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Reef Threads MACNA Minicast, Day 1

reefthreads1 Reef Threads MACNA Minicast, Day 1 It’s the first day of the Denver MACNA show and we’re reporting what we’re seeing and hearing. Hop you enjoy. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine More: Reef Threads MACNA Minicast, Day 1More:

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Goliath Grouper Eats Shark Whole!

 While fishing off the West Coast of Florida, one fisherman got quite the surprise. While at first the man seem’s very excited to reel in a small black tip shark, the tides quickly turn when another fish quickly comes into the mix to take the catch. Not long after the shark is on the line, does a large fish, what appears to be a Goliath Grouper, come out of nowhere and inhale the shark! The commentary by the fisherman is rather entertaining. The Goliath Grouper is found in shallow warm waters off the coast of Florida and the Caribbean. The fish can reach lengths up to 16 feet and weigh up to 800 pounds. The fish are currently are on the endangered species list. Although its hard to imagine such a large fish being subject to predators, Groupers have been sought after by humans both for their meat and for game fishing, and only recently as the 1980′s have become protected. MOREMore:

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Reef Threads Podcast #195

reefthreads1 Reef Threads Podcast #195 A tang with attitude.This week’s podcast topics include MACNA, gluing frags, sea smells, frag tanks as displays, and buying high-end equipment. We hope you enjoy it and look forward to meeting people at MACNA and sharing what we see and hear with those who can’t attend. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine More: Reef Threads Podcast #195More:

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Sleep With The Fishes: Underwater Hotels

These hotels take sleeping with the fishes to a new level. The Manta Resort, recently opened this year in Pemba Island, Zanzibar, it is a stunning property that features rooms located 1300 below the Indian Reef, giving hotel guests the amazing views of it’s rich coral reef. The island is very remote, with the website advising that although the island does contain dirt roads, the only sensible way to arrive is charter flights. And at this point, if you are spending the nights watching the coral reefs from your bed, you might as well through in the charter flight. For approximately $1500/night, you can check into the underwater bedroom. Spotlights are located outside of the underwater bedroom windows, to attract marine life. Not all underwater hotels have to be tropical destinations, on the other side of the World, you can check into the Utter Inn in Sweden. A charming red room in the center of a Lake. Visitors are taken to their hotel room on an inflatable raft. The bedroom windows also feature panoramic views. Once you are in your hotel room, you can’t leave until you are picked up the next morning, so make sure you pack well. Interestingly enough, both of these amazing properties were created by Swedish artist Mikael Genberg, who has opened Genberg Underwater Hotels, with the goal of creating a series of underwater properties. MOREunderwater hotel Sleep With The Fishes: Underwater Hotelsutter inn 300x163 Sleep With The Fishes: Underwater Hotels               manta resort underwater room Sleep With The Fishes: Underwater HotelsMore:

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Florida’s Reefs Go Digital

 I’ve written about it before here, but Google Map, thanks to Catlin Seaview Survey, is coming to an underwater reef near you. Eventually, our reefs will be documented in the same way as our streets are. This is a remarkable feet in being able to capture and study the health of our Ocean’s reef in a level that was not achievable before this technology. Up until now, the camera’s have focused on underwater reefs outside the United States. I am happy to say that a place near to my heart, the Florida Keys, will be the first American Reef to be photographed and available for underwater viewing. MOREMore:

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BP Oil Spill Continues to Destroy Marine Life

The deepwater Horizon (BP) oil spill of 2010 has largely been written off by the media and its perpetrators as “dissipated” or “contained,” yet the affects of releasing millions of gallons of oil into the sea are still wide reaching, says a team of researchers from Penn State University. Charles Fisher, professor of biology at Penn State University framed the issue stating: “The footprint of the impact of the spill on coral communities is both deeper and wider than previous data indicated. “This study very clearly shows that multiple coral communities, up to 22 kilometers from the spill site and at depths over 1800 meters, were impacted by the spill.” Using a remote operated vehicle (ROV) Fisher and his team were able to capture high resolution photo’s of coral communities, finding that the oil had affected marine life further than one had expected from the spill site. tfisher mc297 2 7 2014 BP Oil Spill Continues to Destroy Marine Life “We were looking for coral communities at depths of over 1000 meters that are often smaller than the size of a tennis court,” added Fisher.“We needed high-resolution images of the coral colonies that are scattered across these communities and that range in size from a small houseplant to a small shrub. With the cameras on board the ROV we were able to collect beautiful, high-resolution images of the corals,” said Fisher. “When we compared these images with our example of known oil damage, all the signs were present providing clear evidence in two of the newly discovered coral communities of the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.” Read more here.  … More:

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Human Induced Feed Loop is Cause for Coral Decline

A new study performed by a San Diego State University team adds to the conversation about commercial fishing and inhabited islands around the Pacific. Many recent studies have shown how the presence of humans on an island, and in this case the act of commercial fishing along shores, can cause dramatic changes to surrounding reefs. “Corals are fierce competitors for space on the reef,” Add’s lead author Linda Kelly. “In a healthy marine environment, reefs support a vibrant population of corals and other calcifying organisms that continuously build the reef skyward.”Coral algae reef Human Induced Feed Loop is Cause for Coral Decline
Kelly and her team sampled surface water from 22 reefs on 11 atolls just south of Hawaii, sequencing millions of DNA from bacteria, viruses, and protists. What she and her team found was that specific bacteria can determine the amount of coral cover vs the amount of algae cover on a reef. Identifying which microorganisms influence key factors on a reef like metabolic processes will contribute to the techniques and approaches used in reef conservation. 
“How do you create an environment for corals to thrive?” Kelly asked. “In addition to practicing sustainable fishing, one way to rehabilitate a reef would be to transplant corals to the site. This should promote an environment more conducive to coral growth by fostering a beneficial community of microorganisms.” Read more here and get the full publication here!More:

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Reef Threads Podcast #194

reefthreads1 Reef Threads Podcast #194

Arm of a basket starfish.This week we talk about something for beginners and something for veterans. The beginner segment is mistakes to a avoid and the veteran segment is what to think about before turning your hobby into a business. We also learn that some people go to reef events carrying their own autograph pen so that they’re at the ready when a signature is requested. Download the podcast here, or subscribe to our podcasts at iTunes. Also, follow us on Twitter at reefthreads.—Gary and Christine More: Reef Threads Podcast #194

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