: Classic Diver There are quite a few members in New Zealand.  Visit: www.classicdiver.org

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Love our ocean

On March 17th at Kelly Tarlton’s Underwater World Auckland, the book, Young Ocean Explores – Love Our Ocean was launched. It was inspired by the adventures of Steve Hathaway’s daughter Riley. The book will also be available in New Zealand schools. It brings to life the marine creatures within the ocean. It encourages young people to take a look beneath the waves! Various marine experts are interviewed. Interesting information fill the pages. Imagery is by award winning photojournalist Richard Roberson (view page 40). This creative book is a must read for the young and the not so young—-enjoy and learn. www.youngoceanexplorers.co.nz

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