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Drones Used to Combat Illegal Fishing in Belize

On the forefront of technological reef research the country of Belize has assigned drones to combat illegal fishing throughout marine protected areas, in what may be the first use of drones for conservation. “Belize has been a leader in the establishment of marine protected areas, including the world-famous Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, but fishing regulations are difficult to enforce on the open sea,” said Julio Maaz, Communities Fisheries Coordinator for WCS’s Marine Program in Belize. “Drones offer a means of improving the rate of detection of illegal activities at a fraction of the cost required for patrol vessels.” 140722152432 large Drones Used to Combat Illegal Fishing in Belize The unmanned aerial drones will begin a new monitoring program that is a partnership between the Wildlife Conservation Society who provided the technical expertise, and the Belize Fisheries Department. “This exciting new enforcement tool will help the government and local communities protect their most valuable assets — the fisheries and coral reefs of Belize’s coastal waters,” said Dr. Caleb McClennen, Executive Director of WCS Marine Conservation. “The world’s oceans are in dire need of low cost innovations for improving the cost efficiency and effectiveness of enforcement efforts. This represents an exciting pilot program for Belize, the wider Caribbean, and nearshore marine parks and fisheries around the world.” Read more here!

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What a Trooper – Octopus Broods Eggs for Record 4 1/2 Years Before Dying

 The Monterey Bay Aquarium published a paper to the Public Library of Science on Wednesday detailing their findings of a deep sea female Graneledone boreopacifica octopus found with a clutch of eggs in May of 2007. Identifiable by the scars and markings on her mantle, the scientists returned to the site off the California coast a total of 18 times until she finally met her demise four-and-a-half years later. Dubbed “Octomom” by the scientists, she laid approximately between 155 to 165 eggs per clutch. Most mothers pass away after only their first clutch, which makes these findings quite shocking. Lack of predation due to her low depth, low water temperature and low metabolic demand due to her inactivity is attributed to her extreme lifespan. You can read more of the fascinating details at

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Marine Fish Propagation System at the Toledo Zoo

tz update13 1 Marine Fish Propagation System at the Toledo ZooYou’ve heard the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well, it can take thousands of copepods to raise one larval fish. Our curator of fishes, Jay Hemdal, and I recently went to a grant-funded workshop in Bristol, Rhode Island, to learn how to hatch marine fish eggs and raise juvenile fish, in preparation for the Aquarium reopening in March, 2015. Copepods, eggs and larvae, oh my A lot of people don’t know what a copepod is, but it’s an important food source to larval fish. Copepods are tiny crustaceans, related to crayfish and water fleas, that young, or larval, fish eat. We want to increase our knowledge of hatching and raising our own fish from eggs, because it will reduce the number of fish we get from the wild for the new Aquarium. A grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) covered the costs for me and Jay to attend a recent workshop at Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island, in conjunction with the New England Aquarium. This was the third time this workshop had been offered More: Marine Fish Propagation System at the Toledo Zoo

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Octopus Selfies! Angry Octopus Has Had Enough of the Paparazzi

 Off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, Joe Kistel was diving at depths of about 70 feet when he noticed a mass of shells that seemed out of place. Since this is usually an indication of an octopus lair, he went to further investigate. He set up his nearly $12,000 underwater camera and sure enough, our favorite cephalopod crawls out to check out the fancy gadget. All seems innocent as he reaches up as if to take a selfie, when he starts engulfing the camera within his tentacles. Kistel quickly realizes the octopus is removing a gasket – one responsible for keeping water from destroying the camera – and begins an epic tug-of-war. Surprisingly, Kistel won despite the octopus having a 6 arm advantage AND being covered in suction cups. He manages to retrieve the gasket before any damage is done and we get to enjoy the hilarious result. The octopus retreats to his unassuming lair and Kistel learns an important lesson in letting eight-armed, unpredictable sea creatures handle his fancy equipment. More about the story at The Daily Mail.

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BioTek Marine Mounting Arms Are the Sexiest Way to Mount Your Radion Fixtures

02c5BioTek Marine Radion XR30W Tank Mount BioTek Marine Mounting Arms Are the Sexiest Way to Mount Your Radion Fixtures
Ever since EcoTech Marine introduced their Radion XR30 LED fixture at MACNA in 2011, aquarium keepers have been on the hunt for the best solution to mounting them on or hanging them above their aquariums. Since aesthetics are so, so important in the appeal of an aquarium, there’s really no surprise that the hunt has been never ending for some. Fortunately, that search may be over, as BioTek Marine has (in our humble opinions) the best looking tank mounts for the Radion XR30 light fixtures. The light mounts, which are distributed through Aquarium Specialty, are made from solid cast acrylic and have been machined and polished to give a mirror like finish. They mount simply to the aquarium, using discretely placed thumbscrews, and additional hardware keeps the cords from the light fixtures hidden from view. For the Radion, there are two models available, an 18-20″ mount and a 24″ arm. They are each priced at $209. If you’re in the market for a mounting arm such as this, but don’t have a Radion, there are other models available form BioTek that accommodate the AquaIllumination Hydra and Hydra FiftyTwo LED fixtures. Eventually, models for the Hydra TwentySix and Radion XR15w Pro will be available MORE: BioTek Marine Mounting Arms Are the Sexiest Way to Mount Your Radion Fixtures

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Flesh Eating Bacteria In Florida Kills Ten People

beach Flesh Eating Bacteria In Florida Kills Ten PeopleLiving in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, My wife and I spend a lot of the time at the beach, so this latest news hits very close to home. Florida beaches are currently under warnings, due to Vibrio Vulnificus, a flesh-eating bacteria that thrives in warms waters. The bacteria attacks through opens wounds. So far, 32 people in Florida have contracted this flesh eating bacteria, 10 of which have died. MORE

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Frag to Colony

sof2014sgned 1024x671 Frag to Colony
This acropora is a prime example of the beauty that can be achieved when starting with a seed fragment instead of a wild colony.  The placement of a frag with the vision of what it will become in time can be difficult for some to visualize, and may deter the less patient aquarist. The captive grown colony will take space up and fill the area nicely, giving a natural appearance as opposed to when wild colonies are placed on live rock like a fruit stand at the grocery store.  The survivability of a coral grown from a seed fragment is much higher than trying to introduce larger wild corals into artificial conditions.  Instant gratification is not part of the puzzle when attempting a natural look in a reef aquarium.  Using captive grown seed fragments will give a great sense of accomplishment if given proper time and patience.

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Screams Heard From The Other Room

Screen Shot 2014 07 30 at 4.45.24 PM 300x247 Screams Heard From The Other RoomJared runs in to see if I’m still alive (I don’t always have the most appropriate reactions). “I MUST HAVE THIS!!!”. My list continues to grow at a daunting rate, and the pieces on it keep creeping slowly upward – but this Is truly an incredible find. Stefan Kudoke presents us with this Kraken timepiece, aptly named the “KudOktopus” (nice word-play there Stefan, I approve). At 42mm in diameter, this glorious work of art is encased in stainless steel and features sapphires on the front and back. With your choice of Louisiana Alligator or calf-skin, the leather strap will assure the watch stays snugly affixed to your wrist. You better hope it does, anyway, given the $9,860 price tag. See and read more at

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