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The Return of Fish Aid in Reef Recovery

Overfishing is one key impact to the decline of coral reefs worldwide and a new study performed by the Wildlife Conservation Society, James Cook University, and The Australian Institute of Marine Science shows just how important fish are to the recovery of areas affected by coastal threats such as overfishing. “Reef fish play a range of important roles in the functioning of coral reef ecosystems, for example by grazing algae and controlling coral-eating invertebrates, that help to maintain the ecosystem as a whole,” said coauthor Nick Graham of James Cook University. 150408131333_1_900x600“By linking fisheries to ecology, we can now make informed statements about ecosystem function at a given level of fish biomass.” Coastal threats such as overfishing have long been adapted to antiquated techniques so the results of this study will improve efficiency for both reef and fishermen. “The finding that gear restrictions, species selection or local customs can also contribute to fish population recovery is compelling. It demonstrates that managers can use a range of different management strategies in areas where it may not be culturally feasible to establish permanent marine reserves,” said coauthor Stacy Jupiter, WCS Melanesia Program Director. Check out the key findings here!

Joe’s Milka Stylo Insta-Colony

A beautiful combination of colorful SPS in Joe Yaiullo's 20,000 gallon aquarium

A beautiful combination of colorful SPS in Joe Yaiullo’s 20,000 gallon aquarium

 It’s easy to get lost for hours just staring into Joe Yaiullo’s massive aquarium. One new addition to the tank is a very large Purple Milka Stylophora Colony. It would be easy to think that the green and purple colonies have been growing there for the same length of time. But in actuality,  the green Stylo had been growing there for years, while the Milka has only been in place for barely more than a year.  MORE

Tattoo Tuesday

Ocean sunfish tattoo ya'll

Ocean sunfish tattoo ya’ll

 Today’s submission comes from an aquarium hobbyist. Liam Brinston got his Mola Mola tattoo from artist Ryan Buttar in Edmonton, Alberta. I think this makes Tattoo Tuesday a truly international affair, as our other entries have been from American and Italian tattoo artists. Liam reports that after four years, the color is still bright and vibrant.  MORE

NEW Fish ID App

credit: reef.org

credit: reef.org

Chelsea Harms Tuohy and Evan Tuohy are building an exciting new Caribbean fish id and survey app for iPad and Android tablets. They realized that during the first few dives, students find it difficult to differentiate between species, and so often miss out on many other fish, resulting in inaccurate counts and a lot of frustration. This app will include a “Reference Mode” which provides information about each species, and a “Survey Mode” which uses fish illustrations to identify species. The software will also keep a count of the species observed per study and provide a report. The name and final product are scheduled to be released in late 2015. The grad students are currently looking for funding for this project, and plan to run a pilot with universities and environmental institutions.  To find out how you can get involved, visit www.experiment.com/fishid

HydroView Sport

hydroviewThe Aquabotix HydroView remote operated vehicles (ROVs) provide users with real-time underwater images. You can view and record still images and videos, study marine life, and inspect equipment and environments below the water’s surface.  The HydroView can be controlled with your iPad or PC, or even an optional video game controller.  MORE

Long Island Collecting Log: Brush with a stargazer

  Last week, after a successful seining trip in Shinnecock Bay, I lugged my dive gear out to the inlet to see if I could spot any tropical fishes among the rocks of the jetty. Although I didn’t encounter anything I would consider tropical, and the water was cold enough to give me brain freeze, I was treated to some pretty awesome sights. One of the highlights was this unusual sighting of a northern stargazer (Astroscopus guttatus) out for a swim. MORE

One Tough Goldfish

goldfish-800x351 Here’s a story of feeder goldfish that beat the odds. Seven years ago, at Shima Marineland in Japan, a small goldfish was thrown into a tank, intended as food for a hungry Arapaima. In case you didn’t know it, Arapaima are among the world’s largest freshwater fish, growing over 10 feet long and weighing over 400 pounds. The little goldfish managed to escape the hungry mouth of the Arapaima and ended up in the aquariums filter system. Where it lived for seven years eating detritus and other bits. During a recent filter cleaning, an aquarist was shocked to find the goldfish, now ten inches long, alive and well in the filter. The fish showed no signs of injury, however, it was a little pale, due to the years living in darkness. Now the goldish has turned into a bit of a celebrity and has its own display tank in the aquarium. MORE

Deepwater Coral Reef Discovered off Coast of Ireland

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The deep sea biome is said to be less understood and less explored than the Moon. Nearly any serious expedition into deep sea ecosystems reveals new species, or even entirely new habitats. Often, these notoriously slow-growing biological communities are thought to be extraordinary simply on the basis of their size and structural complexity. Such was the case with the discovery of a large, coldwater coral reef off of the Irish coast. While scanning the seafloor along the route of the MORE

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