Author Archives: Matthew Stansbery

Matthew Stansbery

About Matthew Stansbery

With 12+ years of experience, from import to export and everything in between, I have the pleasure of calling this hobby my own.
Latest Posts

Having Crabs is a Good Thing for Coral

Smithsonian scientist Seabird McKeon, along with the museum’s predoctoral fellow Jenna Moore of the Florida Museum of Natural History, have published new research highlighting the importance of reef diversity and how symbiotic crabs can help defend against coral predators. “We found that diversity in both species and size of coral guard-crabs is needed to adequately fend off coral predators,” said McKeon. “It is an example of how biodiversity is crucial to conserving reef environments and the essential resources they provide for thousands of species, including humans.” coral crab 300x275 Having Crabs is a Good Thing for CoralSymbiotic relationships like those between an acropora crab and its colony are something we as hobbyists are well aware of, yet our opinions on the benefits between host and guest in a captive enviroment remain divided. This research shows just how important the relationships are to a natural environment, with Moore adding: “Seemingly small differences among crabs guarding their coral homes can have big effects on coral survival. “Not only does the level of protection provided vary by species, but the smallest crabs were defending the coral from coral-eating snails, a threat that larger crabs ignored.” Read more here!… More:

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Great Barrier Reef “Remarkably Efficient at Reducing Waves”

A team led by Dr Shari Gallop, Research Fellow in Geology and Geophysics at the University of Southampton has found that the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is a very effective wave disturber, despite large gaps between reef sections. “A number of previous studies have investigated the attenuation (height reduction) of ocean waves as they spread across individual coral reefs. This research is unique as it looks at the impact of a large scale reef matrix, such as the Great Barrier Reef, on wave height. Such studies are important in providing wave climate information for physical, biological and planning processes in such areas” says Dr Ivan Haigh, also from the University of Southampton.  140917073108 large Great Barrier Reef Remarkably Efficient at Reducing WavesDr. Gallop concludes: “There was no evidence that in less porous areas wave heights are lessened. This is because individual reefs, like islands, cast a ‘wave shadow’ over a large area, so that a matrix of individual reefs is remarkably efficient at reducing waves.” Dr Haigh adds: “As sea level varies, due to tides and storm surges, the submergence of the reef in water also varies. Wave heights are not strongly affected by water level over the reef matrix.” Read more here!More:

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Coral Growth Plummets on GBR

A recent study has documented a historical decline in coral growth on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. A team led by Carnegie’s Ken Caldeira compared measurements of the rate of calcification on a segment of the GBR called Bird Island between 1975 and 1979 to those made at a neighboring Island in 2008 and 2009. The team found that the rates of calcification were 40 percent lower during the 2008-2009 period than in the 1975-1979 period. 140917121225 large 300x199 Coral Growth Plummets on GBR“Coral reefs are getting hammered,” said Caldeira. “Ocean acidification, global warming, coastal pollution, and overfishing are all damaging coral reefs. Coral reefs have been around for millions of years, but are likely to become a thing of the past unless we start running our economy as if the sea and sky matters to us very soon.” Read more here.… More:

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Specialist Species Targeted for Their Importance

Professor David Bellwood from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE) in Australia has published an international study aimed at protecting the most important species within a reef ecosystem. “What we often assume is that if we lose one species on a reef, there are many others that can step in and take over their job,” explains Professor Bellwood. However, he and his colleagues believe a different theory that involves stressing the importance of “specialist” species that play very important and specific roles in maintaining the equilibrium of a reef. 140915153832 large Specialist Species Targeted for Their Importance“It’s not about numbers of species,” adds Professor David Mouillot from the University of Montpellier who led the team. “Biodiversity is important and desirable in an ecosystem, but it is not necessarily the key to being safe and secure.” Using a parrotfish for analogy Professor Bellwood adds: “The parrotfish is a particularly valuable species. To protect ecosystems, we need to ensure that specific jobs are maintained, and that means we must protect the fish that do them.” Read more here!  … More:

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Warming Waters Could Increase Dispersal of Invasive Species

Researchers from NOAA and the University of North Carolina-Wilmington have found that the increasing temperatures of our ocean waters may increase the range and dispersal of invasive species like the Lion Fish. “The results [of their study] will allow us to better understand how the fish communities might shift under different climate change scenarios and provide the type of environmental data to inform future decisions relating to the management and siting of protected areas,” says Paula Whitfield, a research ecologist at NOAA. Researchers used surface and sub-surface temperature readings while observing 40 different species of fish. They found the range of fish is directly correlated to the shifts in temperature shown throughout the differing zones. diver fish smaller 225x300 Warming Waters Could Increase Dispersal of Invasive Species“Globally, fish communities are becoming more tropical as a result of warming temperatures,  as fish move to follow their optimal temperature range.,” said Whitfield. “Along the North Carolina coast, warming water temperatures may allow the expansion of tropical fish species, such as lionfish, into areas that were previously uninhabitable due to cold winter temperatures. The temperature thresholds collected in this study will allow us to detect and to estimate fish community changes related to water temperature.” Read more here!More:

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Tony Vargas’ Vault

The infamous reefer and contributor to our hobby Tony Vargas is set to be one of our next wholesalers with his new venture Tonys Vault. Briefly mentioned and MACNA and set to bring you some of the hottest livestock housed in the best equipment money can buy, Tonys Vault is sure to make a splash into the wholesale world. Im interested to see what his venture can bring and hope one day to tour his facility. Check out Tony here on Facebook and make sure to check out his business webpage here for more information. More:

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California Blue Whale Makes Comeback

Almost hunted to extinction the Blue Whale has made a surprising comeback said the University of Washington in a recent study. Showing populations numbers close to historical levels, the California Blue Whale population recognized by the study is the only population known to recover from the practice of whaling, as well as from deadly collisions with commercial freight-liners. 140905090223 large 228x300 California Blue Whale Makes Comeback“The recovery of California blue whales from whaling demonstrates the ability of blue whale populations to rebuild under careful management and conservation measures,” said Cole Monnahan, a doctoral student in quantitative ecology and resource management at the University of Washington, and also lead author of the paper. “Our findings aren’t meant to deprive California blue whales of protections that they need going forward, California blue whales are recovering because we took actions to stop catches and start monitoring. If we hadn’t, the population might have been pushed to near extinction – an unfortunate fate suffered by other blue whale populations,. It’s a conservation success story,” Monnahan said. Read more here!… More:

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Senate Report Calls for Greater Protection of GBR

A recent federal assessment made on The Great Barrier Reef has scientists and communities alike shaking their heads. The effects of land use water entering the surrounding reef waters, among other human induced threats, is eliminating the chance for recovery. “You have to make a quantifiable link between what is happening in the catchments and what’s happening in the Great Barrier Reef, where there’s been a decline in biodiversity,” said Alana Grech, from Macquarie University. great barrier reef diver 615 Senate Report Calls for Greater Protection of GBRPhoto courtesy of Natgeo.The assessment drew on many facts stating researchers had “identified overwhelming evidence that a range of threats are continuing to affect inshore habitats along the developed coast, and the species that use these habitats.” With improvements being stifled by new dreading permits, and massive port development projects in Queensland, the reef is taking hits from all sides. The Governments report concludes stating their “One-Stop Shop will streamline environmental assessment and approval processes by removing duplication between the Australian Government and states and territories. Importantly, this will be achieved while maintaining high environmental standards.” Read more here.… More:

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