Category Archives: Conservation

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MACNA 2015 – Nation’s Capital Soon To Be Salty

MACNA 2015 will take place in Washington, D.C.In a little more than a week, thousands of marine aquarium hobbyists and industry professionals will shoal in Washington, D.C. for the 27th annual MACNA (Marine Aquarium Conference of North America). If you attended MACNA last year in the Mile-High City or in South Florida the year before, you’ll know they were both incredibly successful events. Hosted at the beautiful Marriott Wardman Park, this year’s conference is in the capable hands of the Washington D.C. Area Marine Aquarist Society, marking ten years since the club last brought MACNA to our Nation’s Capital. What is it and what can you expect?MACNA is a long-running, large-scale event that successfully hybridizes several components into one cohesive weekend of saltwater and reef aquarium goodness. First is the learning symposium aspect, which gives industry leaders, conservationists, authors, and scientists a platform to address a wide variety of topics. I always look forward to hearing what the top minds in our hobby have to say – so don’t underestimate how educational and entertaining these can be

New Coral Species Found in Tasmanian River Estuary

Cheilodactylus_spectabilis_P2133358 - Edited
It may be a bit surprising that previously undescribed species can still be discovered in an area such as the rocky reefs of the Tamar River Estuary in Tasmania, which is fairly well studied and frequently photographed by recreational divers. Yet, that is exactly what occurred when Megan Dykman, a 22-year-old graduate student with the Institute for Marine Antarctic Studies (IMAS), conducted a study of the area between Beauty Point and Low Head, just beyond 10-15 meters of depth. Originally intending only to survey the known flora and fauna in the estuary, Megan ended up inadvertently finding what may turn out to be at least four new species of soft coral, possibly representing two new genera. Of 46 specimens, as many as six appeared to be unknown. Descriptions of these new species suggest that they are quite beautiful, exhibiting rich pink, orange and yellow coloration. In what could be taken as a bit of an understatement, she explains that “we know precious little about the ecology of soft corals in temperate regions such as Tasmania. Identifying the species is really just the start of understanding their role in these complex ecosystems.” To see her work in the sponge gardens of the Tamar Estuary, see the following video:… More:

Acropora Cervicornis Larvae

Check out this video from Richard Ross!  Acropora cervicornis larvae – baby Staghorn coral – are swimming around in their petri dish, just 7 days after he and a world-renowned team of scientists collected 25 mL of concentrated eggs from the spawning Acerv at the Coral Restoration Foundation Nursery. These coral only reproduce once a year, via broadcast spawning of gametes into the water column. Individual Acerv colonies are both male and female (simultaneous hermaphrodites) and release millions of gametes after the full moon in late summer.… More:

Undulate Ray’s Born at Sea Life London Aquarium

Two-endangered-10cm-baby-undulate-rays Undulate Rays are an Endangered Species that is primarily found in the waters of England. The rays typically grow to between 10-20 pounds and can live up to 20 years. Over fishing has been blamed for the decimation of the natural population of Undulate Rays, and commercial fishing was banned in 2009. Sea Life Aquarium in London has a breeding program focused on breeding rays, including Undulate Rays and Southern Stingrays.… More:

New England Aquarium Releases Four Sea Turtles Into The Wild

TurtleReleaseB080515-JPGEight Months after their stay at the New England Aquarium, four sea turtles have been released back into the ocean. The three Kemp’s Ridley and one Loggerhead turtle were found stranded on Cape Cod last Fall due to water temperature problems. The turtles were successfully transferred to the aquarium for rehabilitation at the New England Aquarium Animal Care Center. The Center was established in 1968, with its goal to rescue and rehabilitate injured and diseased marine animals in the New England Area.… More:

Spawning Acropora Cervicornis

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Matt Korten and Rich Ross tenting colonies

 Exciting news from the Coral Restoration Foundation and the Florida Aquarium!  Last night, a group of scientists affiliated with the two organizations, including Rich Ross, Matt Korten, Justin Zimmerman, and Rick Klobuchar Jr., observed 6 different genotypes (7 colonies total) of Acropra Cervicornis spawning in the CRF Lab. CRF spawning 2 - reefsThey were able to collect bundles yielding approximately 25 mL of concentrated eggs, which they then fertilized. It is too soon to know how successful the fertilization was. They recorded the staging at 21:45, and the bundle release between 22:45 and 23:45.  The Acerv are from the Coral Restoration Foundation Nursery off of Tavernier, FL (Florida Keys).… More:

The 2015 MBI Workshop Revisited

The Workshop took place at the Cranbrook Institute of ScienceLast weekend I traveled up to Bloomfield Hills, Michigan with SWS contributor Dave Bowers to attend the 6th Annual Marine Breeder’s Workshop. It’s the only marine aquarium conference dedicated solely to marine ornamental captive breeding. My last trek to the workshop was three or four years ago, so it was long overdue. Just as I remembered, the day was chock-full of practical and educational content for active breeders, aspiring aquaculturists, and folks simply involved in the saltwater aquarium hobby. In fact, next time I need to bring along an extra brain to store all the information that’s lobbed about, but this year my notebook had to suffice. So now, for your reading pleasure, here are just some of the insights I could readily decipher from my scribbles.Unknowingly rearing anthias The event kicked off with Noel Heinsohn hopping on stage to talk about taking on many gallons of broodstock and unknowingly rearing anthias. At the young age of 21 with just five years spent in aquaculture, Noel has already had quite a variety of experiences and successes.

Reef Kids

turtle craft 1My children are fascinated with sea turtles. Those enormous reptiles that drift peacefully for thousands of miles on the ocean currents, observing the world with gentle eyes, have captured their hearts. If your kids feel the same way, they might enjoy making themselves a pet turtle to play with in the bathtub or pool, or to take for walks in the rain puddles!  You just need a 2-liter bottle, string, a sturdy needle, and something for the body – craft foam like this would work, or substitute something similar that you already have.… 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.