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Category Archives: Conservation

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Artificial Reefs and a Pair of Heroes

In late 2015 I had a great opportunity to visit the Mexican Caribbean as part of a commission for a scuba magazine, while there, I had the chance to dive with a couple of heroes of mine: Doctor Sylvia Earle and Jean-Michel Cousteau. I was covering something called ScubaFest in Cozumel, a small island with amazing diving, off the Yucatan Peninsula.… More:

Noise Pollution Can Be Deadly For Many Species

A new study, published in Nature Communications, indicates that noise pollution can be deadly for many species of fish. Noise pollution can be created above or below the water. For example, it can noise made through motorboats, cruise ships, sonar probes and even motor vehicles and planes. The problem comes is  due to the fact that many animals use sound to help locate their food, alert each other to predators and for mating purposes. So with lots of unnatural outside noise present, some animals may not able to function accordingly. Scientists studied damselfish  (very common in saltwater tanks) and discovered that the fish become distressed when affected by the outside noise, noting that the fish consumed 20 to 30 percent more oxygen than when the noise wasn’t present. Increased oxygen consumption is a sign of stress in fish.  Neon_damselfishMore:

WAMAS Donates $25,000 to Coral Restoration Foundation

Coral Restoration Foundation Logo - reefsThe Washington D.C. Area Marine Aquarist Society, Inc. (WAMAS) has just become a Patch Reef Sponsor, donating $25,000 to Coral Restoration Foundation, the nonprofit conservation organization headquartered in Key Largo, Florida created to develop offshore coral nurseries and restoration strategies for critically endangered coral reefs at local, national, and international levels. Reef Sponsors partner with the Coral Restoration Foundation on an annual basis to protect and restore designated restoration sites along the Florida Reef Tract—the only barrier reef system in the United States, and the third largest barrier reef system in the world. The generous donation from WAMAS will directly support the Intern Program at Coral Restoration Foundation and provide one intern position over the next two and a half years.… More:

SECORE offers new hope for Endangered Caribbean Corals

1. Title photo reef site with intact elkhorn coral (Acropora palamata) stand. Photo credit Paul Selvaggio – Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium HR-2

Diverse reef site with small elkhorn coral (Acropora palamata) at Curaçao. Photo credit: Paul Selvaggio – Pittsburgh Zoo & aquarium

 For the first time, researchers have raised colonies of coral, from lab-bred specimens to sexual maturity. 
Diverse reef site with small elkhorn coral (Acropora palamata) at Curaçao. Photo credit Paul Selvaggio – Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium-2

Curaçao, Photo credit: Paul Selvaggio – Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium


Two New MASNA Education Pages

pallette surgeonfish masna - reefs

image credit: © James Heilman, WikiMedia

 As many of you know, MASNA, the Marine Aquarium Societies of North America, is a non-profit organization whose focus is to educate, assist, support, and encourage marine aquarium groups, clubs, and hobbyists across North America.  To this end, the organization has just released two new educational articles, which can be accessed and downloaded for free from their website,… More:

Corals and Sunscreens

RCA_3010 Every reefkeeper knows to wash their hands before placing them into their tank. It’s widely accepted that our hands and arms can collect a range of household chemicals, cosmetics, and general gunk that in the relatively caustic aquarium water can be quickly washed off and potentially cause problems for sensitive corals.… More:

By 2050 Our Oceans May Hold More Plastic Than Fish

The title of this article says it all and it’s very grim, but not unsurprising, news for our oceans. I have written about some of the devastating effects of plastic on our coral reefs. CC Moey reports estimates that nearly a third of all plastic packaging ‘escapes collection systems’. This means that 1/3 ends up in our oceans or in landfills;up to 8 million tons are deposited in our waterways. Plastic can survive for hundreds of years. It is estimated that currently there are 165 million tons of plastic in our oceans, or one garbage truck full of plastic per minute that’s dumped into our oceans.… More:

Diving With Legends

Jean-Michel Cousteau

Jean-Michel Cousteau

 Last year I had the chance, as part of a commission for a magazine, to dive with a couple of heroes, Doctor Sylvia Earle and Jean-Michel Cousteau.… More: is the world's leading destination for sustainable coral reef farming and the aquarium hobby. We offer a free open forum and reef related news and data to better educate aquarists and further our goals of sustainable reef management.