Category Archives: Conservation

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New Approach for MPA’s

With the lists of “threatened” and “endangered” coral species being increased every year, this paper sheds light onto a presumptuous problem guiding reef research. Researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies want to take a proactive approach towards maintaining reef ecosystems, and steer away from the perceived threat of extinction, currently defined by a small geographic range and small numbers of a given species. But without truly knowing how many exist, and on what reef, the “extinction threat” approach has been antiquated by this paper.  “Extinction is the final endpoint, but coral reefs are in deep trouble long before we get to that point. We need to take action much earlier, the goal should be to maintain reefs that can support corals, fish and humans.” says Professor David Bellwood from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE) at James Cook University. 141117111738 large New Approach for MPAs“Our findings call into question the growing practice of assessing extinction risk of coral reef species without knowing how many of them are out there,” says Professor Hughes. This is the first study to systematically count corals and reef fishes at a geographic scale.” says professor Terry Hughes of Coral CoE. With the ever-present fear of coral species being labeled as endangered or threatened, professor Bellwood concludes: “This paper calls for caution when identifying species at risk of extinction on coral reefs. It highlights the potential weaknesses in current approaches and offers an alternative approach where species are valued for the services they provide for both reefs and humans.” Read more hereMore:

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Researchers Study Virus Which May Be The Cause Of Starfish Wasting Syndrome

seastar Researchers Study Virus Which May Be The Cause Of Starfish Wasting SyndromeI’ve been sadly following the Starfish Wasting Syndrome since it started shocking researchers and scientists with alarming rates of starfish mutilation and deaths since 2013. Scientists first starting noticing the disease along the North American West Coast. The degenerating disease is devastating starfish populations and scientists couldn’t figure out why. Although the disease has been present sine the 1970′s, never have soo many starfish been affected at one time. When the disease affected starfish in aquariums, scientists were able to better understand the root. By analyzing the DNA of infected and healthy starfish of different species, scientists found the virus SSaDV was most usually present in both the healthy and unhealthy starfish.… More:

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Researchers Focus On Sand Shark Propagation

animals SandTigerShark slide2 web Researchers Focus On Sand Shark PropagationSand Tiger Sharks look fierce, they are the quintessential, stereotypical ‘man-eater shark’ with their jagged, razor sharp teeth protruding out of their mouth. Basically, the ticket item many aquarium visitors expect to see in exhibits.. As such, they are a popular exhibit animal in large public aquarium tanks. There are approximately 200 sand tiger sharks on exhibit in public aquariums and zoo’s in America. Although they look scary, they are relatively docile sharks that are easy to care for in captivity. However, Sand sharks in captivity do not breed easily, since the environment in captivity does not mimic the seasons and changes in the wild. Sand shark population in the wild is at low levels because of fishing nets and shark fin poaching, and the slow maturing reproduction in the species.… More:

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Taming The Wild Tuna

Greenpeace bluefin tuna Taming The Wild TunaGlobal appetite for Tuna has increased tremendously over the last few decades. As such, along with the rapid surge in consumption has also included alarming decline in wild tuna species. There was a time when farming of tuna was considered impossible. Luckily that is no longer the case. In 2012, farmed fish accounted for over 42 percent of total global output, nearly tripling since the 13.4 percent in 1990.The Pacific Blue Fin Tuna, weighing up to 900 lbs and traveling so fast they can cover crazy distances in short times, seems to defy the principle of farm raised fish.Blue Fin Tuna is known as ‘Porsche of the Sea’, for its ultra desired status.… More:

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“No Water, No Life. No Blue, No Green” – Honoring Sylvia Earle

sylvia earle woty 2014 w724 No Water, No Life. No Blue, No Green   Honoring Sylvia Earle Growing up, Sylvia Earle’s mother encouraged her every step of the way. She filled her teenage daughter’s impressionable head with hopes and dreams of someday becoming a teacher, a nurse or even a glamorous stewardess. This was pretty much the status quo for women during these times. But Sylvia had much bigger aspirations for herself. Throughout her nearly eighty years on this planet, a great deal of which has been spent below the surface of the sea (over 7,000 hours actually), she’s made incredible strides not only as a woman, but as an explorer.… More:

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Tridacna ningaloo Possibly Bred in Captivity for First Time Ever

Tridanca ningaloo by Acro Al Here’s some exciting news for us self-professed clam junkies. Acro Al, obviously a clam junky in his own right, has unveiled that he may have bred the newly discovered but yet to be officially named Tridacna ningaloo clam at his facility in Australia. Al, who has been breeding all sorts of clam species, broke the news with this photo via Facebook, and it’s exciting news not only for the aquarium community, but for the scientific community as well. This event may mark the first time the species has even been bred in captivity
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ORA Releases Whitespotted Pygmy Filefish

reefs.comORAfile 300x212 ORA Releases Whitespotted Pygmy FilefishORA has added another fish to their growing list of successful captive bred offerings, this time it’s a little filefish! Filefishes in general just make me smile. Their goofy demeanor and camouflaging ability make them very intriguing. Most of the time when I add them to a clients aquarium they’re referred to as “that ugly fish”, however that “ugly fish” keeps their reefs devoid of pesky aiptasia anemones.… More:

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Whataburger Donates 1 Million Dollars To Texas State Aquarium

theater Whataburger Donates 1 Million Dollars To Texas State AquariumWhataburger, the fast food restaurant based in Texas, has given a $1 million dollar donation to the Texas State Aquarium.  It is just one of the contributors as part of the ‘Campaign Caribbean’ fund. The money was given to help the aquarium design the first 4 dimensional theater in South Texas, as part of the ‘Caribbean Journey’ expansion. The theater will be named after Whataburger matriarch Grace Dobson, who was responsible for the growth and success of the chain. The new theater will include 3D and live effects including water mist, snow and sound effects to give the viewer the full 4D experience. Dobson passed away in 2005, but was greatly involved in many charity works, including the aquarium. The $50 Million dollar renovation is scheduled to be complete by 2017. MOREMore:

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